View Full Version : good enough for cosplay photography?

12-09-2010, 10:37 PM
Right... Well, I've been wanting to work with cosplayers for a while now and to get myself into it and to build my cosplay photography portfolio I was going to offer free shoots at my next con. Unfortunately, after making some major life changes/decisions I can't justify spending money on any cons unless I can, at the very least, earn back the money for my badge while I'm there.

So, what I'd like to know is if y'all think that cosplayers would actually like to work with me, how much I should charge for pictures and what I need to work on before working with any cosplayers.
I wish I had pictures of cosplayers to show to y'all but, as I haven't worked with any yet, I'm afraid all I have to show is regular portraits. I hope that's alright.
Please and thank you for your help~! <3



With this one I'm aware that I shouldn't have cut off her elbow. I intend to be more careful with that in the future:



With this one please disregard the crappy editing. It was edited a million years ago when I didn't have the slightest clue as to what I was doing.

12-10-2010, 12:11 AM

Uhmm...Really pricing should depend on the con and the quality of the cosplayers. The chance you have of getting everything in order is usually going to be a little more than 30%. So I wouldn't be expecting to make much more than 25% of con attendance overhead at the very most. I know it's an insanely expensive hobby and yes, I'm guilty of it too ( but I just wish I could stick to great equipment so that I can take consistently great photos.

I don't charge for photos and I'm always the one getting trampled by cosplayers that want me taking exclusively focused photos of them. If you go to cons like Sakura or AX you won't have a problem finding willing participants. The only thing that bothers me about telling you anything is that I haven't charged money for photography. I've worked around plenty of people that do and they always have those annoyingly overpriced X90 and P7000 models. I just have a simple $90 Fujifilm. I know everyone likes their raw image formatting but I prefer a fine HD jpeg since they're already in the format that I need them. I don't edit my photos. I'll rotate but that's it.

12-10-2010, 07:53 PM
I really like your shots. They all look great.
That's not a problem at all...

What is a problem though is that cosplayers in general, don't tend to have a lot of money. Since there are quite a few photographers doing shoots for free, you have to do something really amazing and build up a following if you can get people to pay for it....
I could be totally wrong though. maybe someone who has charged for photos can add their two cents.

12-10-2010, 11:37 PM
I would expect it to be more like this:
You take photos of cosplayers.
Hand out business cards to those you photograph
Upload the HD photos to a cart system.
Let them order prints for a fee.

That's the most passive way that could work.

12-11-2010, 06:48 AM
I have done some professional photo shoots at conventions. I put an announcement in the Photo Shoot Scheduling forum here at Cosplay.com. Some people send me private messages and set up an appointment to meet me at the convention. I also do free shoots for those I choose to shoot there. For paid shoots, I give them more images in a much larger resolution size.

The photos you displayed here are okay, but I don't think they are on a professional level. What would make the portraits better is much more attention to flattering lighting on your models. Be selective on how the sun and shadows are on their faces. Be mindful of color balance. If you don't get good color on their skin, adjust it in photoshop.

Your poses are generally good. I like the candid quality most of them have. Emotions seem present.

Be more creative with your angles, considering backgrounds that will compliment your subjects without being too distracting.

I won't disregard the editing you did years ago, since you had the opportunity to fix it before posting it here. The girl crouched on the ground is in nice lighting, but the guys are way washed out so bright. That could be an artistic choice, but be careful. If you can shoot it also with the guys in the shade too, then you have some choices.

I don't mind the elbow cropped out in the photo of the girl touching the bricks above her. It gave you a closer shot of her, showing her emotions even more. The arms leads my eye back to face. This tighter crop gives a more claustrophobic feeling.

Look at photography you appreciate and like. Then pick the elements you would like to incorporate into your style.

I am not sure what kind of life changes you made would make taking cosplay convention photos unjustifiable if you don't break even, but if you have enough passion to enjoy cosplay photography, I recommend you start out shooting for free, and build a portfolio of cosplay photography. Edit your collection well enough to keep their interest and to show consistantly great images.

By the way, you don't always have to buy an entrance badge to take convention photos. Depending on the layout, you might find cosplayers standing in areas accessable to you without a badge.

Best of luck!