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How to Look Better in Cosplay Photos - Part 2

So now that you have some decent pictures of yourself that you have taken, what about pictures that other people are taking? There’s nothing worse than getting tagged in a bunch of pictures from that most recent con with serious derpface going on. Again, this is easily fixable!

Part 2 - Looking Good in Pictures Taken by Other People

For basic ‘con floor’ pictures, looking good is pretty much all up to you. Most of the people taking your picture as you’re walking around aren’t professional photographers. Heck, most of them will be using their phone or DSi! Some things to remember -

  • Try to position yourself so the main source of light is behind the photographer.

Don’t take pictures in front of a window or an open doorway, this will create the same halo/shadow effect as putting your back to the sun. Simply ask the person taking the picture if you can switch places if you’re backlit.

  • Try to get into an as well-lit area as possible.

Usually this simply means walking a few feet away from where you are. 

  • Don’t stand in front of a background that is ‘too busy.’

Whenever possible, pose in front of a blank wall. Not only will you stand out better, you and the person taking your picture will be off to the side and out of the way. Neat.

  • Don’t face the camera straight on.

No one looks good like this, and it’s what usually causes red eye and glasses glare. Turn your body and head slightly to the right or the left.

  • Pose in-character.

Study your character for common poses and postures, and replicate it. Practice poses and facial expressions in front of a mirror beforehand, so you know what you’re going to do and how it will look.

  • Change it up.

Don’t pose the same way every single time. Otherwise it’ll be like taking the same picture over and over and over. 

  • Stand up straight!

Nobody looks good when they’re slouching. It’ll ruin the line of your cosplay and make you look tired and grumpy.

For group photoshoots and gatherings, a lot of the above still applies, like standing straight and not facing the camera, but some other stuff is helpful, too -

  • Pose comfortably.

Don’t pose in such a way that you’re not going to be able to hold still for at least five minutes. Because after the ‘professional’ photographer is finished, there’s going to be groups of people cycling around to take pictures, too. Just assume you’re going to be there for a while.

  • Keep smiling (or holding whatever facial expression suits your character.)

You’ve been standing there for way too long and your face hurts. Get over it, because unless you want pictures of you with serious bitchface, keep that smile firmly plastered across your mug. Models pose in bikinis in January, and fur coats in July, and manage to keep a constant expression. Being a cosplayer is like being an amateur model. Just. Keep. Smiling.

For individual photoshoots -

  • Know your character.

It’s not the photographers job to know what poses and places suit your character best. It’s yours. They just make you look good. So, same with the ‘con floor’ guidelines, memorize some expressions and poses to use. 

  • Work with your photographer.

If you think you look better from a certain side/angle, tell them. If you want to convey a certain atmosphere with the pictures, tell them. Photographers aren’t mind readers. On the other side of the coin, listen to your photographer. You make think a certain pose is cool, but if they tell you it’s unflattering, believe them. If they want you to move into an area with different lighting, do it. They have trained their eye for this, and they’re better at it than you are.

The most important thing I cannot stress enough is knowing your character. Poses and expressions really bring a cosplay to life.

Show Notes