Things I Learned about Photos


Photo by Babs Who Takes Pictures

(Forgive the photo quality; it’s off Facebook.  Babs takes GORGEOUS pictures.  I’m using the fanciest version of this for our holiday cards this year.)

This year at MISTI was my first time doing cosplay photos, and man did I learn a lot.  Possibly most importantly: if you’re working yourself up to a panic attack over it, make sure you take precautionary measures to stop it as quickly as you can.

In no particular order, here are the things I learned from this experience:

  1. Make sure you’re comfortable with your cosplay.  (Emotionally.  We all know that physical comfort only has a tiny little bit to do with it.)  If you don’t feel like you’re connecting with the character as you’re portraying them, you’re gonna have a hard time making it work in front of a camera.  This weekend I discovered that my Tonks isn’t the facet of her that meshes best with me- I’m not a bad ass and trying to pretend I was really uncomfortable.  I’ll definitely be doing some (a lot) of costume tweaking before next time.
  2. If you’re really nervous or stressed out, it’s easier with a friend (or two!)  I did a solo shoot with Babs and she was really patient with me, but the pictures didn’t turn out too great.  The lighting and technical stuff are amazing (SO AMAZING) but I feel like it’s really easy to tell that I’m fighting a panic attack.  When I dragged Kevin back to pose with me I had a lot more fun.  It was easier to relax when all the pressure wasn’t on me alone.
  3. Definitely try to plan a little ahead re: what poses you want/what impression you want to give.  A great photographer (Hi Babs!) can give you some ideas about how to pose and what will look good, but it’s really up to you to know what you want to get out of the photoshoot.  As someone who would really have much rather had someone telling me what to do when I’m a newbie that was a stressful lesson.  But a photographer can’t tell you what to do with your expression (technically they can, but not to achieve the effect you want) or how to best show off your character’s personality.
  4. Ask the people who know what they’re doing for advice.  A couple of my friends had a TON of cosplays they wore throughout the weekend and they made sure to get pictures of each one.  I sat to the edge of their shoots and asked as many questions as I could think of.  Cosplayers are a pretty welcoming group, on the whole, and they were both almost gleeful at the opportunity to pass on their wisdom.

Do you have more advice for first time/beginner cosplayers who want to get pictures?  Have any stories about your first time?  Or pictures!  Share them in the comments.

P.S.  Just about at 9k words right now.  Progress?

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