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Unread 03-13-2010, 11:52 AM   #31
Fremen
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Originally Posted by Jia Jem View Post
As a *sometimes* photographer, I must ask.

Do cosplayers get embarrassed or offended when photographers photoshop out certain traits? Distinguishing moles, scars, birthmarks, tattoos, piercings?

What about when it goes farther, such as skin blurring and body morphing?
I never remove small moles or body characteristics like that. I think they give some character and make the person look different from everyone else. As for things like pimples or food on someone's chin, then obviously I will photoshop those out because they are temporary blemishes that aren't a normal part of their body...I imagine its a very subjective thing.
I remember on DevArt, someone had photoshopped out all the freckles on a model, and I thought that was pretty terrible. But that was their artistic opinion I suppose.

Oh and regarding another post. I think its kind of nuts to think that a photographer needs to know every character for every cosplayer they photograph. If a cosplayer wants to take the time to talk to me about their character and explain its background story I'm all happy to hear it. But I can't possibly go out and watch every anime that comes along. I just now rented Bleach volume 1 so I can see what that's all about. At the last ALA picnic there were so many Bleach cosplayers. I can totally appreciate their costumes which look amazing. I was able to take very good pictures of them without knowing what they were exactly. Now I'll watch the thing and maybe start recognizing people. But to make that a requirement is just crazy talk.
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Unread 03-13-2010, 12:49 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jia Jem View Post
As a *sometimes* photographer, I must ask.

Do cosplayers get embarrassed or offended when photographers photoshop out certain traits? Distinguishing moles, scars, birthmarks, tattoos, piercings?

What about when it goes farther, such as skin blurring and body morphing?
Piercings can be taken out temporarily for photos if the cosplayer wishes to be "most accurate." And likewise, make-up'ing tattoos is a pain, but possible.
So if a cosplayer has visible piercings or tattoos...since they put them there initially and made a conscious decision to keep it obvious, I firmly believe they should remain. To remove them would be like photo-shopping out their nose.

On the other hand, I don't think any cosplayer would complain about the removal of temporary skin malfunctions like blemishes or bruises. For things like freckles, birthmarks, moles and such...some people like them, and some don't. Again, if the make-up isn't hiding them, I would ask before retouching (if a private shoot) or just err on the side of reality and keep them (for random hallway shots.)

...And...while I'm not very interested in looking at overly faked smoothed skin in photos, I also actively avoid looking at super sharp high-def "true to life" National Geographic style photos as well...which freak me out as much as the plastic-y-looking ones. If I don't notice your skin texture from a few feet away in real life, I certainly don't want to see in frozen in a photo forever.
I think the rule of thumb (for successful cosplay photos) is generally that the viewer shouldn't even register skin as an attribute - and it should look as absolutely neutral, soft and non-distracting as possible so one can concentrate on appreciating the costume and composition.
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Unread 03-14-2010, 03:30 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by hangyaku View Post
Thank you for that maulrat *applause*

So I have a question for you guys. (It may have already been answered in another thread, in which case could you guys please point me in the direction of said thread?)

I've never actually done a photoshoot with a cosplayer before and was thinking of finally trying it out this year. The only problem is that I haven't the foggiest as to how I should approach someone about doing a shoot. Any suggestions?

Have you had a photo shoot with a model before? I'm kinda thinking you haven't because it isn't much different at all. Just gather up the courage and ask. I used to be super shy to ask a cosplayer for a photo shoot but I've beat myself too many times after a con for not asking.

If at a con, just go up and ask if they have some free time for a mini shoot. If they say yes, try not to take longer than 30 minutes or schedule one for later when they aren't busy. At a con during the day, cosplayers are usually busy with the con, friends, gatherings etc. I try to just stick with shooting cosplayers that are just hangin' out or walking around a lot.

For a private shoot outside a con, it would probably be best to get a few shots with them first, let them see your work, then offer them a shoot. I think it might be a little difficult scheduling a shoot with someone who hasn't seen your work or portfolio yet. However, once you build up a good reputation for cosplay photography then you'll get a lot more "YES" responses

*** oops, sorry. just remembered that this was "ask a cosplayer" post. my bad.***

Last edited by maulrat : 03-14-2010 at 03:35 AM.
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Unread 03-14-2010, 10:31 AM   #34
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Let me see.... Hope this list helps~ (These would probably be better suited to Photoshoot photography instead of just "Around the Con" photography~)

I do like to be directed by the Photographer. I don't know how I'm looking behind the lens, but you do. Please direct me so we can get a good shot together? I want to look epic, and you want amazing photographs, we can only get this by working together.

If there's a costume malfunction (shirt not tucked in, gown slipping, underthings showing), please tell me~ I can fix these things if you give me the chance~ I'm pretty sure neither of us want to see a picture with my bra straps hanging out~ Eek!

Please show me the pictures before you distribute them? Some people like to Photoshop out things like backgrounds, or use effects to capture the mood, and I love to see what you come up with~ (Besides that, if there's a picture I don't look flattering in, I'd really rather it not be released to anyone?)

Please suggest poses if you have any in mind~ Oftentimes I can't come up with enough for myself, so I always like help~ (For this, it helps to know the character, and if the Photographer doesn't know the character, I can help with a two-minute lecture on the basics, it works wonders~)

Overall, just little common-sense things, I like it when the Photographer and Model/Cosplayer work together to create something awesome~ It's a two-part harmony, both parts are necessary to make it work right~
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Unread 03-14-2010, 10:51 AM   #35
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This is a particular peeve for me when I'm getting my picture taken. I'm in a busy hall way and someone comes up to me and asks for a picture, and they have a very nice professional camera. But they don't move from the hall... It makes no sense to me as a model or as a photographer to take photos in a mass of people. If you have a venue in mind, by all means lead the way!
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Unread 03-14-2010, 07:32 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maulrat View Post
Have you had a photo shoot with a model before? I'm kinda thinking you haven't because it isn't much different at all. Just gather up the courage and ask. I used to be super shy to ask a cosplayer for a photo shoot but I've beat myself too many times after a con for not asking.

If at a con, just go up and ask if they have some free time for a mini shoot. If they say yes, try not to take longer than 30 minutes or schedule one for later when they aren't busy. At a con during the day, cosplayers are usually busy with the con, friends, gatherings etc. I try to just stick with shooting cosplayers that are just hangin' out or walking around a lot.

For a private shoot outside a con, it would probably be best to get a few shots with them first, let them see your work, then offer them a shoot. I think it might be a little difficult scheduling a shoot with someone who hasn't seen your work or portfolio yet. However, once you build up a good reputation for cosplay photography then you'll get a lot more "YES" responses

*** oops, sorry. just remembered that this was "ask a cosplayer" post. my bad.***

Aah thank you for that (^__^). I wasn't sure if it was common to just go up to someone immediately at a con and ask them. I guess I thought that most shoots were pre-scheduled or something.

And you're right, I haven't had much experience with a model as I generally take pictures of animals. The only people I've actually taken photos of are my 5-year old cousin, who doesn't really care if I'm buzzing around him with a camera, and my friend's band, who asked me to do a shoot for them at a show. So I've never had a proper chance to work with a model and do a proper photoshoot before.

Anyways, back on topic: Once again, thank you for the tips . Hopefully I'll get a chance to do my first cosplay shoot at the next con.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 01:17 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LollieRot View Post
This is a particular peeve for me when I'm getting my picture taken. I'm in a busy hall way and someone comes up to me and asks for a picture, and they have a very nice professional camera. But they don't move from the hall... It makes no sense to me as a model or as a photographer to take photos in a mass of people. If you have a venue in mind, by all means lead the way!
Not all photographers at a con are there for "modeling" type photos. Many are the "documentary" type; photojournalism. Often, these types of photographers don't heavily shop their photos; like my crazy self. lol.

However, some photogs are not comfortable yet with pulling a cosplayer outside the con or to somewhere that doesn't have distracting con-peeps in the background. This is probably the case. They just don't want to bother you and are trying to be courteous. Feel free to suggest to step aside to a location that would place the focus more onto you. I'm sure the photog will happily agree most of the time.
(be careful not to do this with "Creepy Photographers") LoLz

Last edited by maulrat : 03-15-2010 at 01:20 PM.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 02:07 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LollieRot View Post
This is a particular peeve for me when I'm getting my picture taken. I'm in a busy hall way and someone comes up to me and asks for a picture, and they have a very nice professional camera. But they don't move from the hall... It makes no sense to me as a model or as a photographer to take photos in a mass of people. If you have a venue in mind, by all means lead the way!
Well, based on all the cosplayers who think any photographer older than them is a potential creep, I just don't see myself doing that very often unless I know the cosplayer already. Last thing I will do is ask a cosplayer I don't know to go to a more quiet place so we can take pictures away from the crowd! Trust is a two way street. I have to trust that the cosplayer isn't some paranoid person who thinks every guy is a potential rapist waiting for them. and they have to trust that my intentions are good for wanting them to go to a less crowded place. Without knowing the cosplayer, that trust isn't always easy to come by. In most cases, I believe the cosplayers take it for granted that I am trusting them so much!
But I love taking pictures, and I love the costumes, and most of all I love the occasional comments I get from cospalyers who like their pictures and want to post them up on their sites etc. That is such a natural high for me, that I take the risk all the time....
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Unread 03-15-2010, 03:36 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Fremen View Post
Last thing I will do is ask a cosplayer I don't know to go to a more quiet place so we can take pictures away from the crowd!
Thank you People do tend to be pretty trusting at cons, myself included. Only once have I ever felt a moment of apprehension with a photographer at a con in a city I had never been in before, and we had stepped outside the convention center to a somewhat secluded area to do a shoot. I just made sure I stayed where anyone coming out the door of the convention center could see me, that's all. I know I can recognize a bad situation and get out of one if I have to, but I'm also an adult, not a teenager, and a lot of teens (particularly in the excitement of a con) may lack some of the judgment to discern an unsafe situation. I really appreciate photographers keeping safety in mind - if for no other reason than it protects themselves as well. I don't think "older" photographers are creepy by default, but it only takes one overwrought teen repeating something like that to ruin someone else's reputation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hangyaku
I've never actually done a photoshoot with a cosplayer before and was thinking of finally trying it out this year. The only problem is that I haven't the foggiest as to how I should approach someone about doing a shoot. Any suggestions?
Maulrat's advice is good. Really, as long as you're polite, you have many avenues at a convention. You could just find someone whose costume you like and just straight up ask. If you're not ready to be that direct, start up a small conversation with someone by complimenting their costume, and chat for a minute before asking. You could take a handful of shots, and then ask if the cosplayer minded doing a small photoshoot - and here, it would be best to show them the shots you have just taken so they know if your shooting style is something they like. You could ask a random passer-by, or you go to a group meetup/photo gathering, and ask someone there, or you could spot someone who seems alone, and might not be getting many photos, and probably totally make their day
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Unread 03-15-2010, 04:45 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Fremen View Post
Last thing I will do is ask a cosplayer I don't know to go to a more quiet place so we can take pictures away from the crowd!
Yeah, I'm not really bold enough to ask cosplayers to do this on my own. I will, however, ask if they can relocate to somewhere in the vicinity that has a good angle that dodges the chaos. It might be next to a big pillar in the room, near a wall or slightly less crowded corridor in the convention center. I would feel pretty awkward asking them to leave the center / hotel or walk too far. I generally tend to hang out near some of the decent shooting locations to avoid this.

I started out doing just your typical convention coverage stuff, but have been slowly migrating towards more intentional, set up shots. I'm still pretty weary of inconveniencing cosplayers too much.
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Unread 03-17-2010, 10:12 PM   #41
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Well, based on all the cosplayers who think any photographer older than them is a potential creep, I just don't see myself doing that very often unless I know the cosplayer already. Last thing I will do is ask a cosplayer I don't know to go to a more quiet place so we can take pictures away from the crowd! Trust is a two way street. I have to trust that the cosplayer isn't some paranoid person who thinks every guy is a potential rapist waiting for them. and they have to trust that my intentions are good for wanting them to go to a less crowded place. Without knowing the cosplayer, that trust isn't always easy to come by. In most cases, I believe the cosplayers take it for granted that I am trusting them so much!
But I love taking pictures, and I love the costumes, and most of all I love the occasional comments I get from cospalyers who like their pictures and want to post them up on their sites etc. That is such a natural high for me, that I take the risk all the time....
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Originally Posted by Jim3535 View Post
Yeah, I'm not really bold enough to ask cosplayers to do this on my own. I will, however, ask if they can relocate to somewhere in the vicinity that has a good angle that dodges the chaos. It might be next to a big pillar in the room, near a wall or slightly less crowded corridor in the convention center. I would feel pretty awkward asking them to leave the center / hotel or walk too far. I generally tend to hang out near some of the decent shooting locations to avoid this.
Over all, in a one-on-one photoshoot, I recommend that we stick to cosplayers that we know/that know us. The problem is that to move beyond this, there has to be a first step on someone's part.

You can either be driven by fear or drive fear away. Those that are driven by fear seem to have nothing to show for it except fatigue. No I don't normally approach strangers and ask for pictures, and certainly won't ask them to wander off into a dark corner with me. That would be foolish on both of our parts.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 11:01 AM   #42
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No I don't normally approach strangers and ask for pictures, and certainly won't ask them to wander off into a dark corner with me.
The corner doesn't have to stay dark.

Unrelatedly, CPU mentioned prints in "Ask a Photographer", which makes me ask, are cosplayers interested in physical copies of their photos, the kind that can be framed or hung on a wall?
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Unread 03-21-2010, 06:19 PM   #43
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Unrelatedly, CPU mentioned prints in "Ask a Photographer", which makes me ask, are cosplayers interested in physical copies of their photos, the kind that can be framed or hung on a wall?
If I'm really proud of the work I put into the costume and how the it and photos came out then yes, I would consider prints.
Most of the time I would say no. For me, cosplay is not exactly the thing you put in a photo album to show your grandma the next time she comes to visit.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 04:26 PM   #44
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...are cosplayers interested in physical copies of their photos, the kind that can be framed or hung on a wall?
YES. I have a cosplay portfolio that I carry with me to conventions, when I am running panels and booths. If I don't have a laptop, it's helpful to have a portfolio.

High-res files are the best; then the cosplayer can print whatever size they need. With the photographer's permission, of course.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 06:57 PM   #45
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CPU mentioned prints in "Ask a Photographer", which makes me ask, are cosplayers interested in physical copies of their photos, the kind that can be framed or hung on a wall?
This is a good question. Lately, Iíve just upload web-size resolutions for speed and wondered if cosplayers actually need printable resolutions.
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