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Unread 04-08-2017, 02:44 PM   #1
AuthoroftheYear
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Awkwardness?

I am nervous about getting photography done at conic con. It will more than likely be my friend and I and the photographer. Both my friend and I are teenagwes and it makes me slightly nervous? Am I wrong? Anything I can do?
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Unread 04-10-2017, 10:19 AM   #2
nathancarter
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Some thoughts from an experienced photographer and model/cosplayer:

1. On posing: Practice in advance. Practice poses and facial expressions in the mirror. Figure out a short list of your characters' signature poses and looks, and practice those (write them down if you have to, so you remember them at the shoot). If your character doesn't have any memorable poses or looks, make some up and practice those.

Get with your friend and use your phone camera or point-n-shoot to practice posing for the camera - it's a little bit different than posing in the mirror. You don't need to figure out a dramatic location or anything, just put on most of your costume, get your props, and practice working it for the camera.

As with any skill, you get better with experience. There's a saying that goes like "the difference between an average model and a great model is 200 shoots." Practice makes perfect.

If the photographer is experienced, they'll be able to give posing direction - even more so if they're familiar with the character you're cosplaying. If the photographer is inexperienced, they may not be able to give good posing direction.

2: On avoiding creepers: Some cosplay photographers are creeps, but they don't have any power over you just because they bought a camera from Amazon and had some business cards printed up at Vistaprint. Don't be afraid to ask for references. Don't be afraid to say "NO." If they ask you to pose in a way that makes you uncomfortable - in a creepy way, or a dangerous way, or in a way that your body just doesn't want to bend - say NO. If they tell you to come alone and not to bring your friend or an adult, say NO and stop responding to their messages. If they ask you to email or message them anything inappropriate, say NO and stop responding. If the photographer acts any way other than professional and courteous, if you feel uncomfortable or creeped out, the power is entirely in your hands to stop the shoot and leave.

3. Find a photographer whose style matches the look you want for your characters. I like to photograph villains, monsters, armor, gritty wastelanders, etc; my high-contrast, edgy style lends itself well to those sorts of characters. I'm quite mediocre at photographing princesses, high-school-anime-schoolgirls, etc. Review the photographer's portfolio and past shoots before choosing - especially if you're paying.

4. Make sure you agree on the terms of the shoot in advance - especially if you're paying for the shoot. How long is the shoot, how many pictures will you get back, when will you get them back, what can you do with the photos, what can the photographer do with your likeness. It doesn't take a ton of legalese or a huge heavy contract, but you should at least know in advance.


That's all I can think of for now. Happy to answer any other questions to the best of my ability.
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Last edited by nathancarter : 04-10-2017 at 10:22 AM.
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Unread 04-10-2017, 10:30 AM   #3
AuthoroftheYear
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathancarter View Post
Some thoughts from an experienced photographer and model/cosplayer:

1. On posing: Practice in advance. Practice poses and facial expressions in the mirror. Figure out a short list of your characters' signature poses and looks, and practice those (write them down if you have to, so you remember them at the shoot). If your character doesn't have any memorable poses or looks, make some up and practice those.

Get with your friend and use your phone camera or point-n-shoot to practice posing for the camera - it's a little bit different than posing in the mirror. You don't need to figure out a dramatic location or anything, just put on most of your costume, get your props, and practice working it for the camera.

As with any skill, you get better with experience. There's a saying that goes like "the difference between an average model and a great model is 200 shoots." Practice makes perfect.

If the photographer is experienced, they'll be able to give posing direction - even more so if they're familiar with the character you're cosplaying. If the photographer is inexperienced, they may not be able to give good posing direction.

2: On avoiding creepers: Some cosplay photographers are creeps, but they don't have any power over you just because they bought a camera from Amazon and had some business cards printed up at Vistaprint. Don't be afraid to ask for references. Don't be afraid to say "NO." If they ask you to pose in a way that makes you uncomfortable - in a creepy way, or a dangerous way, or in a way that your body just doesn't want to bend - say NO. If they tell you to come alone and not to bring your friend or an adult, say NO and stop responding to their messages. If they ask you to email or message them anything inappropriate, say NO and stop responding. If the photographer acts any way other than professional and courteous, if you feel uncomfortable or creeped out, the power is entirely in your hands to stop the shoot and leave.

3. Find a photographer whose style matches the look you want for your characters. I like to photograph villains, monsters, armor, gritty wastelanders, etc; my high-contrast, edgy style lends itself well to those sorts of characters. I'm quite mediocre at photographing princesses, high-school-anime-schoolgirls, etc. Review the photographer's portfolio and past shoots before choosing - especially if you're paying.

4. Make sure you agree on the terms of the shoot in advance - especially if you're paying for the shoot. How long is the shoot, how many pictures will you get back, when will you get them back, what can you do with the photos, what can the photographer do with your likeness. It doesn't take a ton of legalese or a huge heavy contract, but you should at least know in advance.


That's all I can think of for now. Happy to answer any other questions to the best of my ability.
Thank you so much, I'm very inexperienced when it comes to photoshoot etiquette and this has been tremendously helpful.
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Unread 06-04-2017, 10:45 PM   #4
monodistortion
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Do you know other cosplayers or photographers in your area? I'd suggest meeting some and making friends, either in person or on Instagram, Facebook, etc.

The cosplay community is pretty small and tight knit and any other cosplayers in your area will know local photographers that normally go to the cons in your area. They can hook you up or recommend the photographers that they like to work with.
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