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View Full Version : Having a photoshoot in an urban location... How to make it work? XD


Kazephyr
06-07-2010, 12:48 PM
Up until now, I've been able to use locations around my heavily forested property for my cosplay photoshoots... The characters all "fit" in a forest or field of flowers, etc., but now I'm faced with a dilemma... Some of the characters I'm cosplaying now don't work in a pastoral setting at all. ;_; The photos just wouldn't look right outside of an urban environment...

My question is... How do you find good urban settings for cosplay shoots, and when you do, how do you make it... work? I can only imagine trying to take photos surrounded by the prying eyes of random people walking down the street. T_T

Any advice would be majorly appreciated. XD I'm honestly stumped on this one. >_<;;

I realize there are probably good settings around the cons themselves, but it's always very hectic and pressing there... Not to mention all the people milling around and getting into your shots. XD

FiveRings
06-07-2010, 01:36 PM
I think you pretty much just have to go out and do it. People will stare and then move on. They'll ask questions and then move on. For the most part, when they see a camera pointed in some direction, they'll wait or walk around you, so that's not really an issue, but be aware of people walking by if you're blocking a sidewalk or in a heavy traffic area. Also be aware of what is public property and what isn't so you don't get in trouble.

I shoot around schools and stuff all the time and no one's ever really given me any problems.

brucer007
06-07-2010, 04:34 PM
Going to an urban location very early in the morning might cut down on people traffic. If you can arrive before the sun rises, it will give you time to set up your shots before the crowds arrive. Keep security in mind for yourselves though.

I suggest you try standing back with the camera and zooming in for some shots. This will narrow the degrees of view of the background and make it easier to crop out people and other elements you don't want in the shot. With a wide-angle lens, you may see too many distracting things, like people standing around or walking by.

Sometimes people are very courteous and stop walking while you are almost ready to take a photo. If they apologize, I let them know, "It's fine".. "I don't own this place"..and I would rather wait for them to pass then to inconveniance them. This attitude will likely be appreciated and often serve you well.

mrgetalife
06-07-2010, 05:16 PM
Urban area. Early mornings saturday or sunday. Usually nobody's awake. People will get in your way an mill around regardless if it a con or not.

The key I think is speed. Plan everything ahead of time. So when you get there you have a set plan to go through,

Oh another thing. Stories. People will ask what you're doing. Come up with some simple answers that makes sense of why you're doing it, they'll lose interest and they will leave.

lifeconsumer102
06-07-2010, 05:44 PM
Like people have already said go early morning or evening when there arn't so many people around and you should maybe decide on what location you want to use first so you can be quick and don't have to wonder around looking for places in cosplay. If there are people around just ignore them, i did a shoot at my university about a month ago, a few people looked but most just walked past. And if you really don't want people looking maybe you should try getting to the roof of a building.. maybe the top of a multi-story car park?

TykeJack
06-07-2010, 05:48 PM
You can find back alleys between buildings and at a shopping center if you go behind the buildings where the employee entrances are you won't be disturbed.

Access
06-07-2010, 06:10 PM
month ago, a few people looked but most just walked past. And if you really don't want people looking maybe you should try getting to the roof of a building.. maybe the top of a multi-story car park?
Exactly, in many cases you can get the look of still being in the city without actually having to be in the middle of everything. I've done the top of the under-utilized parking structure a few times before, you just have to do your best to keep any cars that are there out of the scenes (unless you want them in) and be creative with the angles.

Kazephyr
06-08-2010, 02:57 PM
Thank you so much for the great advice, everyone! ^_^ I feel a little better about it, now. XD

One of my big concerns is the nature of some of the costumes... kind of skimpy. >_<;; I don't want people to ask... "how much?", if you know what I mean. ._.;;

ByeByeBeautiful
06-10-2010, 01:19 PM
With those kinds of costumes, I suggest bringing a cover-up, even if it's a just a t-shirt. You'll feel more comfortable walking around.

Expect questions. Most people are satisfied with hearing "It's a photoshoot," said with a big smile. A tripod and large camera are optional, but it helps add to the "professional" aura. :D

I don't know if your costumes involve weapons. If so, I suggest keeping them under wraps until its time to take the photo. Should there be any visible security or police in the area, you may want to clear questionable props with them.

Hopeful_Koala
06-11-2010, 09:26 PM
Usually, for urban pictures, I take them when there's some kind of cosplay event or convention nearby. The people are usually like "meh, another crazy one..." and just walk on without too much staring. xD My friend got one of those "I'm standing in the middle of the crowd so cool-y and everyone else is minding their own business" type photos and I was really amazed by it. xD Hmmph, lucky her. =< Oh, yeah, school works too. The people from my year are quite used to me coming to school in "insane costumes", so yeah, no one cares. xD

Yummy Gamorah
08-27-2010, 11:22 AM
Thank you so much for the great advice, everyone! ^_^ I feel a little better about it, now. XD

One of my big concerns is the nature of some of the costumes... kind of skimpy. >_<;; I don't want people to ask... "how much?", if you know what I mean. ._.;;

Recently I did a city shoot in my ulala cosplay which is also skimpy and very obnoxious looking. For the shoot I decided to go into a city i knew well and opted to stay away from the busy and sometimes shady down town area. I recommend pre scouting things out, but I found a really good local that I knew a lot of folks didn't go to ( i mean they were a few people but they didnt really stop or care) and it ended up being a really good shoot. I also made sure parking wasn't an issue or too far from the area so we could get in/get out. I think I got honked at once while we were walking back and it was only cause it was a classic car driving by that I was gawking at.

Sorry i dont have the pictures in my profile but there on Nerd Caliber's site http://kosupure.nerdcaliber.com/ygamorah0710.htm

it was a really decent day though and honestly i got more looks when we did a shoot in my local park than when we hit the city setting with more people :) If you can find a more artsy urban location too there's a good chance folks won't really care if they see you hopping around in costume with a camera man in toe.