Working with Photographers
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  • We’re here to make friends, and some of them will have cameras!

  • Look for photo ‘hot spots’ at events. Outside areas with nice natural light or backgrounds are popular shooting locations at conventions. Look for where you see photos being taken. Standing in costume in ‘hot spots’ is a great way to get photos. Don’t forget to tell them your sceenname so they can tag you in their posts!

  • Don’t be afraid to walk up to someone with a camera in these ‘hot spot’ areas who doesn’t look busy.  Ask if they are taking cosplay photos, and if they are available to photograph your cosplay. Note: some photographers do charge for their services. Make sure to check first before working together!

  • Feeling Shy? Ask a cosplayer friend to introduce you to people they have enjoyed collaborating with.

  • Network online beforehand on social media. Many photographers will put up notices when they intend to go to an event.

DIY Photography is just as FUN!
You can do it yourself, too!
  • Taking your own pictures is the most straightforward way to guarantee you have photos of your cosplay.

  • Cellphone cameras have evolved! That thing in your pocket is a tool that can take great photos.

  • Take turns with your friends and photograph each other. This is a learning process and a fun way to spend time with your friends… and a confidence builder! Learn together.

  • Youtube has free resources on basic techniques for lighting to create better photos! The difference between a beginner & an expert is experience and knowledge… and much of that knowledge is out there online!

  • Search for wedding photography lighting tips. They make great reference guides for flattering photography.

  • Entry-level DSLR cameras are increasingly more affordable & easy to use. I use a Canon Rebel for all my photo content.

  • If you use a DSLR, consider shooting in the RAW format. It saves more information so dark or overly bright photos can be fixed with software like Lightroom (a $10 a month subscription service you can get bundled with Photoshop.)

P.S. You can find several posts with tips & tricks for creating photoshoots at home over on my blog!

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Looking your best on Camera
  • Figure out where your light source is, and don’t be afraid to ask the photographer where to face.

  • Diffused vs High Contrast Lighting: Diffused lighting, i.e. no harsh shadows, creates flattering portraits. Alternatively, strong shadows created by high contrast lighting brings out edgy details & looks dramatic. Think about what would work best for your character.

  • Learn about ambient light. Midday light casts the most shadows outside. If you want soft, flattering light, aim to photograph during ‘golden hours’- sun up and sunset.

  • Practice facial expressions & poses for each character in the mirror beforehand. It’s good to have 3 or 4 poses ready before photos!

  • Don’t like how you look in photos? Learn what the good and bad angles are for your face shape & your lighting preferences. Communicate that to your photographer.

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Wear Makeup
  • Foundation is important. Get one that closely matches your skin tone and wear it for photos. Even if you have nice skin, colorful costumes and wigs can make you look washed out or highlight blemishes.

  • Avoid shine by using a loose powder to set your makeup. Camera flash can make skin look shiny or oily.

  • Do a makeup test run. Apply all the makeup you plan to use & take a selfie in good lighting while wearing your wig (and parts of the costume if you feel like it!) Giving your makeup a test run will help you plan out what to improve before you get photos taken in costume.


Eat First
  • Avoid being ‘Hangry’ and enjoy your event more by making sure you don’t skip meals. Posing for photos takes more energy than you’d think. You’ll need that meal to look your best.

  • Keep snack bars on hand for yourself or for that grumpy friend of yours.

Photography Etiquette
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  • Having business cards with your contact info is normal for both cosplayers and photographers. (Plus they can be fun to collect!) Make some with your social media @s and an email.

  • Be patient. Don’t hound a photographer you’ve shot with for photos. Remember that we all have lives outside our hobbies and it’s a favor and privilege to have photos taken for free.

  • If you intend to pay a photographer for their time and work, ask for a contract that outlines turnaround time, usage rights, and other limitations you both might have.

  • Respect the area you are posing in. Don’t stand on furniture, sculptures, flowerbeds, fountains, or other areas that are not meant for climbing in or on. This goes double for monuments & graveyards.

  • If you don’t feel comfortable with something, SAY NO.  Don’t be afraid to tell a photographer no if they ask for a pose you are not okay with.

  • Don’t feel bad for standing your ground or leaving if you are made to feel uncomfortable for any reason. Your comfort & safety comes first. Trust your gut.