Cosplay is all about wearing the costume of your favourite character to show your liking and love for that character. The character can be from any books, movies, comics, etc. People enjoy cosplays. People wait for Comic-Con and start planning their look many months prior to the event. Cosplays are fun not only for the people playing characters but also for the photographers. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional photographer, cosplay photography allows you to bring a fantasy world into reality. For Cosplay Photography, you might not require an expensive camera, but having basic knowledge of photography could be very helpful.
Here are some techniques that may be quite helpful in clicking some amazing Cosplay Photographs. Thorough planning of the shoot and pre-preparation before the shoot forms a crucial step. A little bit of homework about the shoot would prepare you for the shooting day. This would help you in saving lots of your time and effort. When you know how you want your image to be shot, your work would be as easy as pressing a button “Click here.”
Preparation before the shoot:
The most common time to click Cosplay photos is during Comic-Cons and other conventions. However, these conventions may not be given a clean background and the required lighting for clicking photos. Hence, scouting the location before the event is very important. Find the backdrop for your shoot. It would be much better if you select more than one location. This way, you can have photos with different backdrops. Also, share your view with your subject and ask them if they are comfortable going to the location selected by you.
Character Build up
Understanding the character played by your subject is very important. Building up the character would help you in creating your cosplay masterpiece. Work on the backdrop, select one which can add more effects to your subject. If you are at a convention, you might not get enough time you’re your subject. So, use your creativity and try to work out ways to make the best use of available resources and backdrops.
Cosplay photography is all about capturing characters of the fantasy world. Hence, you get the freedom to use your imagination and add more colors to your photos. Keeping props like flower petals, bubble guns, confetti, etc. handy, can be an excellent idea. Most of these props are easily available on the internet.
Pose taken by your subject can make your photos more character to the photos and make them look more attractive. Instead of asking your character to make their pose, you can convey to them what pose you have in your mind. This way, you can get a unique photo with that particular character. Remember, each Cosplay character might have got clicked by numerous other photographers. Hence, if you want to add a uniqueness to your images, create your own pose.
Lenses, Frames & Focus
Make sure you pack your bag with all the necessary accessories. Be clear about the use of different kinds of lenses. Be clear about your frames and focus needed and use the lens accordingly. For example, if you are planning to click close-up, ultra-wide-angle lenses would be a good option, and for a group shot, you might want to use wide-angle lenses.
Using natural light can make your character look more natural. Keep your reflector ready, as you might need it to minimize shadows. Controlling the light can be quite tricky at Cosplay events. One way of controlling it is by supplying light using your gears. Though your digital camera might be able to provide the required light, using an electronic flash can give you much better results. You can use a wireless trigger or a flash extension to control the electronic flash. If possible, avoid using the built-in flash.
For every single Cosplay character, there are numerous photos available on the internet. Hence, if you want your character’s photo to stand out, have a theme for your shoot. Once you have your theme, you would have enough time to make pre-arrangements for the props and colors.
Before you plan your photoshoot, it’s worth taking some time to study the parts of a camera and what they do.
Perspective, angles, aperture & Viewpoint
If your Cosplay character is holding a prop like a sword, rod, etc. you can click photos at different angles. For example, if you want to make your subject’s prop the center of your image, then try experimenting using Dutch angles.
While shooting cosplay photos using the right shutter speed can make your character look more real. For example, for Elsa, the snow queen, keeping the shutter speed at ‘high’ would be much better as it would help you capture each snowflake.
Depth of Field
Be aware of the depth of field required to click the photos. In case you want to click a group photo or a full body photo, make sure you have the required depth of field so that you don’t miss any of the important details.
For cosplay photographers, Photoshop is a must-have. It helps cosplay photographers to not only edit the images and hide the errors but also add cool effects to the photos.
Next time you are going for Cosplay photography, plan your shoot in advance and carry all the necessary props and gear with you.