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Unread 01-19-2007, 12:31 AM   #1
Spetsnaz
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The Ultimate guide to posing with guns, and taking pictures of cosplayers with them.

WARNING: THIS THREAD WILL BE PICTURE HEAVY TO VISUALLY ASSIST THE ARTICLE.

The Ultimate Gun Posing Guide, and Taking Pictures of Cosplayers With Guns.
By Spetsnaz.

Some beginning words.

This guide is to not poke fun, criticize rudely on, or force people to follow any of the guide. It is simply here to help those who have an interest. Many cosplayers have never been exposed to guns, let alone hold a real one, or fire a real one. This guide is there for those people, and also here to give ideas on poses for the cosplayer. This guide also is here to assist photographers, either it be professional or the average con-goer, to give cosplayers ideas on the field and also give them ideas on angles.

The Reason I am making this tutorial is one, I feel as if some could use some aid in the field, two, I'm bored, and three, I like to help others out, and I'd like to give back to the community here at cosplay.com.

For those with characters who have specific poses with their guns.
Ignore this tutorial, if your character has a specific pose with a gun, then that is their pose.
Silly poses are not bad. Silly poses are fun to have with guns, it's humorous seeing some SWAT guy going all gangster, etc. This tutorial is here for those who wish to be serious. To be taken serious, you have to pose serious.

So, off we go.

Semi-Automatic Handguns.

The semi-automatic handgun is probably by far one of the most popular weapons in anime, video games, movies and so on. They are also highly popular by cosplayers because of their small size and light weight. They are easy to carry, popular as a prop, and do not get in the way of things. They are also extremely cheap as an airsoft item, and very easy to make with wood or plastic.

How to properly hold a semi-automatic handgun.

Take your shooting hand and grip it like so.



Cup the other hand and bring it so your palm presses against your shooting hand's fingers, wrap the fingers around the other hand and rest them between the knuckles. Take your thumb and firmly press down ontop of the shooter hand's thumb.
Finished Product.





Some Improper holding of pistols.



While this is not really terrible and can be used in some instances...this pose and holding is just...well. Boring.



Self explanatory. You may laugh, but I have seen people hold their handguns like this in poses. No one in their right mind, even in fictional worlds, holds their handgun like this.

A correct pose.


This is a good pose for a pistol, and about the average style pose you will find. It's basic, it's accurate and it's pretty cool.

Taking pictures of cosplayers with pistols.
Taking pictures of cosplayers with pistols can be, at times, difficult. There is not a LOT of gun to get in the picture, so many pictures can come out bland and boring. Try getting the cosplayer into some close up poses.

Like this, for example. It's nice and close, giving lots of details on the gun while still giving enough details on the cosplayer's costume.

http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/8118/p1010223qy8.jpg
Here is a nice,relaxed, low ready hero of Russia look. It shows lots of details on the costume and the gun is clearly visible in the hands.

Try to get some action in photos also. Show some reloading scenes...

http://img377.imageshack.us/img377/2117/p1010229zw6.jpg

Hell, even do a solid snake CQC if you have a knife...Just get the cosplayer moving around, while getting details of the costume and their weapon.

http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/9056/p1010232cy1.jpg

Now, compare those pictures above...with this picture...yes. Most would tend to agree, the above are much more fun and catch your attention much better.






UP NEXT: Assault rifles.
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Last edited by Spetsnaz : 01-19-2007 at 12:58 AM.
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Unread 01-19-2007, 12:55 AM   #2
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Assault Rifles.



Can you spot what is wrong with that picture? If not, that's probably fairly common. But for those looking at this picture, many things can be noticed.
  1. The safety is on!
  2. The thumb is blocking the charging handle of the bolt (And if fired, boy would that hurt that thumb.
  3. The rear elevation sight is totally wrong. It needs to be down and not sticking up.

Problem two and three are easy. Problem one can be difficult if you do not know much about your rifle. The rifle most commonly mis-understood in it's safety is the AK-47. When in the full up position, it is SAFE. When in position one it is on AUTOMATIC, when in position two it is SEMI AUTOMATIC.

Here is how you take the AK-47's safety off...



Holding most assault rifle's by their magazine is FINE!
Many people like to argue it's unrealistic for people to hold their assault rifles by the magazine. This is false. It happens in real life, and when I shoot my AK-47, I often times will hold it by the magazine to control the recoil. It is PERFECTLY FINE, so feel free...

http://img409.imageshack.us/img409/5989/p1010246pj0.jpg

Taking pictures of cosplayers with assault rifles.

Now, these guns are usually big with big magazines. So you'll want to get some interesting angles...

http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/1073/p1010250nw8.jpg

This low angle shows minor details of the costume and gun, but does look pretty cool.

http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/5846/p1010257kf5.jpg

Here is another low angled shot. Still low in detail on costume and all, but it looks pretty cool as well.



Here's a good picture. Plenty of detail of the gun and the costume, and boy does that Spetsnaz look bad-ass!



This picture is good to. It shows detail of the back and arm patches, and has some action going on.

For the relaxed soldier.

A lot of pictures are action oriented around assault rifles, but how about some relaxed moves...



Lots of details on the gun and costume, is relaxed...and still holds that "dont f*** with me buddy" look. Nice.



The most common of the relaxed looks. It's decent, shows a lot of detail of the gun and the costume still, but is overused.



A less common relaxed pose. Gun is up, the costume is in full view as is the gun, and the general pose is another "dont f*** with me!"



Here is a pose I'd like to see more often. The gun in slung but is in view, as is a lot of detail on the costume...the cosplayer is very relaxed and looks like he is on guard duty.

BAD Poses with assault rifles.

http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/2683/p1010274gy0.jpg

I'm Mr.Tough guy with a gun in one hand! No, it just does not happen.


http://img400.imageshack.us/img400/6898/p1010276dm7.jpg
I'm a gangster, and we all hold our guns sideways! Just.....no.

http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/4098/p1010275ia8.jpg

What is this mess? Who knows! But some pictures can come out this way if you do not pick what pose you want to do, or if the cosplayer becomes tired. Yes! Tired! Holding assault rifles, even airsoft guns, is tiresome on the arms when held up for too long. If that happens, well, your picture could turn out a lot like this. A blurry mess around the arm area and something you'll not be happen with when you upload it after the convention to your PC, and see that you missed out on a cool picture.

Up Next(Tomorrow.) Long Rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, etc.

I will also get together soon with a friend of mine so I do not have to set a camera on a timer and run around. With his help I will be able to take MUCH better pictures and I will post them as examples on here. Also, if you guys can request things such as asking how to hold certain firearms or ideas for poses for certain costumes. (SWAT, Special Forces, Police, etc.) I will GLADLY help you out.

I will update this thread as often as I can. So stay tuned.
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Unread 01-19-2007, 09:02 PM   #3
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I really like how detailed and specific this guide is. Great job!
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Unread 01-19-2007, 10:00 PM   #4
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First off, congrats on such an awesome tutorial!
One of the biggest things that kill the realism factor in a costume for me is how the gun is handled. I love how you actually illustrated proper trigger discipline!

If I could make a suggestion, for the rifles section include more things on holding it. One thing that really bugs me is when cosplayers dig their face into the butt of the rifle or decided that jamming their eye into a scope is A-OK. I really did like how you actually tucked your elbow in and not totally sticking out!

As per the whole gripping the mag thing, some people complain that doing so could screw up the whole feeding process and cause a jam. I think it was a buddy of mine who uses an AR-15 in the Canadian military. Though I'm not so sure ^__^"

Great tutorial m8!
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Unread 01-20-2007, 12:03 AM   #5
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Thank you for the comments, suggestions and compliments. Both via PM and here.

I may or may not be able to continue this thread tonight, I may have to delay it one more day. However as per request I will show more handling issues with rifles before continuing into the sniper rifles and shotguns and the likes.

The trigger discipline comes natural from shooting and training. I'm glad you noticed! I never place my finger on the trigger of any firearm unless I'm about to fire it (Or, in cosplayer sense, unless I am posing in a shot in which I could be "shooting" the gun very soon.) It's something everyone should learn how to do, I've seen so many people walk around with their trigger fingers in their guns (Real guns now, not cosplay) and it really bothers me to the point I have to correct them.

The magazine thing is fine depending on what gun. My AK-47 has not jammed in the three years that I have owned and shot it while holding the magazine. I can understand not doing it while using automatic fire, or using the M16 style guns, as they have a much different design.
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Unread 01-20-2007, 12:10 PM   #6
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this tutorial. Keep up the good work!

Another thing, would you mind if others contributed to this thread?

For example, regarding the way one would hold a machine gun type of weapon, one impractical way to hold an assault rifle like such while looking like you're firing it is "to shoot from the hip." BUT … sometimes holding an improper pose like that w/ a rifle does actually look good on film . Like when Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley in Aliens, fires off her M41A rifle. (example pics: example pose 1, example pose 2, example pose 3, example pose 4) That kind of pose & shot looks good because the cosplayer isn't scrunched up in the upper torso area and isn't covering their face too much.
see:

I think you might see similar poses from Rambo in some movie posters. (example pose 5) Wielding the assault rifle in that way isn't too bad for it yields some very interesting glamour shots & allows the front of a costume or the front of a cosplayer/actor/actress to be very visible (think movie poster-ific images), but if you're more into realism, you don't "shoot the rifle off" in that way. However, there are several fictional weapons/rifles/BFGs in animé and in video games that you do hold like that while firing-from-the-hip , like this --> example pose 6
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Unread 01-20-2007, 04:39 PM   #7
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Spetznaz: That picture with your thumb behind the bolt cracked me up. I love it. You had trigger discipline in the pictures, but didn't spell it out for people who don't handle real guns. Maybe add a picture of the wrong way (finger on trigger) and the right way (finger straight alongside trigger guard).

Wolverine: I'll give Ripley some slack for using a non-standard stance in example pose 2, since a flamethrower duct-taped to a rifle isn't a standard weapon, and she's got the kid in her other hand. Also, Ripley has three hands on the rifle in that picture you posted.
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Unread 01-20-2007, 04:46 PM   #8
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I believe that one of those hands is Hicks. I love that movie.

But yah. thank you for such a great guide.
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Unread 01-21-2007, 12:16 AM   #9
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OOhh now that I think about it, I would love to see a tutorial featuring different firing stances (Such as the isosolece or weaver stances)
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Unread 01-21-2007, 01:13 AM   #10
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I would like to point out that, from the point of view of a photographer, that aiming the gun like you're firing it can kill a good pose if the gun completly blocks the holder's face. The shots you've shown in examples are good because I can see the face, but all too often with the Resident Evil Cosplayers, they have a tendency to aim at the camera with gun and such blocking the face because they're posing too realistically. My rule of thumb to get a good 'at camera' shot is to have them drop the gun about a foot from what they would if they were really shooting it, and then I can not only get the same effect, but actually see them.
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Unread 01-21-2007, 03:12 AM   #11
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Thank you all again and keep firing ideas my way as I will gladly use them for my next update.

I expect my next update to come sometime Sunday evening if things go well.
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Unread 01-22-2007, 01:30 AM   #12
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I apologize (Again) for another delay. However I did take pictures tonight.

Part 2 will be up tomorrow.
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Unread 01-22-2007, 10:44 PM   #13
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Part 2

You asked for more rifle poses, and you shall receive.

Hero of Russia Look.



Standing tall and looking upwards as if to the stars for guidance. This pose is not just for the Russians, but any set up really.

In deep thought look.



On the way to a mission, or returning from one? This look can match a dramatic mood.

Reloading Poses.





Reloading poses are rarely, if ever...done by cosplayers. They are good because...
  1. Arms are down, thus revealing more of costume.
  2. Has some sort of action going on in them, making them less "Boring"

Make sure to be facing in the direction of the cosplayer's side that you can see the most detail on their costume for maximum coverage.





Here are two similar poses that are good to show a sort of atmosphere: Using cover. The first picture shows a soldier relaxed, maybe taking a break or waiting for the moment to move out. The second shows the moment of moving out from cover, or waiting for an ambush, etc. Either way, both pictures show a lot of detail of the gun and costume, as well as balance action into it.

Short Rifles, Submachine guns.

Shorter rifles and sub machine guns can be difficult, though not as much as pistols, in showing details. The good thing about SMGs and short rifles is they are bigger than pistols and more can be done with them in detail, the bad thing is they are just slightly less concealing of the cosplayer's costume than a full rifle. So some tricks will have to be used.



Here is a decent picture. Many details can be seen, as well as the weapon. Make sure to always have the cosplayer's head UP while taking pictures of SMGs or smaller assault rifles. While looking down the sights is a common thing for DISTANCE shots, they are not 100% practical in close combat. So, for the sake of revealing more of the costume, have the cosplayer have their head up but also be looking down the barrel like the picture. You can see I am aiming but not aiming down the sights. So there is still some action going on.

Remember, there should be NO reason your chin should be mashed up against the stock of any short weapon, be it an assault rifle, SMG, shorty-assault rifle, anything. Take a close look at the pictures I have of me aiming upwards to get a good feel of where your head should be.



Here is something photographers should try more often. Low shots with the gun upwards. This gives you tons of detail of the costume as well as the gun, and gives cosplayer a concentrated look.

http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/7785/p10103433zg.jpg

This shot would have turned out a lot better had I been holding the gun steadier and had someone actually taking the picture than setting it by timer, but showing someone halfway through a doorway (Enough to show detail as well) looking like they are making an entrance would also make for a GREAT picture. You've got action, detail and it's very different than the simple stand, aim and snap looks. This picture above is not the best example however, I promise to have a better one soon.

Next: Part 2 Continued: Rifles with scopes.
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Unread 01-22-2007, 11:15 PM   #14
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Part 2 Continued: Rifles with scopes.

Rifles with scopes are one of the less common weapons found in cosplaying but often the one most misunderstood and messed up. It's no one's fault really, as most cosplayers have never handled a gun with a scope in the past, let alone trained with one. Operating a firearm with a scope is simple to do, and I will help you out in the proper stance, eye and head distance.



This is an example of a good stance with a rifle and a scope. HOWEVER!!!!!!!
Your face should not be as close to the scope UNLESS your scope has a rubber eyepiece like mine. My scope is made to have the eye close to that eyepiece, many scopes are NOT like that. Here is how to counter that:
(WARNING THESE PICTURES ARE LARGE IN SIZE TO SHOW DETAIL OF HAND POSITIONING AND HEAD POSITIONING.)



You can see I am very relaxed, still able to see through the scope...and it looks all natural.

EXAMPLE OF A BAD "SNIPER":



When it looks like you are super glued to the stock with your eye socket making love to the scope...you've got a problem. Many people tend to think this is okay, but it reality it's not. Do not be a "Bad sniper"

Some fun sniper poses.

http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/5168/p10103070dy.jpg (Large size)

You will see lots of detail visible, if it was taken by a real person rather than timer, it would be much more focused of course. It does not show a TON of detail on the costume, but it looks good if you are taking multiple pictures.

http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/5671/p10103083ae.jpg

Same pose, different side of the sniper. This shows more detail of the costume and a decent amount on the gun as well.

Laying Down poses.

Laying down poses are going to be the most difficult for a photographer. Laying down poses are your worst nightmare. You're going to struggle to get good detail while achieving action. Here, though, is some good examples:

http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/3500/p10103143iu.jpg



By position the cosplayer correctly you have a good angle, lots of detail and the sniper looks like they are actually, well, sniping. Another option is to have them crouching while resting their rifle on an edge or something similar.





Here are two good poses of the gun pointed directly at the camera. These are normally not the best, but with proper angling you can still achieve good detail and action. These sort of shots are best for photoshoots or anything with multiple pictures being taken.

http://img252.imageshack.us/img252/3560/p10103298jk.jpg (Large size)

Here is an example of how your hands should be in a picture if your rifle has a bipod or is resting on a ledge. One hand should grip the gun normally (The shooting hand) and the other hand should come back and grip where the stock meets the gun. As if to keep it steady. You do NOT have to have it this way, but it looks good and is realistic if you aim in that fashion. This kind of shot can be taken up close, or far back...depending on your taste. Again, this is best for multiple picture taking or photoshoots.

Standing.

Aside from the normal standing and aiming, try to get some more casual shots of the sniper.



In this picture, the cosplayer is casual, but you can still tell he has a gun with a scope, and there is a TON of costume detail. It looks good, looks relaxed and looks realistic in fashion.

This ends the sniper/guns with scopes portion.

Up next will be longer firearms and I will attempt shotguns. I also promise soon enough my friend and I will get together and take pictures outside to show much better examples of these poses and how they look "On the field" rather than in my house at midnight.

If you have ANY requests at all PLEASE let me know. Any questions feel free to ask. If you have any poses, stances etc you want reviewed, feel free to PM me the picture and I will give you my 100% honest opinion.

Part 3 coming soon.
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Unread 01-25-2007, 12:56 PM   #15
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I do have a question. Is there such thing as a Left handed Rifles? Pretty much most of the rifle that I saw (and held) are right handed and I was wondering if there are a left handed rifles?
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