Hi guys! today I’m going to share some tips on getting good cosplay photographs at Conventions/Events. In this scenario I’m talking specifically about photographs that will be taken by random people in a normal convention scenario and not a pre-planned private Photo shoot.
Some of the tips are to be done before the event while some are things to do during the event. They are not hard and fast rules that must be followed but general suggestion I would give based on so many years of taking photographs at events. These are the things I want to tell some cosplayers ahha.
1. Have perfect Makeup & Hair
Spend time on your makeup and wig. Exfoliate and treat your skin to some delicious face masking before the event so that your skin would be in the best condition to apply makeup. Make sure you take the time to do a good job on the makeup because there will be no chance for you to Photoshop any flaws away afterwards. Check out my post about preparing your skin for Cosplay.
Cosplay wigs and costumes always screams for attention, if you have a very muted/natural makeup , you will end up looking very washed out. The camera always take some colours and dimension away from your face too so apply a bit more makeup than usually. One tip is to check your makeup by take photographs along the way. Better makeup will allow you to look better on pictures and require lesser Photoshop.
One sure way to make your face look good all the time is to stick your side fringe to the side of your face with eyelash glue. It sounds ridiculous but trust me, A LOT of high profile cosplayers do the same. It won’t be comfortable but if you want to look good, sometimes you need to sacrifice haha.
Make sure your hair and makeup is as perfect as it can be is because, you cannot Photoshop convention pictures. Usually you go to events, have your photos taken by random people and you see it on Facebook the next day; regardless of how you look.
2. Make your costume fit
The best cosplay costume is not one that has the most intricate design or embellishment but one that is size, length, texture, colour accurate and fits the cosplayer well; It is a culmination of everything. If you bought your costume then make sure to alter it to fit you as best as it can. There’s no hard and fast guideline here but just keep testing in front of the mirror and decide what works for your body best. It can be the most well made costume but if it fits you poorly, you likely won’t look good in photographs either.
3. Iron your costume
One of the easiest way to improve the quality of your costume is to iron it. Especially if your costume’s fabric creases easily. There’s no easier way to tell someone you’ve put in lesser effort than you could have for the cosplay.
I’m not saying everyone must iron their costume, nor am I trying to put cosplayers who don’t iron down. However if you want good photographs, you have to take the effort to ensure your costume is presented the best it could be.
The hotel I stayed in (GoHotels.ph) when I was in manila last year didn’t provide any iron and ironing board for free. And I realise too late that my Obi was super wrinkled from the packing, so I used my travel size Flat iron to iron the creases away.
4. Practise your poses
Knowing what pose the character is known for helps you to get the portrayal part down pat. A good cosplay photo is not complete without the right poses and expression to represent the character. It doesn't have to be "pretty" but it should look good on photos . Figure out which pose compliments your body type and costume best and you have a higher chance of getting better photographs.
Prepare a variety of poses if possible. Full body, close ups and dynamic fun shots. The shooting conditions can vary in an event and we usually have no control over it. So prepare some poses for full body shots and prepare some poses for tighter environment.
Like I mentioned in the video, not every poses by our fictional friends are realistic or humanly possible without Photoshop. Some of the expressions are just difficult to pull off. If you are not confident you can pull it off, then don’t do it in the conventions. Of course the usual tricks like sucking in your tummy, shoulders apart and standing straight still comes into play.
Another tip I’d share is to not let your fringe shouldn't cover the eyes. Unless your character specifically requires you to cover your eyes , it is best to ensure majority of your eyes can be seen. Eyes are the window to our soul and in cosplay photography whereby character portrayal is key, being able to show the character's emotion with your eyes is very important. Of course there are variations to this theory depending on your character and the setting but i think this is a very simple tip that makes a big difference.
5. Try to have eye contact with the camera
That's gonna be difficult if multiple cameras are flashing at you together but try to shift your attention to as many photographers as possible. Not only does photographs of you looking at the camera looks better , it also pleases the photographer and she/he is more likely to upload that photo. Everyone wants to have a good shot and everyone's at the event to have fun so no harm giving the photographer a moment to snap a photo with you looking at them.
I hope you guys like this blog entry and feel free to share your own tips with us in the comments section!