Originally Posted by xichigo
Best time of day to shoot is early morning sunrise, or late afternoon sunset. Midday creates very harsh lighting and takes away from creating a better mood to photos. That's what I read in a magazine and it helped me.
Although there is much validity to lighting being nice at the beginning and end of the day, it is my philosophy that great lighting can be found any time of day. It just takes trying different angles, and sometimes moving the model out of direct sunlight.
Sometimes, just the pose can be the solution. If the sun is directly above, have the cosplayer tilt his or her head up. Side angles tend to look better than staring up their noses, but symmetrical poses can be fine, depending on the degree of the head tilt, and their nose features.
If you move them into the shade, make sure the shade does not have patches of sunlight, like when under a tree. You would be especially fortunate if you have a large, light colored building reflecting light into the shade. Mirrored buildings sometimes catch the light and aim the sun at you. Having a reflector, like you mentioned, is a great idea.
We should not have to limit ourselves to shooting at the beginning or end of the day. There are so many other looks we can get from choosing any time. There is 24 hours of great lighting each day!