Are you frustrated with only getting cosplay photos twice a year when you go to conventions? Or tired of seeing the same gazebo in every shot? Then location photoshoots may be for you.
There is a cosplay myth that location shoots involve hours of travel to a secluded area and require a huge investment of time and effort. That's not necessarily the case. Most of the "location" shoots I've done were less than 5 minutes from where I lived and the shoot itself only lasted 30 min. I like to start by going for walks and just keeping an eye out for interesting plants and structures. You don't need to have a giant nature preserve- the location only needs to be large enough to fill the frame of the photo.
(This creepy wall is really just a corner of a concrete parking garage. [Photo by Webyugioh])
It should go without saying, but be mindful of other's property. Don't trespass into the perfect corporate building or make someone uncomfortable by taking pictures in front of their home- no matter how beautiful their garden is. This is why I prefer public parks and parking garages- though it does mean there will be other people there. When cosplaying in public areas you may attract a bit of attention, especially if your costume is unusual or brightly colored. To avoid too many questioning stares I try to choose times that are not as popular- such as early morning or during indoor holidays.
(My maid Futaba photoshoot was done in my apartment complex at 5pm on Thanksgiving, when everyone else was having dinner. No one noticed a bright red maid running around. [Photo by Webyugioh])
When shooting close to home, especially if you plan on posting your pictures online, avoid including any landmarks or signs that can be used to identify your address. Physically position yourself or a prop to cover up street signs/license plates or edit them out in Photoshop. And definitely don't take photos showing a large portion of the front of your house, This is a safety concern no matter how big of an online following you have, so just be cautious.
(In this Peach cosplay I'm standing in front of a fire marker, but my dress is blocking it. [Photo by Webyugioh])
I hope you found these photoshoot location tips helpful. If there is anything I missed, let me know in the comments below. I hope you have a great time with your future cosplay photoshoots!