Posing for Cosplay Photos: A Tutorial!
Here’s some quick basics about posing to look your best in cosplay photos!
- Figure out your “good side.” What does the “good side” actually mean? Well, it’s the angle that you like best for your body and face in photos. A photographer who just met you may not know how you feel accentuates your favorite features as far as angle and pose, so test it out in a mirror. Look at your face from different angles, make lots of expressions, and if you’re in front of a long mirror, shift your weight from side to side, bend one knee, both knees, tilt your torso at different angles, figure out what you like best! If you know these yourself, it’s way easier for you to get pictures you like.
- Relax, relax, RELAX. Unless you’re trying to look disgusted, angry, or are in a battle pose, relax your face! Exhale when the photo is being taken, If you have to smile, think of something that will make you genuinely smile, or laugh a little, it looks much more genuine. Don’t stop breathing because you’re posing either!
- Don’t lock your knees! This is a mistake I used to make a lot, If you have to hold a pose for awhile, you can potentially pass out if you lock your knees for two long! Also, if you’re biologically female cosplaying a male character, it also makes a curve of the leg that only females are capable of physically making.
- Don’t strain yourself! If you’re not comfortable doing a pose, don’t force it. Oftentimes the picture isn’t worth the bodily injury, especially if you are balancing on something!
- Fake it til you make it. Sometimes super-athletic poses look really cool, but are difficult to hold for a camera. A deep crouch might be hard to hold, but a similar-looking kneel or even sitting position could look just as convincing. Otherwise, practice makes perfect!
- Do what shows off the best parts of your costume! If you have an awesome cape, can you get shots with it fluttering in the wind, or sprawled out around you? Can you make really neat lines with stripes on your shirt or pants with diagonal poses? If you have an epic wig, be sure to get some closeups, or shots from above. If there’s a specific area of beading or stitching you like, try to pick poses where it is visible.
- Make interesting shapes. I know this seems weird, and a lot of this is up to your photographer, but if you mention it, they’ll probably go for it. The two most pleasing shapes in compositions are triangles and circles. Think about the shapes your costume makes and how they’ll make cool pictures! Large dresses can make lovely circles in top-down shots, and I’m awkwardly long and lanky, so I often use my legs to create lines for the eye through compositions. If you can envision a cool photo in your head and prepare poses in advance, you can work with your photographer to make it happen!
- Have fun and don’t stress! Cosplay photoshoots should be fun, not painful, and if you have fun doing it, it’s all the more rewarding when you get your pictures back! For me, it feels like Christmas, and I hope it does for you too! (It also really shows in your photos if you’re enjoying yourself!)
How to Look Better in Cosplay Photos - Part 2
So now that you have some decent pictures of yourself that you have taken, what about pictures that other people are taking? There’s nothing worse than getting tagged in a bunch of pictures from that most recent con with serious derpface going on. Again, this is easily fixable!
Cosplay and Photography
This is just a random series of thoughts and such that…if you’re a cosplayer, or know one, you should probably take a few moments to read this.
If you decide to treat your photographer like shit, just remember this, in such a close knit community (cosplay is a close knit community, cosplay photography is even more close knit), be aware that photographers talk to each other. (I know, right? SHOCKING.)
We tell others who the troublemakers are. We know what you have done and what you have said to make the photographers’ lives more difficult than they need to be.
So, please, think twice before you decide to be a douchenozzle to your photographer for “taking too long” to get your photos out (and it’s only been three weeks after a con. Photographers have lives, too, guys. Cosplay photography isn’t my job. If it was, I’d be out on the street.) and sending them a nasty message, or making some status bitching about them. Or flipping tables over some insecurity the photographer couldn’t have known of without you telling them.
It isn’t appreciated. And I’m more than willing to sacrifice working with people if they have a history of being a pain in the ass with other photographers because, frankly, what’s stopping them from making my life a living hell as well?
All you need to do is be a decent human being. Be polite. There are ways to inquire about why something is taking so long without being a rude little brat. All you’re doing is pushing some amazing photography talent out of the Cosplay scene. So stop.