Cosplaying for the Camera (Pt. 2)

Part 2!  (Missed part 1? it’s right here)

Heights can be altered with a little camera trickery! Be sure to mention to your photographer if the characters you’re cosplaying should be significantly different heights to how you are, they’ll take it from there.

There are a few tricks you can pull yourself, lower yourself by bending your knees or leaning over, and cover up your deceit! Hide behind things or other people, or have the photo taken where whatever is covering up your height is out of camera view!

Baby Prime, Mummy Prime, Daddy Prime. All it took was a different angle of the camera, and for nothing of comparable size to be in view (cars or people would give away the perspective)

Where would you rather have as a background for your Spiderman? A ground floor window, or a precipice that could be OF ANY HEIGHT? Discuss backgrounds with your photographer, they can try some fancy trickery. This pillar is only two feet off of the ground but is next to a stairway leading to a lowered area, but that’s all you need for a camera to shoot from below and catch nothing but trees and sky.

Getting your photographer to do crazy angles can give you far more interesting photos than you might expect! They’re not very flattering usually, but they are dramatic!

So what if you’ve got more than two people? My one trick is to STAGGER EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE
No straight lines, not in the x, y or z axis, alternate people’s heights, where they’re standing, even how they’re standing, or sitting, then everyone either looking at the lens, or all doing their own thing. Instant CD cover photo!

This is what mass group shots usually look like, they’re great as a momento that you all got together, but they rarely make amazing photographs, so unless you’ve got some spectacular ideas between your group, it’s not ideal to put pressure on getting some epic photos with so many people.

However, if between yourselves you’re organised enough – or your photographer is REALLY bossy, you can pull some good stuff off. Most poses will still need work, again the view of a camera is difficult to imagine without being the one staring down it, but you can get there.

Posed groups! See the staggering in action! These can be some of the most rewarding photos when they work, but are a nightmare to set up! Patience is key, but everyone needs to be on board with it and you’ll want a dedicated photographer, if you’ve gotten someone random with a nice camera, they’re not going to want to spend 45 minutes with you setting up a single photo.. These take a lot of work so putting some ideas together before the shoot can really help. Also make use of your environment, all standing around can only look so interesting!

So here’s something random. These are shots I took a few weekends ago at a get together of friends which ended up with silly games being played in a field – in this particular case a maze-like stone circle where touching the grass between paths was disallowed and having to get to the person in the middle without being thwacked by the ball of rope on more rope was the aim of the game. Random as it may seem, check out the photos I got from it! Totally unplanned or posed, you can see how much action is captured, these aren’t athletes or people running for dear life, these are people just like you, playing games. Yet there’s the shifted centres of gravity, hair blowing, things captured mid-air, people staggered across the photo.. This is what action shots should look like! Their downsides of course being not all the space is filled, and some people overlap – really this photo is mostly here as an example of why you need to stagger everyone relative to the camera, or it looks like that.

A bit more talk on posing groups, if you can have a story to play out, things will go much smoother. We’ve got a Highschool of the Dead group here, the story is simple, OH GOD THERE ARE ZOMBIES, but more than that everyone has their own role in these photos, lookouts and rear-guards in the first, the close-combat character Saeko is a little difficult to pose as, well, we didn’t have any zombies to combat-close with, so she gets to simply be ready on watch.

In the second they’re taking turns, hardest to pose is Saya since she was the only one without a weapon! Luckily she’s the haughty rich girl character so she gets to sit back and polish her glasses, haughtily. Down below we’ve got the gun nut Hirano teaching not-amazingly-bright Rei how to use the gun she has strapped to her!

Back to the first, I’ve put Rei with the most impressive gun up front, while not the main character she is sort of the poster-girl for the series, and the gun is kind of epic. Main character isn’t to be left out, he’s right behind her with a slightly lowered stance, which works well – he’s at rest but poised if something leaps out. Hirano is kind of tucked away at the back there, usually I’d have separated them a little more so he wasn’t so cut off – and in fact did in other shots from the same shoot, but this worked the best. Being the military nut he’s more than happy to take rear guard and has always been a bit of a background-character by nature. In this case it works, despite the simple design of his costume, putting him there there’s no doubt of who he is, if you know the show.

WORDS, SO MANY WORDS.

This is here to remind you to keep having fun! Sure there’s a lot of DO THIS NOT THIS WHAT THE HELL PEOPLE? in this but the first rule always wins, if you’re not enjoying it, you’re not doing it right.

But be serious at times, too.

Now seriousness can always be tricky, especially in front of friends. The giggles will happen.
I say that’s fine. Let them.
Most important thing, like blinking, is not to worry about it, try not to break your pose too much while you cackle maniacally though, and you can go straight back in there when they subside. The worst is breaking pose entirely, throwing your hands in the air and exclaiming NO I CANT DO IT, because if you can just get back in there and everyone hold their pose for just a few seconds:

The camera only needs a split second to fire. Then you can go back to hysteria. Again I stress the importance of trying to stay roughly where you should be while the giggles happen, that way as a photographer I can just wait, the angle’s still right, you’re in the right place, I just have to wait for that one second where no one is cracking up. If you’re all moving around, the shot has to be restarted from the beginning, and that’s when things take forever!

Trouble with using my own photos is it’s hard to remember to actually take the bad photos as well as the good, instead of fixing the problems before pressing the shutter! So here’s a reminder or two that sometimes the magic needed a little help! Get some outside assistance, as long as they can get out of shot quick enough, it’s all golden.

Epic cloak! Or is it?

Let’s get violent!

Most important thing about combat photos, is you need to look like you mean it. You need INTENT! This doesn’t mean a massive scowl constantly on your face, but rather you need to look like you know what you’re doing, and what you’re about to do – that can be with a grin on your face for cocky characters, a smirk for the confident, determined for the brave, angry for the vengeful, or even a smile if it’s friendly sparring.

Again as far as body language goes, SHIFT THAT CENTRE OF GRAVITY, preferably lower down. Also for most combat stances you’ll find the feet kind of adopt the 10-2 rule, like driving a car, your feet should often be pointed outwards at roughly the angles for 10 and 2 on a clock. This combined with lowering your centre of gravity makes you very difficult to push over, your balance has increased tenfold! Very important when trying to not be kicked to the floor.

Keep limbs ready but relaxed, usually slightly bent, not tightly tensed unless you’re going for the angry look, most martial arts are about defence before offence, you should look like you’re ready for the situation to change at any second. Of course if you’re angry or blood raging, defence goes out the window and it’s all about introducing Mr. Fist to Ms. Face.

 

If you have a weapon, make sure you know how to hold it! Most weapons are going to be of the deadly variety were they real, and if your character has one as their trademark, they’ve probably lived, eaten and breathed with it for a long time! They’ll respect how deadly it is and while they’ll hold it confidently because they’ve mastered it, it’ll always be held at a respectable distance from doing any damage to themselves – even if they’re getting cocky like Siegfried holding a crystal zweihander with one hand..

Two handed swords, this includes katanas, are held with your off-hand lowest (so left hand if you’re right handed) and gripped with the little finger tightest and decreasing slightly with each higher finger, the index finger will be only touching the handle essentially; the stronger hand then doing the same above. This is because the weaker hand will be purely providing force, you drive the sword with your off hand, but control it with your good hand. This may not be the case for flashier characters, but it’s a good starting point.

If you have a gun and your character is in any way formally trained, keep your finger off the trigger unless they’re about to shoot! Like literally a second away from taking the shot. This is a thing called trigger discipline and is pretty much basic 101 for any firearms tuition, the trigger finger usually rests along the guard next to the trigger until you’re prepared to actually shoot. The intarnets get very cross about people sticking their finger on the trigger for poses! If on the other hand, your character is a complete novice with a gun or never received any sort of formal training, they might well manhandle the trigger because hey, that’s what Hollywood does.

Doesn’t mean it / MEANS IT. The only differences are a bit of crouching, and a better expression

This is usually the result when I ask people to lower themselves or bend their knees, so a little bit of practice since you’re reading this can save me tearing my hair out with you later ;) it’s hard to describe but like the last picture there, try to actually go through with the motion you’re likely to do – in this case swing the naginata aiming at the ankles of an opponent, you’ll quickly find with a bad position you lose balance easily, and will figure out a better stance to do it in front of the camera!

Sometimes, the unrealistic does look better XD

Little details can make a lot of difference, if your weapon doesn’t look like much up close (and most won’t as they’re not real) then hide it a little, here the blade being edge-on makes it look far more deadly.

Perspective! let your photographer worry about this, but it helps to know if you’re proud of your prop, it can get some serious perspective loving like this.

It can also go the other way, be careful where you aim your weapon! Straight at the camera NEVER looks good, you want slightly away at least, so the edge is caught and we can see the side of it rather than merely the tip.

And here’s how bad it can look. Even middle bottom we’ve got one guy who knows the drill, while his friend kind of ends up looking like Zoidberg.

If you’ve got a kiddy toy weapon, there are ways of making it look less ridiculous!

Same with the blaze tip, if you’re taking your fake guns to a public event or convention these NEED to stay on, but you can cover them up in many a way with a bit of creativity.

HOLD SWORDS THE CORRECT WAY AROUND, JEEZ

HERE IS A WAY TO REMEMBER

Granted with fake swords that have no edge it can be tricky to remember which it’s supposed to be if you’re not familiar with them, so here’s a reminder, they’re the same as an axe or kitchen knife, sharp side is the outer curve. Sickles and scythes are sharp on the inner curve – as is Rurouni Kenshin’s sword, but he’s special.

And yes Niffer is cutting up a chocolate bar on a giant Dreamcast. Problem?

Niffer and Dani here, I said go for it, have a mock fight without any direction so I can get some examples of bad stage fighting. Oh did we ever get some, here’s that last one up close:

FEEL THE REALISM

So it goes back to looking like you mean it; you’re intending to cause harm and tooth-loss in your opponent, the power in a punch doesn’t come from your wrist, or even your elbow, it comes from your waist and shoulder, to some extent even your legs if you’re really into it. Get the whole body looking like it’s in on the beatdown party!

Also on the subject of punchings, they start with your wrist pointed upwards but end with a twist, to add that extra brutality to the hit and increase friction and avoid your hand slipping off. Obviously you’re not really meaning to cause horrible punishment on your posed friend, but if you’re going to pose a punch landing on someone, place your fist against them but vertically, like you were giving a thumbs-up to their face (minus the thumb part), then twist into a normal punch gently, this should pull some of their skin around your hand and make it look like you’ve really given them some pain!

Kicks don’t use the arms so much but you’ll generally want to keep them in close to help with your balance. Again, you want your weight in on that violence!

Double violence!
Again it’s good to have some kind of tale you’re telling with these photos, we don’t need to particularly show a reason for the fight starting, but a random fist in the face with no defence or surprise from the punchee looks a bit weird.
2D fighting game stances like the top and bottom left are all well and good but they really do look 2D, compare to on the right and we’ve got some proper countering going on, both people are involved, weights are shifted, their attention is on each other, it works so much better.

Imagine an actual duel if you’re of equal skill with another martial artist and there is some back-and-forth of the tide of battle, you’re going to be protecting yourself as well as attacking, and your attention is going to be solely on your opponent, where they may attack from, or where you’re trying to land a hit.

React to impacts! Not like the picture we had earlier that people do a lot, the OH NO I HAVE BEEN HIT WHATEVER SHALL I DO look, have that proper moment-after-impact going on, it helps to do things in slow motion but not THAT slow, you say slow motion and people move at the speed of the average glacier. I’m talking maybe half speed. Punches are pretty fast, half of that is still kinda fast, pull back on the speed until you’d connect but not really hurt. Try hitting yourself in the arm or chest without it hurting, it’s not that difficult, that’s the kind of speed you can go at, of course agree it first with whoever you’re sparring with!

On the reaction side, imagine where you would be in this fight, you were half defending half attacking but in this pose one hit has gotten through, what would you have been doing at the time? Start from there, and as the hit comes in, brace and throw yourself back from the hit. If the hit is coming from below give yourself a slight jump, from above? fall as you’re hit or drop to your knees, etc.

With the slap picture, no contact happened at all, but with the violent reaction Dani’s produced we mentally fill in the rest, the moment after an impact can be just as good as the moment of!

With the pictures on the right they are more posed, the top being Niffer resting in near that position until a countdown then sweeping her leg out as Dani merely jumps to avoid it. Remember that part about looking at your opponent? Here’s where it counts, usually if you’re jumping over something you’re looking at what it was you were avoiding, in a fight you would be dodging more on instinct and your gaze would be firmly on the person whose face you’re about to cave in – so to get these shots looking like a fight rather than a dance routine, you need to look like you’re coming down from that jump with intent to bring hell!

With the final picture it’s merely a case of getting into position, backed off slightly, then doing this arm-breaking motion slowly, again fast enough that there’s a slight impact but not enough to do more than move her arm up, let alone break it.

Ignoring the tiny distance which breaks the illusion here, Mary on the right has got a pretty kickass stance there, it may not be amazingly practical but she looks like she means business! Meanwhile Gunstarvixen on the left kind of looks like she’s mocking her ;)

This is a quick staged shot mimicking a scene from Dead Fantasy, except as I said in this shot “Okay you’ve just been shot!”, whereby our Kasumi starts playing WOE IS ME MY FINAL BREATHS against a lamppost – of course by “you’ve just been shot” I mean JUST, literally just! The bullet has hit, it’s like a tiny, painful, powerful punch to the stomach, you want arms flying forward while your body shocks backwards, a pose like this would only happen a few minutes after the shooting, in which case why is Yuna still standing there on one foot? XD

You can stretch a story out to some amazing limits but here’s one you can’t. The outlook is doppleganger Lara is hunting down our Lara, temporarily hiding behind this small wall.. Except her head’s sticking out in plain view! The only way to do this would be to properly slump down behind it like you’re hiding for dear life.

A trick of the wind! So we’ve got this pose set up, looks okay, then Rachel flicks some hair out of her eye, it’s rough but it suddenly looks like ACTION! So “Do that again!” I say. “Do what again?” most of these actions are practically subconscious, “flick your hair again it looked like epic wind!” “OH OKAY!” which preceeded her wildly flinging her hair around.. “I THINK IF YOU DID THAT BEFORE YOU WOULD HAVE REMEMBERED!” XD Getting the look of wind in your hair can add something amazing to a photo, but by the time the photo is taken you need to be back into position!

Back to the whole communicating comfort levels thing! Here we’re trying to show a bit of disarming, GraceyDarling has caught ColzyChan in her handcuffs and is generally going to cause a world of pain, pulling her arms high enough to restrict her from doing much in the way of retaliation! Except.. that’s not very high at all XD Obviously mimicking things that are painful can, well, cause pain and many would be in the same position of not wanting to pull particularly hard! After a bit of talking we realise her arms can go much higher without incredible distress, and the photo comes out much more dramatic for it. I do NOT advise just yanking harder, make sure the other person is okay with this first!

Think about casual poses too, even if you’re a combat character, you’re not going to be in full-on stabby mode 24/7, even experts will still treat weapons as,well, deadly weapons, even at rest – so find poses that look casual but have the sharp bits out of harms way!

Here’s something a little random – the poor scythe here had actually broken and she’s having to hold it up, but it’s looking kiiiinda awkward, how about resting it on the floor instead? Magic.

I’m just throwing in random slides here. The first is a perfectly good pose, they’re turned in to each other while weapons are slightly forward, there’s depth, they’re not in a straight line, and they’re both 3/4s on! But hell if that second picture doesn’t look a lot cooler.

AERIAL ACROBATICS

This is a flashback to that same weekend of frivolity I mentioned way back when. It doesn’t take a lot to get yourself airborne for a second or two, but the results can really give something special to a photo, all it takes is a little energy and a run up! Obviously the more upside-down ones are actual tricks but these aren’t trained stuntmen and women, you can still learn them with a bit of practice (and preferably a safety mat!)

The last picture isn’t aerobatics but instead just a guy getting punched in the arm, but it’s the slide it fitted on to – ‘s a good example of looking like you mean it, and the way impacts actually look, her hair is flying and she’s really leant into that punch XD

So the whole leaping about thing. WAIT FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER TO SHOUT GO, or a countdown or.. something! Here we have the results of NOT waiting, some blurred mis focusing and bad framing.. and Silver’s ass, for good measure.

Photography sadly is not as point and click as it looks, we need a little bit of setup, for something like this we’d usually agree on whereabouts you’ll jump, get you to stand there and do a standing jump so we have an idea of where you’ll be in shot, can focus and compose and all that.. THEN you get to go off and get your run up!

Unless your photographer has a super pro-level camera (and I don’t) they can take at most about 3.5 photos a second, sounds like a lot, but how long are you airborne for when you jump? About a second. So chances are, only one or two good shots will likely come out of a jump, and that’s not brilliant odds so you may well have to do multiple attempts to get that magical photo. This is more of a heads up so you don’t feel shocked if you have to do something twice XD Of course, if landing is painful, you weren’t expecting to leap around in massive boots, etc, do say if you’re uncomfortable with another attempt.

Your airborne time is slightly increased by jumping from higher things, as is obviously the distance it looks like you have jumped (if your photographer cuts your jump point out of shot) so it’s best to find something sturdy to jump from (not a chair!) but not too high or the landing will HURT!

Now you’ve got the idea of leaping around, or even throwing something up, we move on to what do do mid-flight. You’ve only got a second to get it right but it can make or break a photo! If you’re supposed to be looking at the camera, do that, mid fight? be looking at your opponent, etc.. this has to do battle with the fact you generally need to look where you’re landing too. Safety first!

Also be aware somewhat of how you jump, obviously getting a lot of air between you and the ground looks better – but not if your face is a crushed mess of MUST JUMP HIGH and your whole body is this odd shape rather than the fluid ninjalike pose you were hoping for. You want height, but you’ve got to look the part while you’re up there, get the height from your legs, crouch down before springing up and leave your upper body free to do some mid-air posing!

When catching things try not to have your arms in front of your face – it’s tricky but will need to happen!

In the moment! A few captures of ongoing beatings, no softly softly stand nearish each other and lightly touch their face, this is the not-so-slow motion stuff in action, no one was hurt or really took any sort of proper blow, but the shots look action packed.

If you can do fancy things LET US KNOW, we’re not going to ask hey.. any chance you happened to be a gymnast when you were younger? If you reckon the splits or a backflip or a bridge will look cool for your character, tell us! I’m not going to plan a shot based around someone breaking their spine for it unless I know they’re up for it.

Also I want to go back quickly to the COMMUNICATE YOUR PAIN point, here I’m obviously worried about EternalAranel as Saeko bending over backwards and holding that pose while I aim the shot.. What none of us realised is over on the floor CharlotteLuna has back problems, on hard concrete with a reeeeally heavy airsoft rifle and her boyfriend resting on her chest, to all of us she’s got it easy, lying down, no problem right? She didn’t let on how much it hurt until we were done and didn’t quite recover for like a week -_- TELL US IF IT STARTS HURTING, JEEZ

I felt so guilty T_T

Some cheap camera trickery XD Get offscreen help to hold things up, have the photographer hold a thrown item up in front of the camera and do a throwing pose! In the top centre we’ve got some mirror magic, which didn’t work too well but my bad. Get a shot of you looking at yourself in a mirror with one expression, then the same exact shot with a crazy expression, later photoshop together!

That throwing thing.. you want a pose that looks like you HAVE JUST thrown it, not am about to throw it, not threw it 30 seconds ago, I’m talking it has just left your hands, your hands are no more than a handful of degrees away from the angle they would have been when you let go! the object is mere inches from you still! it’s mid flight! I’m harping a little XD Just think about the motions you really would do if you wanted to throw it, and go through them in not-so slow motion, let the photographer catch the right moment from their view.

WIND! Real or slightly aided, it can add a magical touch to your photo, especially for long hair, capes or anything flowy

Of course, it can go slightly wrong too..

Dramatic! Take the edge of your cape, and fling it out from you then quickly let go, there’s no style in throwing your cape around but if a mere outstretch of your arm causes the wind to fill your cape like sails, THAT is epic, the trick is to make it look like it just happened, not that you did the throwing!

Silver really wasn’t buying this theory, but the results happened! Throw it up with your arm then QUICKLY get that arm back to where it should be in your pose, so the camera never knows you were the one who put it in the air!

On stage! Lights can be a bitch. Totally different depending on where you’re standing! Not your concern, but a valid reason why you should pose in multiple places if you want anyone to get good photos!

An average masquerade walk-on. One pose miles away, a bored walk up, one pose which is blocking their face, aaaand they’re gone T_T

Always, always, stay in character on stage. It doesn’t even matter so much what character that is! Again you don’t want to suddenly snap and wonder why you’re in a room full of people and on a stage? You’ve got pokemon to catch! TO THE LONG GRASS!

That, is too far.

But you have to go on with confidence and leave the same, this is your time, your moment of fame, stride in, flounce in, skip, hop, moonwalk, whatever works for your character, otherwise you look bored!

A much better example from Leonie here, poses to her right, centre, left, and a final pose at the end, could’ve done with a pose to the right at the end but who’s counting? Only downside might be that note how low the audience are seated, we’re on ground level, you’re up on a stage, if you hold a gun out dead straight, all the audience can see are your arms! Aim low, or move around a lot!

Or do this, track your gun across the audience, not only does everyone get a view, photographers can pick the best moment to shoot from your slow movements!

Angles are everything in masquerade photography – we can’t change the lights or get a second attempt.. This amazing costume from Pokethepixe was something I was really looking forward to, but the cleanest shots I got – where she stopped to pose – both times I couldn’t see a shred of the wings! And look how massive they are, that’s quite special XD Obviously it’ll be hard for you to tell if your costume will be affected by this, but to be safe, pose in at least two different directions if not more!

Got two or more people in your group? Here’s the best way to do your walk on!

Come on two at a time (or assemble group at rear stage, then two walk up), walk up side by side, when you get to the end, pose forward, then each pose away (person on left poses left, vice versa), ideally pose at a different angle too, then swap places and repeat, and finally walk back on the opposite side you came up – this way everyone gets a chance to take a shot of both of you! Return to the rear stage and if there are more in the group, wash rinse and repeat!

Another reason to swap places, with these lights I can’t get both of them exposed properly at the same time!

When on stage you need to be FLAMBOYANT, bordering on FABULOUS. You’re on a stage, you’re the only one(s) on stage! That applause is for you, and you’re kind of far away to people in the back.. So exaggerate all your movements, STRIDE across the stage, SWING your arms like you mean to hit someone with them, THROW your cloak off dramatically.. SPIN or TWIRL if you have a flowy dress, photographers will love you for this.

Strut your stuff! Do interesting things! Energy and enthusiasm shine like nothing else on a stage

If need be find something to do on your way up and down the stage! Have a conversation with your partner, or flounce off the stage triumphantly

Try not to look down! The stage isn’t that high, and the edges are always marked white, falling off them isn’t pleasant but most events will let you practice on the stage beforehand if you need to. Looking down makes you look bored or depressed or just unconfident, keep that chin up!

I know I said before about standoffs being too close looks ridiculous, but the further apart you stand, the more we all have to zoom out! Sometimes we just can’t fit you both in!

Check out how cool the first two shots are, properly ran down the stage like that, the motion is captured beautifully, but the moment of the swing he was too far up the stage for anyone to capture! Move a lot, but not too quickly!

The flash dilemma, now this depends on a lot of factors, but as a safe bet wait for about a count of 10 in your head before moving from your pose spot, this is because the average flash takes about 6 seconds to recharge! Pro flashes in good condition with fresh batteries and haven’t gotten warm yet are far faster but not everyone’s in that range! Especially if lighting is bad and you’re the 30th entry, that flash is getting tired! Here’s what happens when you do something cool, but unexpected, the flash couldn’t recharge in time and I got this muddy version instead of the nicely lit one on the left..

The main thing I want to get across with doing fancy things on stage is.. let us know! Telegraph your intent! Here’s some vidcaps from a rather flashy entrance at one MCM Expo. Whilst walking up the stage one twirls and launches glitter into the air around her before carrying on in an instant. Sounds awesome, yep? Looks great for the audience.

So you think my camera would’ve gotten a shot like this?

I got this, then this. Came and went in a flash, and didn’t have any idea to wait for the twirl, missed the whole thing!

Here’s SephNoir in her EuroCosplay entry, with a small pyrotechnic device on her hand – she’d warned a few of us beforehand to look for it but even knowing she was going to do it, by the second photo it had already gone! Right out of nowhere! The bottom row was her second go and you can see she’s clearly held out her hand and gave a solid indication it’s about to happen, so, I caught it!

It’s the same with anything really, if you’re going to do something fancy, and want good photos of it, we’re going to need to either know in advance, or see it coming! Alternatively do it twice, the first time will tip us off to watch out for the second. Here’s a bunch of shots with large weapons where all of a sudden they’re thrusted out from the cosplayer, great on stage, but no chance we’d have had the framing ready for it! Cut off weapons or feet ahoy!
All it can take is some indication you’re about to do something, like how you take a few steps back before a run-and-jump, or putting huge motions into doing something, anything that’ll telegraph to your audience to get those cameras ready for the magic moment!
Same goes even for just having a big dress and doing a twirl on stage, if we’re not ready for it we’ll miss it! and in between cosplayers in the masquerade or whenever it looks like you’re just going to walk from A to B then pose – nothing in between, we might take that gap to check our photo settings are working for your costume – getting it right can be very difficult, especially if you’re wearing a much lighter or darker costume than whoever was before you! So giving some silent warning or doing it more than once really increases the odds someone will capture it well.

If you’ve got lights on your costume and the stage lights are going to be dimmed for you.. this can happen! If you’re hoping for some nice pictures, we either need time to prepare (switch settings majorly or get the flash ready) – which we’re not going to get – or you’ll have to find your pose and hold it very still, so that we have a chance of getting the shot without masses of blur!

The final lesson though, is back to the start. Enjoy it. If trying to follow even a fraction of these suggestions is worrying you enough to not have fun in your costume then screw them. Some of the stupidest photos I take are the best, it doesn’t matter what event, I now regularly have an outtakes folder full of cosplayers messing about, pulling faces, photobombing or anything really, and despite how many lovely photos I may get of people’s costumes? Outtakes is always by far the most popular album, by nearly double!
Now then I have one final bit of advice, and it’s one I fit into ALL of my panels because it’s very, very important:

Don’t pose next to giant sandwiches.

 

That’s all I’ve got!  This time at least.  Hope it’s helped some of you a little! Feedback welcome as I seem to sign myself up for more of these so let me know what you want to see in my panels in future!


Singular Lemony Comment on Cosplaying for the Camera (Pt. 2)

  1. Mel 'Stiltzkin' Nurdin
    September, 9th 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Nert! This is delicious, I have definitely learnt a few lessons from this, thank you very much for putting it up (I’ve always missed these panels to my annoyance) and now I shall start practising like mad in front of a mirror!

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