How to Set Up a Cosplay Photoshoot
So you’ve made your costume, now you want photos to show it off. So where do you find a photographer? The answer is pretty long, because there are a lot of options. We’ll start with the internet.
As with many things in cosplay, start with social media. Like/follow photographers whose work you like and who frequent the same conventions as you. Many photographers post their convention schedules, rates (if they require payment), and signups prior to an event to make signing up for a photoshoot a breeze. If a photographer does not post such things, you can try sending them a polite message expressing your interest to collaborate. Some photographers also post on forums. For example, I have set up many photoshoots through the cosplay.com cosplay photoshoot scheduling forums.
NOTE: As with all situations involving the internet, trust your gut. If a photographer behaves in a way you are uncomfortable with, leave the situation. Bring a friend with you to the photoshoot to act as an assistant. It is polite to ask the photographer for permission beforehand to bring a friend. That being said, a photographer being against that can be a red flag. I personally have been participating in cosplay shoots for 5+ years and have never had a photographer say no to an assistant. You can politely decline a photoshoot at any time if you do not wish to participate.
An alternative to finding a photographer is to just take photos with friends. Take turns taking pictures of each other until you get results you like. It may take a bit of practice, but can be a lot of fun! Play around with camera settings, poses, angles, and lighting to see what you get!
These days even smart phones come equipped with cameras. Phone cameras are getting progressively higher quality and can be used to create some surprisingly good cosplay photos. For example, this shot of my Junko cosplay was a 2 second snap on a smartphone.
(Photo by Webyugioh)
Still having trouble finding a photographer? Never fear, you can do it yourself. If you can’t find someone to help you, or don’t feel comfortable doing so, it is possible to photograph yourself. It can be difficult to do so, but by using a tripod and a camera with a self-timer feature you can conduct your own photoshoots. It may take a lot of practice, but with patience you can get some wonderful photos. Check out It’s Raining Neon for some phenomenal self-shot cosplay photography (https://www.facebook.com/DeAnnaDavisCostuming/ ).
Want to learn more about cosplay photoshoots? Check out these blog posts!:
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Want to learn more about cosplay sewing? Check out my e-book: (currently available in Kindle format, though can be read on other devices through the free Kindle app).