@ritasv commented earlier today about shapeshifting in cosplay and I put together this little collage on Instagram earlier tonight. I’m a bit lucky in that my face is quite… bland to start with - it’s big and kind of square and my eyes are set pretty deep under a flat brow which is awesome for dudes like Loghain. Without any particularly bold features, it’s a good starting point for most makeups. Unfortunately, my nose is not majestic and big like most of my characters so I have to bust out prosthetics in many cases (with varying degrees of success).
Even then, so so so SO much of successful cosplay photography is dependent on angles. That picture of Loghain up there, for example, communicates the character very well through the eyes but the angle of the head makes the lower half of the face look too small and round so some effect is lost. Same with Lt. Illarion (Witch’s Guard) on the right side. Iorveth works well without prosthetics from a variety of angles (thank god) but there are some that Absolutely Do Not Work. Looking at King Foltest, I am alllllmost tempted to put together more intense prosthetics because his face is VERY long and elegant and I could only achieve that with extremely clever contouring and very select camera angles.
The Good Side vs Bad Side thing that comes out of fashion photography totally applies to cosplay as well. In my case, I hate shots from my right side because my nose is broken and looks too dainty, plus my eyebrow there is slanted weirdly and makes me look scared 90% of the time. So I intuitively present my left side to the camera most of the time and nearly all of my favourite shots have been from the left side.
Anyway, TL;DR, angles are important. So is lighting, saturation, hue, and all those good things you can do in post-production.
PS I still owe people makeup tutorials! Crap, just remembered. Soon, hopefully. Thanks for being patient.