Sew Easy Costumes (Part 5): Taking Great Costume Photos

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If you happen to go to a convention while dressed in cosplay, there’s a good chance that someone might want to take your picture! You worked hard on your costume, so now it’s time to show it off. But what’s the best way to show off all that work? Here are a few tips and tricks to get the most out of a cosplay photograph from Epic Cosplay Costumes [link: purchase site] author and award-winning cosplayer Kristie “Karmada” Good.

Location, Location, Location 

You may be asked for a photo in an area that’s full of people. Don’t stop in the middle of hallways, instead, move to the side or to a more open area.

Look for Lighting

The lighting in hallways is usually terrible for photos. One way to help is to avoid overhead lighting. Also check for windows (if light is coming through the window at your back, you’ll photograph as a dark blob). Outside, angle your front to where the sun is coming from so your face can be seen.

No Requirements

Just because you’re in a costume doesn’t mean you have to stop for photo requests. There’s also the chance an attendee might ask you to pose in a way you’re not comfortable with or want to post with you. Feel free to say no.

Strike a Pose

Come up with a couple of photo-friendly poses ahead of time to use when getting your picture taken. Rather than just standing there, you want to look like the character come to life!

Illustration by Kristie Good

Tips for a Photo Friendly Pose

Just what is a “photo-friendly” pose? It’s a pose that will show off important aspects of your costume without covering up anything accidentally, hiding personal information like badges and bags, and giving a 10-second overview of what the character is like.

  • Always hide your badge for photos if possible. Either tuck it into parts of your costume or slide it to the backside. If you have a friend or handler, they can hold your badge along with any extra bags to keep unwanted clutter out of the photo!
  •  For a good view of your costume, you can face at a slight angle from the photographer, but make sure your torso is turned more towards the camera.
  • Avoid covering your face with your hands (unless that’s an in-character pose) or accidentally covering large parts of your costume with props. If your character holds a prop or arm in an action pose, don’t have it point directly at the camera. You’ll want to move that prop or arm to a slight angle so the photographer can get both the hand/prop as well as your arm. This also helps prevent you from accidentally covering up your face!
  • Not sure how to pose? Start with character archetypes. If your character is strong or outgoing, stand with your legs apart and hands on hips. For shyer characters hold your arms and legs closer to your body, tilt your head down a little, or slouch your shoulders. If a character has a signature pose do that!
  • You worked hard on your costume, so make sure to show it off so everybody can get a good souvenir! Not only will the photographers have good memories of the photos, if you’re lucky they’ll put their photos in an online gallery and then you’ll have a nice photo memory too.

For complete easy sew costumes directions and tips on attending cosplay conventions, check out Epic Cosplay Costumes.


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