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How to Prepare for a Cosplay Photoshoot

Now that you’ve found a photographer and set up your photoshoot, it’s time to get ready. This is assuming that your costume is done and your wig is styled. If, not it’s time to buckle down and get to work. You now have another person counting on you to finish your project.

To make things easier, here’s a preparation checklist:

  • Prepare any paperwork you may need. Some photographers require model release forms for photoshoots. Print out the form, fill it out, and put it in your bag to bring with you to the shoot.

  • Finalize any remaining payment. If you are doing a paid shoot, get the payment ready for the photographer. Send any Paypal transfers or set aside some cash, whatever fits your agreement. If I am paying in cash for a shoot I prefer to put the payment in an envelope so it is easy to access. I then pack it in the bag I will bring with me to the shoot.

  • Gather any props you need and put them in your convention bag.

  • Collect your reference photos. A quick google search is a great way to find references of the character’s poses and expressions. Find a way to bring these images to the photoshoot. Print them out or make an album on your phone. If you have some ideas for photos but can’t find a good reference, you can make your own by sketching them out. While gathering your references you can also send them to your photographer and collaborate if you have not already.

  • Do a makeup test. If time and resources permit, do a practice-run of your costume with the makeup you want to wear doing the shoot. This gives you a chance to see if you are happy with the application or if you need to make any adjustments before you have the final photos. Take some selfies to see if you like the way your look shows up on camera.

  • Practice your poses. Play around in front of the mirror to see what poses you like. Look for poses that are flattering and show off your costume. If you can practice while wearing your cosplay, even better.

  • Confirm your photoshoot location and time with the photographer. Print this out (along with your photographer’s contact information) to bring with you in case you have phone trouble at the con.

clover 999

An example of using an in-game image as a reference for a pose. In this case, Clover from the video game 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (Photo by Dancing Squirrel Photography)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------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).

cosplay sewing for beginners

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