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Unread 12-07-2008, 08:23 PM   #1
Lomelindi88
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A N00b's Guide To Posing For Cameras

I've seen similar topics being posted before but not one SPECIFICALLY on posing, so I figured I'd start one. (Of course, part of this is spawned off my own pet peeves, but moving on...)

ADDED: There is an AWESOME tutorial with visuals here about cosplay!posing. http://behindinfinity.deviantart.com/journal/21030596/

ADDED #2: Another amazing tutorial! (Not a lot of visuals, but still helpful.) http://digital-photography-school.co...he-components/

ADDED #3: Thank you, Jia Crens, for the awesome tutorial! http://www.jiajem.com/conpose.html.

POSING TIPS:
Point #1: DO NOT SLOUCH. It shouldn't matter if you slouch in your normal life. Unless your character is L from Death Note or an old man, slouching looks TERRIBLE on camera. The lifted chin and straight back look will probably work for arrogant, happy and serene characters alike. Heck, it'll probably work for any character regardless of their personality. (Of course, if your character is silly and active, you can slouch and do funny faces or whatever, but you shouldn't look drowsy.)

Point #2: Exaggerate your pose. Really. It doesn't have to be anything obscene, but do a pose that feels natural and then STRETCH it. If the pose feels normal, you're doing it wrong and it won't show up! I'm a dancer, I know that what you feel in your body will NOT be seen/felt by the audience unless you exaggerate the motion. (A camera's flash will hide a lot of movement.) What you think might be a nice little hand-on-hip pose might not show up as anything but you standing there.

Point #3: Be creative! ^^ This takes a great amount of practice, but don't be afraid to use a table nearby or a chair or even the floor to help your pose. This is a lot of help if if you're an active character and you want cool poses. For example, lean against a rail or put a hand on it or sprawl yourself against a nearby column. (This will depend on how much space you have, of course. Please don't hurt anyone else around you. ^^; )

Point #4: Exaggerate your face. (I, personally, fail at this, so don't worry if you're bad at it, too.) A small smile really won't show up on camera (especially if flash is involved) UNLESS you're at one of those professional photo booth places. If your character is really happy, be really, REALLY happy and smile a lot. Otherwise it just won't show up on camera. ^^;

Point #5: Hands are really, REALLY important. If nothing else, do something with your hands. Put them on your hip, point off in the distance, touch some part of your costume, hold your sword, play with your wig/hair, etc. Having them hang by your side is NOT interesting, especially for the person who will end up looking/sharing the picture later.

Point #6:
Have fun! It sounds stupid to end all these "how-to" guides with this, but it's TRUE. Being in a bad or sad mood isn't something you can just hide on camera. If you're feeling insecure and scared, your body and your face will probably look that way regardless of what you're dressed as. Relax, be silly, laugh a little. :3

I hope this helps! Everyone can add on to this with their own tips if they want. ^^

---------

ADDED BY OTHERS:

PhoenixStarr44 - Also, if you're stuck for poses or you don't have much space, just put your hand on your hip and do a 'three-quarters turn' to the camera - especially for girls. Being posed so your body is at about a 45-degree-angle to the camera/photographer creates the best line for most bodies, showing off the curve of your back, breasts, stomach, and hips while making you look thinner at the same time. Keep your shoulders back, your chin up, and your feet shoulder-width apart, and no matter who you're cosplaying (or crossplaying) you should end up with a good-looking picture!

StarDustShadow
- Don't do the peace-sign pose! Every new cosplayer does it regardless of it fitting the character's personality or not. It's the most boring thing ever! D:

Angel Tear - Some people don't feel too comfortable striking a pose on the spot when someone runs up to you asking for a photo, it can come out looking awkward if they don't have the confidence. So it may be a good idea to remember and practice certain poses that the character does in official art or in the anime/manga. For example, Phoenix Write is well known for pointing and yelling 'Objection!' and would be recognised for that. And Hinamori Amu has the 'unlock' hand gesture which could be held still.

Audienceofsouls
- Unless suited to your character, don't just put your hands behind your back and smile. This ends up looking really stiff and awkward and makes it obvious that you didn't really put any thought into the fact that you might have pictures taken.

Ardhri - One thing I've learned the hard way is NOT to put your hands flat on your stomach unless you are pregnant. It really emphasizes the belly so if you want to hide it, keep your hands OFF.

zomgmissy - Don't be afraid to tell people that you can't take a picture, especially if you're tired or eating or hurrying somewhere. They will understand as long as you're not rude about it.

Deathfire - (on couple cosplays) I would say that you need to pose to where both of your costumes show well as you're posing. So technically you can't full on HUG your other as you pose for the camera, you can't see any detail that way. Now, this sounds kinda weird, but try to bring a bit of sensuality to the pose, to imply the relationship between the characters. Only that way you guys will look like a couple. Such things like resting one's head on the others chest or hand on the others hip are good things to start with. As some of the others have said, EXAGGERATE the pose, so that bam, you're a couple. lawl, now I dunno if I explained that well. XDDD;

I wanna also add a tiny detail about practicing poses. KNOW YOUR ANGLES. Know what part of your body looks good at what angle. An average person with a bit of face fat posing the same way a model is may not turn out the same way. I usually have to tilt my head up a bit, because my face fat comes out if I put my head down lol, so I make sure to compromise that with the character I am cosplaying as.

Also, don't be afraid to take a few more seconds to ADJUST your pose before the picture is taken. Take time to ground yourself to the floor lol. The last think you want is to do an awesome martial arts pose and then fall straight on your face when the camera clicks.

halo11701 - Indeed, straight backs always look good in photos. I don't know if anyone has posted this yet, but what about "flexing" for guys? Everyone knows a shirtless, sleeveless, etc, male character looks good when flexing. It adds to a good relaxed pose for a cosplayer.
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Last edited by Lomelindi88 : 12-26-2008 at 06:37 PM.
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Unread 12-07-2008, 08:28 PM   #2
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i love you.
seriously.
i don't think you know how much i love you.
just for this.
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Unread 12-07-2008, 08:32 PM   #3
Lomelindi88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawberrySiren View Post
i love you.
seriously.
i don't think you know how much i love you.
just for this.
D'awww! You're very welcome!. ^^; I was getting all twitchy from seeing perfectly good cosplays ruined by bad posture or something. (That may be the anal-retentive dancer in me speaking, haha.)
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Last edited by Lomelindi88 : 12-07-2008 at 09:15 PM.
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Unread 12-07-2008, 08:33 PM   #4
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Would this go better in the Cosplay Photography board...?
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Unread 12-07-2008, 08:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizardMandy View Post
Would this go better in the Cosplay Photography board...?
I'm not sure... I thought about that, but they seem to be discussing cameras and photography techniques there and I know NOTHING about those. ^^;
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Unread 12-07-2008, 08:43 PM   #6
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These are great advises! They'll help me improve a lot on posing, thank you! My poses are horribly lame sometimes... XD
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Unread 12-07-2008, 08:46 PM   #7
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I'm glad this was started. Everything said is true. It totally kills it when I see an amazing cosplay and they just...stand there. Got to be careful with how you position yourself too though. I've made the mistake of putting my body directly perpendicular to the camera, or sticking my hand straight out toward the camera, and it ended up looking awful in photos. Foreshortening is not always your friend...in fact, more often than not, it bites you in the butt. I've experamented more with the poses I use, and have found ways to make this better. But facial expressions are a bit more difficult. I just can't do the angry eyebrows no matter how hard I try.
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Unread 12-07-2008, 08:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginryuu View Post
I'm glad this was started. Everything said is true. It totally kills it when I see an amazing cosplay and they just...stand there. Got to be careful with how you position yourself too though. I've made the mistake of putting my body directly perpendicular to the camera, or sticking my hand straight out toward the camera, and it ended up looking awful in photos. Foreshortening is not always your friend...in fact, more often than not, it bites you in the butt. I've experamented more with the poses I use, and have found ways to make this better. But facial expressions are a bit more difficult. I just can't do the angry eyebrows no matter how hard I try.
Ahhh yeah, that's true too. XD I think you have to hit that wonderful 3/4 view, but that's hard and it always depends on how fast you can react when you see a camera, haha. ^^; I feel your pain though, I SUCK at facial expressions, most of time I just have this mildly pleasant look on my face. I wish I knew what sort of faces to make. D:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChibiTenshi View Post
These are great advises! They'll help me improve a lot on posing, thank you! My poses are horribly lame sometimes... XD
It's all good, mine are lame sometimes, too. XD;; Glad this could help!
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Last edited by Lomelindi88 : 12-07-2008 at 08:56 PM.
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Unread 12-07-2008, 09:30 PM   #9
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This is AWESOME. I'm actually hoping to make posing part of a panel I'm doing for a convention, so it's neat to see it as a topic here!

If I can add to the above ...?

Bearing in mind that many cons are crowded, doing a very dramatic pose can be a problem (and the foot-on-chair thing, well, I can see a lot of hotel staff getting huffy about feet on the furniture ...).

Also, if you're stuck for poses or you don't have much space, just put your hand on your hip and do a 'three-quarters turn' to the camera - especially for girls. Being posed so your body is at about a 45-degree-angle to the camera/photographer creates the best line for most bodies, showing off the curve of your back, breasts, stomach, and hips while making you look thinner at the same time. Keep your shoulders back, your chin up, and your feet shoulder-width apart, and no matter who you're cosplaying (or crossplaying) you should end up with a good-looking picture!
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Unread 12-07-2008, 09:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixStarr44 View Post
This is AWESOME. I'm actually hoping to make posing part of a panel I'm doing for a convention, so it's neat to see it as a topic here!

If I can add to the above ...?

Bearing in mind that many cons are crowded, doing a very dramatic pose can be a problem (and the foot-on-chair thing, well, I can see a lot of hotel staff getting huffy about feet on the furniture ...).

Also, if you're stuck for poses or you don't have much space, just put your hand on your hip and do a 'three-quarters turn' to the camera - especially for girls. Being posed so your body is at about a 45-degree-angle to the camera/photographer creates the best line for most bodies, showing off the curve of your back, breasts, stomach, and hips while making you look thinner at the same time. Keep your shoulders back, your chin up, and your feet shoulder-width apart, and no matter who you're cosplaying (or crossplaying) you should end up with a good-looking picture!
Oooh that's a great idea for panel! Hope that goes well!

And that's an AWESOME suggestion! ^^ I tend to prefer that pose myself and it really does provide the best look, especially for female bodies. (Haha, I do see your point about the funiture. I was actually thinking like, a wooden chair or a foldable one, not a sofa, but I can definitely see how that might be bad. Oo;; )
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Unread 12-08-2008, 03:18 AM   #11
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Great tips for new cosplayers! If i could add one, don't do the peace-sign pose! Every new cosplayer does it regardless of it fitting the character's personality or not. It's the most boring thing ever! D:
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Unread 12-08-2008, 09:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lomelindi88 View Post
I'm not sure... I thought about that, but they seem to be discussing cameras and photography techniques there and I know NOTHING about those. ^^;
Fair enough. :3

Good tips all around, the "exaggerated expression" one I get around by wearing cosplays with masks, but the rest are good info.

In my opinion, nothing beats a candid shot. There are a few in my gallery of my Firefox costume, where a little girl came up to me to play peekaboo while I was sitting down to take a break, and then jumping into my lap for a hug. You can't stage shots that nice. :3

Of course, it's rude to go snapping photographs without permission of people eating their supper, so the common courtesy is to ask permission and let them pose. Still, random convention silliness or a gathering of friends in costumes talking and laughing naturally with each other can be wonderful photo ops. For good-looking smiles and poses, nothing beats the real thing, in my opinion.
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Unread 12-08-2008, 09:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarDustShadow View Post
Great tips for new cosplayers! If i could add one, don't do the peace-sign pose! Every new cosplayer does it regardless of it fitting the character's personality or not. It's the most boring thing ever! D:
That's a great one, I'll add it.
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Unread 12-08-2008, 09:58 AM   #14
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*too lazy to edit her previous post*

Quote:
Originally Posted by LizardMandy View Post
Fair enough. :3

Good tips all around, the "exaggerated expression" one I get around by wearing cosplays with masks, but the rest are good info.

In my opinion, nothing beats a candid shot. There are a few in my gallery of my Firefox costume, where a little girl came up to me to play peekaboo while I was sitting down to take a break, and then jumping into my lap for a hug. You can't stage shots that nice. :3

Of course, it's rude to go snapping photographs without permission of people eating their supper, so the common courtesy is to ask permission and let them pose. Still, random convention silliness or a gathering of friends in costumes talking and laughing naturally with each other can be wonderful photo ops. For good-looking smiles and poses, nothing beats the real thing, in my opinion.
Heh, my next cosplay has a mask too, I was hoping to avoid that problem. >:3

*nod* You can also get the funniest shots of people being candid, especially when characters from totally unrelated fandoms get together to do something "normal" like drink or dance or something, hehe.
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Unread 12-08-2008, 09:59 AM   #15
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HEY GUYS:

I'm editing the main post: Someone shared with me a GREAT tutorial on Deviantart with visuals on how to pose. http://behindinfinity.deviantart.com/journal/21030596/ It's an AWESOME tutorial and it says a lot of things I can't, so I highly suggest it!
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