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Unread 02-14-2010, 04:57 PM   #16
brucer007
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Setting up Impromtu Photo Shoots
I know it can be awkward to set up spontanious photo shoots with people we just met. I have found it very beneficial to bring a portfolio with samples of past cosplay photography that I have done. This has been from past events, and even some shots from previous days of the same event. It shows them the level of quality I can do and the directions my photos tend to go in. I have found cosplayers to take me more seriously and be more willing to work harder with me to achieve better results.

Lighting
I can often find decent lighting at most venues. Sometimes, I have to look a bit harder for it, by looking around, and observing where light looks best on people.http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1920770/

I do a lot of bouncing my flash off walls, ceilings, nearby pillars, or a hand-held reflector (Flex-Fill type, foldable reflectors are most conveniant).
Even more versatile, I use an off camera flash on a light stand, combined with a radio tranmitter and reciever system. Then I can place soft light from many possible angles. Some venues might hassle you for using this system ( San Diego Convention Center was not too kind). Just do you best to keep your equipment out of people's way. It is wise to put a tennis ball, or similar at the bottom stem of the umbrella, so nobody walks into it eye first. Just cut a slit in the ball and put it on the protruding end. I also bring a few battery powered slave flashes to add rim lighting on the cosplayer, or create more depth on the structures behind them.

Here is an example of using my umbrella strobe, combined with a slave flash to add a little rim light to the cosplayers, held by a friend of their's. http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2133670/

There are some cool, battery powered LED lights that can add some illumination to an otherwise dark environment. I use, and have seen other use lights made by Sima. They have 36 LEDS, which throw a good amount of light in small area.

Unwanted Crowds
Part of avoiding cosplayers walking behind the person you are photographing is timing. Just look beyond your frame and take the photo when people are not there. If people are just standing there, I sometimes, very politely ask they wouldn't mind moving for a moment.

Mostly, I get close to the floor with my camera, and go for a low angle. Getting further back and using a telephoto lens will help limit how many people are seen. I often like this composition, if the ceilng or upper walls are nice looking. I find that low angles look best when the cosplayer is looking above or past the lens, rather than down at it. This avoids multiple chins and bags under the eyes.http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2130486/

Even with my lower angles, sometimes I could not avoid framing all of the people in the background, so I end up cloning it in photoshop to erase them.

Last edited by brucer007 : 02-14-2010 at 05:03 PM.
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Unread 07-29-2010, 09:15 PM   #17
Yui
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Yo, Elemental, this thread has been moved to the new Photo Tutorial section. Thank you for taking the time to write up this guide.
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Unread 07-30-2010, 07:10 PM   #18
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Great thread, very good tips in here!
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Unread 08-03-2010, 09:09 PM   #19
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Wow, I am definitely going to use this at my next con. I'm more of a cosplayer than a photographer, but either way I will take pictures.
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Unread 08-05-2010, 06:06 AM   #20
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So, couple of random questions. I know most cosplay/con photographers go to cons JUST to take photos, but how do you balance that with other things? I like cosplaying myself, and I usually go to at least the main events of most cons if not a couple panels. But I still don't want to come away from the con with nothing but snapshots.

Also, how do you keep up with names/internet handles/characters/anime/video game names? Do you write them all down, and if so, how do you know which one goes to whom? I'm assuming you don't only take photos of the characters you know?

I've been trying to get better at my photography, and though I'm not at a level to have separate equipment/setups and such (I don't even have an SLR), and I'm not yet comfortable asking people to leave the convention center with me, I have a feeling a lot of these tips will come in handy for me at the next con I go to.
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Unread 08-26-2010, 01:19 AM   #21
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Just wanted to put a huge thank you out there, for all the tips that have been left in this thread.

I'm just getting started with cosplay photography, and really hope that I can go somewhere with it. The tips were so helpful! <3
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Unread 08-26-2010, 03:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yume Nezumi View Post
So, couple of random questions. I know most cosplay/con photographers go to cons JUST to take photos, but how do you balance that with other things? I like cosplaying myself, and I usually go to at least the main events of most cons if not a couple panels. But I still don't want to come away from the con with nothing but snapshots.

Also, how do you keep up with names/internet handles/characters/anime/video game names? Do you write them all down, and if so, how do you know which one goes to whom? I'm assuming you don't only take photos of the characters you know?

I've been trying to get better at my photography, and though I'm not at a level to have separate equipment/setups and such (I don't even have an SLR), and I'm not yet comfortable asking people to leave the convention center with me, I have a feeling a lot of these tips will come in handy for me at the next con I go to.
Personally, I try to schedule my shooting around the events I want to attend. I like the industry forums and one or two of the "how to" forums, (I couldn't care less about getting autographs and stuff like that.) If there is too much of a pain in the rear to get into, I pass on the fashion/talent and even the cosplay competition. (I'm not a big fan of watching skits.)

As to knowing who is what? It's impossible to know all of the characters; there are thousands. This is why I seldom respond to the "did you take my picture," threads. A lot of the cosplayers have taken to asking where they can find their pictures while at the con, but if they ask did I take a picture of the *insert character here*, I don't know... no one can know. Most of us take hundreds, even thousands of photos at a con.

The only cosplayers and characters or series that I track are from the photo sessions that I do. I carry a note pad to keep track of direct inquiries. I'm really bad with names and faces and since I don't seek out individual cosplayers or cosplays, notes are an important tool.
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Unread 08-27-2010, 02:11 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfcreate View Post

As to knowing who is what? It's impossible to know all of the characters; there are thousands. This is why I seldom respond to the "did you take my picture," threads. A lot of the cosplayers have taken to asking where they can find their pictures while at the con, but if they ask did I take a picture of the *insert character here*, I don't know... no one can know. Most of us take hundreds, even thousands of photos at a con.

The only cosplayers and characters or series that I track are from the photo sessions that I do. I carry a note pad to keep track of direct inquiries. I'm really bad with names and faces and since I don't seek out individual cosplayers or cosplays, notes are an important tool.
TFC
As a cosplayer, and not a photographer, I understand that you don't know every single character out there. But maybe for those who are too forgetful to ask at the con (i.e. people like me), you can post your gallery or website where we can find the pictures on those "Did you take my picture" threads. It really helps if we don't have any pictures ourselves. I know several people got pictures of me at Otakon and other than the ones at the photoshoot I went to, I've come up with nothing.

I could care less if you remember my name, haha. I'd just like nice pictures.
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Unread 08-28-2010, 04:05 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawberrySiren View Post
As a cosplayer, and not a photographer, I understand that you don't know every single character out there. But maybe for those who are too forgetful to ask at the con (i.e. people like me), you can post your gallery or website where we can find the pictures on those "Did you take my picture" threads. It really helps if we don't have any pictures ourselves. I know several people got pictures of me at Otakon and other than the ones at the photoshoot I went to, I've come up with nothing.

I could care less if you remember my name, haha. I'd just like nice pictures.
Most of us do post links to our galleries, (often in their signatures) so finding pictures is fairly easy. Part of the problems arise when the cosplayers simply don't want to even bother to go to the sites to see if their pictures are there.
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Unread 08-30-2010, 03:07 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawberrySiren View Post
But maybe for those who are too forgetful to ask at the con (i.e. people like me), you can post your gallery or website where we can find the pictures on those "Did you take my picture" threads. It really helps if we don't have any pictures ourselves. I know several people got pictures of me at Otakon and other than the ones at the photoshoot I went to, I've come up with nothing.
While people do post galleries up. I can see the frustration at finding your own photos. Photographers that concentrate on hall shots can have a few hundred different people you have to sift through that aren't you. Especially with a con like Otakon or any of the other larger ones where there are 20-30 active photographers. Without knowing the photographer it gets difficult to find the ones that did take your photo. With smaller cons though the photographer pool shrinks to your local market and sometimes you get to recognize your area's photographers.

What does help though is before any con take a reference photo of whatever costume you're wearing. It doesn't matter if its good or not. Put that on your profile and when you start asking you point to your photo and someone might recognize you.

Which brings up the Tip most of us do already. Have a business/contact cards made up to give out. Make sure its on some kind of cardstock and not plain paper. I know people who gave out plain paper and cosplayer friends lost them. They ended up bugging me to find out who the person was.

And another little tip that can help. Get to know your fellow area photographers or at least who they are. I sometimes try and help out when I see they are having some problems during a shoot. Like holding a reflector for a few shots. Not everyone has a crew. I've even lent out memory cards out I have yet to get back.. but I know the guy so its ok!

Last edited by mrgetalife : 08-30-2010 at 03:27 PM.
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Unread 11-15-2010, 06:29 PM   #26
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Love it! thanks! <3
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Unread 11-15-2010, 07:10 PM   #27
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great tips, thanks so much for taking the time to share them.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 05:28 PM   #28
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Quote:
So, couple of random questions. I know most cosplay/con photographers go to cons JUST to take photos, but how do you balance that with other things? I like cosplaying myself, and I usually go to at least the main events of most cons if not a couple panels. But I still don't want to come away from the con with nothing but snapshots.
It's possible to shoot good photos AND cosplay, but requires preparation. Pick an outfit you can move easily in. Keep your hands and eyes free, have a way to carry the camera, and wear good shoes. Try not to carry props, they just give you too much to worry about. And, to quote the fabulous Edna Mode, "No capes." You will trip. Trust me.

Phew! Small wonder most of us just give up and go for the civilian wear at cons.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 06:31 PM   #29
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One thing I have begun to notice among photographers who cosplay is the use of holsters/cases that blend in with their cosplays.

http://www.amazon.com/Caselogic-SLRC...9950134&sr=8-4

is one that I saw recently on a Jedi.
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Unread 12-02-2010, 06:38 PM   #30
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Amazing tips!
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