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Unread 07-14-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
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How can I improve my cosplay

Can I improve my cosplay or should I just trash it? I've been trying everything to lose weight, and believe it or not from this pic, I'm only 125-130 lbs I worked so, so hard on this stupid cosplay. Now pics of it are popping up around the net. If someone had told me how awful it looked I never would have worn it.

Is there any way of recutting this cosplay and/or maybe some poses to make me look less short and wide? I'm 5ft 2, but I look really short in this outfit. I absolutely love Tifa and seeing my cosplay fail like this just kills me.


I'm going to ask GCC to take this down shortly, but I just want to know if you can think of any ways to save this cosplay before I just give up.
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Unread 07-14-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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Reference pictures are a big help, along with the name of the character and what version of their outfit. I'm guessing it's this version of Tifa?

I don't see anything awful about it? The angle is off, but that's the photographers fault, not the costume. The only thing missing is the bows on the pants and the silver detailing on the jacket. A more form-fitting white undershirt might be good, too- in the picture, it looks like yours is hanging over the skirt a bit while Tifa's stops above it. Otherwise it's spot on. If you reeeally want to go all out, you could get a brown-black wig and style it, but since your hair is dark it isn't really necessary. Just practice some in-character poses and you'll be fine!
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Unread 07-14-2013, 10:38 PM   #3
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I think your costume is fine. It looks well made! I think what your problem is your poses.
Now I don't know the character but try to have some stock poses that fit the character. Twisting your waist will make you look thinner if that is a concern.
Have attitude and be confident. It'll help. (:

Good luck!
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Unread 07-17-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
Mae Bliss
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I don't think it looks awful at all. Maybe if you made the shorts an inch or so shorter it'd be better, straighten your hair a bit more, and a closer fitting white shirt like PP said. Real minor things. Ichigo has good advice too.
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Unread 07-17-2013, 08:36 PM   #5
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Most of the problem is the angle. It's just a really unflattering angle for anyone. You can blame that on the photographer, really. Getting a picture from above makes a person look short, which is why I always tell PiC to take pictures from below. Might see my nostrils a little more than is comfortable, but it helps hide that I'm five feet flat.

Being a short cosplayer sucks because all the pictures are from above, and there's nothing we can do about that. The others have some really good ideas, though. See how it turns out.

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Unread 07-17-2013, 11:39 PM   #6
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yeah it's absolutely an unflattering camera angle, not the fault of you or the cosplay, I think the cosplay looks just fine!
that said, it probably does make you seem shorter because of where it's cut, but that's how it is on the character. If you don't care about it being exact, slightly longer or shorter pants might make all the difference. cutting right at the knee always has a funny affect on how long your legs look, and if you're shorter to begin with it's maybe better to go with a different length (some people just can't pull off bermuda shorts because they make your legs look shorter, same thing here)
also where the top sits makes your torso seem shorter. but changing that would affect the overall cosplay too much, and I really think changing up the pant length would make enough difference to counteract that.

even just having the waist of the pants sit a little lower on your hips could make a big difference for the waist and the length. so if there's room to let the waist out a teeny bit so you can have them sit a bit lower, that might solve everything.

but don't scrap it! just get a better photographer :P and I second what ichigo said about posing. I used to take portraits, and yes standing so the camera sees your side more than your front makes a huge difference. if there's certain parts of the cosplay you want to show off or the character has a specific pose you want then that's sometimes more important i imagine, but in photos in general if you are conscious of how you pose it can make or break the photo.
get a friend to take a pic of you in it at home and see the difference...
point yourself at a slight angle, not dead on to the camera, (you don't want to be totally sideways, your arm will look massive even though it's not) do the supermodel stand with one leg leading and the other slightly behind and pointed out, so your feet are sort of in a V. it will make your legs look longer and leaner and force your posture. put one hand on your hip, straighten your back, push your shoulders back and chest out. and make sure your friend takes the picture from a lower angle. you may have noticed a lot of pro photographers have their tripods set so the camera is at their chest, not their face.
take a couple of shots like this and compare them to that awful picture, you'll feel much better about yourself lol

Last edited by sandra03 : 07-17-2013 at 11:50 PM.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 08:46 AM   #7
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[note: sorry for the long post, I started typing and it all just came out]

Agreed with just about all of the above. In this particular shot, the pose, the camera angle, and the short distance from the camera to the model are all working against you.

Sandra03's note above about the length of the skirt is something I'd definitely think about; a knee-length skirt is going to make your legs look shorter. Try pinning up the hem of the skirt by an inch or two; I bet if you take one inch off the bottom of the skirt it'll make your legs look two inches longer. Not perfectly screen-accurate? Who cares, if it's more flattering to your body.

Work on posing, too; look up different pose styles that are flattering to your figure and body shape, and use them to your advantage. An experienced portrait photographer can help with this, but in a hallway snapshot you have to be ready to do it yourself. A pretty good rule of thumb is, "If you have two of them, they should be different." Feet, knees, arms, shoulders, elbows, hands. Some thoughts - note that NONE of these are hard-and-fast rules:
- Turn slightly away from camera, you almost never want your shoulders and hips square-on to the camera
- Put most of your weight on one foot or the other (usually the rear foot); let your hip "kick out" for curves.
- Bend your front knee in to overlap your rear knee a little bit; this will make even more curves and give the appearance of slimmer thighs
- Never leave either arm just dangling at your side; at a minimum, one hand on the hip and the other hand doing something else. For instance, THIS POSE, she's doing something interesting with both arms/hands.
- Pull your elbows away from your body. Two reasons: 1. Some space between your arm and your waist will make both look slimmer; 2. if your upper arm is squished against your body, the upper arm will look flabby and fat. (note, this rule can be modified/ignored if you're trying to prop up "the girls" with your arm for a particular pose)
- Find some "stock" poses for the character, practice them in front of the mirror, make adjustments to flatter your figure, be able to replicate one of those poses when someone asks you for a quick hallway snapshot. Here's one that's pretty fun

The distance from the photographer to the subject, and the height of the camera, are also important in getting flattering photos. I wrote a fair amount about it here:
(sorry, it's another long post, and a little more directed at the photographer than the model, but maybe you can glean some tips from it)

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Unread 07-18-2013, 10:23 AM   #8
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^ Always helpful, Carter. Thanks for all the info, even if I'm not the one asking the question.

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