Monthly Cosplay: Tifa Lockhart

For this month, my goal/project was to shoot Tifa Lockhart from the Final Fantasy 7 remake for St. Patrick’s Day. I figured with her owning her bar, Seventh Heaven, it would be fitting with the holiday that is notorious for drinking and having fun.

Tifa’s been one of my biggest icons growing up, along with Chun-Li and Wonder Woman. She was one of my first cosplays at the first con I went to, but as simple as her original look is… my closet-cosplay version of it wasn’t the best replica (there’s a reason I’m not attaching pictures lol). I’m glad now that her costume is a bit more detailed, and that I was able to bring her justice with an official shoot. I had her entire outfit commissioned so that it would fit me perfectly—I’m in between sizes, so I didn’t want to get something too big or too small. It was definitely one of my biggest investments in regards to cosplay, but I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t shoot her before the holiday so that I could post her the day of, but with the one year anniversary of the remake coming up in April, I think it’s still fitting.

Not to spoil the game for anyone who hasn’t played it yet, but to share my thought process on how I wanted to set the mood for this shoot—the first moment we see Tifa is when Cloud enters Sector 7. There’s tension from recently coming back from a mission, trying to get his money, and not having been in the slums for a long time, but Tifa’s presence is welcoming, soothing, and gentle despite everything going on. You instantly feel at home the moment you see her. You get it from her eyes, her kind and sweet smile, her shy demeanor. I wanted to try using these key facial features in my photos, while also attempting to recreate these iconic shots of the bar scene—just to make it a little more cinematic.

I had pitched the Final Fantasy concept with my photographer a while ago, and his parents happened to have a bar in their basement, so I was very excited once I told him my Tifa costume had come in because we would have the perfect location to shoot. Their bar naturally has the rustic feel Seventh Heaven has, but we added some homey touches in reference to the game like a daffodil bouquet and a drink menu—both in which you can see in some of the photos posted on my Instagram. The cocktails were a fun add-on as well.

I’m seriously so happy with how this shoot turned out! From imitating the poses to decorating the set, I felt that I really made this beautiful character come to life, and it made me appreciate her, as well as the world building in all the Final Fantasies, even more. I hope to get more action poses out of Tifa this summer.

A very special thanks to ErikJAWS Photo for helping me capture this amazing concept, and his parents for being so generous and sharing their space.

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