Pinoy Cosplay Photographer Jay Tablante shares Panel at this year’s SDCC 2018!

We caught up with famed cosplay photographer to the stars, Jay Tablante, on his first experience being part of a panel in SDCC 2018.

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Among one of the many draws to San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) are the amazing talent it attracts to attend and present at this event. Yesterday we here at SDCC were treated to a very interesting mix of panelists, ranging from a seasoned cosplayer, Amanda Lyne, to our very own Pinoy Cosplay Photographer Jay Tablante.

From left to right: Kris Anka, Amanda Lyne, Diana De Mol, Jesse Thaxton, Pat Loika and Jay Tablante at their SDCC Comic-con panel on Cosplay and Photography: a Symbiosis


I have to admit it was pretty awesome seeing Jay up there among the other presenters.  Each speaker is an expert in their own right and it’s great to see a Pinoy holding his own among other world class photographers and cosplayers. Obviously he has the chops for it as Jay has been known both locally and around the world as someone who has been championing amazing cosplay photography. So much so that he has shot various local artist and international cosplayers in stunning animated details. For more of his work CLICK HERE.

After his talk Jay and I had a short chat about his career and how he got this point.  Originally working in the IT industry, Jay always had an inclination for the arts and was itching to express his artistic side in one way or another.  Eventually, he moved away from that and went into an ad agency’s creative department before heading into photography full time. Were there any hardships with the transition? Sure. Were there any regrets?None. I mean, just look where he is now!

Jay Tablante having an engaging conversation at a SDCC attendee

We also got to ask him a couple of burning questions.

Ungeek:  Was this your first time being part of a panel in SDCC? If so, what was the experience like?

Jay: Yup, first time being part of a panel in a stage like SDCC so I was super excited. I’m a newbie in it cause the rest of the panelists are seasoned pros that have appeared in these panels before.

I think I was too excited — well it’s not like you get to panel for a major con every year in your career. Hehe.

Ungeek: What surprised you with the panel that you held? Like audience reaction, etc.

Jay: One thing I like about the US crowd is they speak their mind easily. They interact with you on the slightest jokes, comment openly and just express themselves freely which leads to a very engaging and interactive conversation. So, it becomes less of a lecture and more of a nuanced conversation with the crowd.

Ungeek: What are possible key takeaways from this year’s SDCC for the cosplay and cosplay photography scene in the Philippines?

Jay: There’s just so many things to see and do here in San Diego Comic Con that it baffles me how they were able to put so much content in a span of 4 days. It’s not just about showing the latest trailers or promoting a movie franchise, there are so many topics that people attend to that help form a deeper understanding and love for the geek culture as a whole. This panel is part of that.

I’ve attended a couple of panels where the topic is all about production design and professionals sharing the tricks of the trade.

In the end, there’s real education that happens here and not just on an art-level but on a more holistic level as well. Like, there was this seminar about how to create a business out of your geek passion — whether it be cosplaying or whatnot. So they discussed licensing and really going through the ropes of what you can do and how you should go about it. Ang galing! I think that’s one thing that we really need to step-up on, the education part.

Ungeek: So do you highly recommend people to go to SDCC?

Jay: Sobra! Even with the grueling lines and the amount of people attending, if you plan your visit, you can really take out so much from the con. Plus you get exposed to cutting edge techniques, costuming, production design and various fields as well. Iba lang eh. The exposure you get here will definitely level-up your cosplay game.

Ungeek: With you getting a slot in this year’s SDCC 2018, do you think that the world may be ready for what Pinoys have to offer in terms of talent, creativity especially in cosplay and cosplay photography?

Jay: Definitely. And to be honest, I think we’re pretty much at par when it comes to talent and creativity. Meron tayo nyan. What we lack, could be proper exposure and not just us showcasing what we have but getting exposed to new environments like this as well.


Pat Loika and Jay Tablante after their SDCC panel


Right now, as cosplay gains traction in the Philippines it’s great to see Jay shine in the International Cosplay Photography scene.  I’d say, it’s a sign of great things to come for the local Cosplay photography and Cosplay scene in general.  Kudos to Jay for holding a panel at SDCC 2018, here’s hoping for more in the future!

Congrats Jay!