How to prepare for a photoshoot as a cosplayer

Hey folks! It’s great to see you back on my blog again. In this post, we are going to talk about how you best prepare and revise yourself for and after a photoshoot as a cosplayer. To compose this post, I gathered information from befriended cosplayers, convention talks combined with my own experiences and enriched with some information from online research. Let’s get into it!

> General preparations before a photoshoot

After you found a photographer, familiarized yourself with his photography and editing style and agreed on a location, date and time for your shooting, it’s important that you finish (yes, obviously… ) or repair your costume and wig in time – and by that I really recommend you to not “shoot-crunch” the costume. It is best if you have some spare days before the photoshoot, so you can still do a makeup test and add final touches to the costume.

Look for reference pictures and poses or note your ideas that you want to capture during the photoshoot (not every photographer is well prepared) and share and discuss them with your photographer in beforehand, so he is prepared for what style and ideas you’re up to. Also, don’t hesitate to ask questions, if there are any.

As already mentioned, it is highly recommendable to do a makeup test before the shooting (in case you never did the makeup before). After you’re done, take some selfies so you know if you like the outcome on the actual images – if you don’t, you’re aware of it and can still change it.

I experienced some of my models struggling with their poses and facial expressions. The best way to meet this uncertainty is… practice! (Yes, I know you don’t want to hear but it always comes down to actual work… ). But hey, put on your costume and makeup and practice in front of a mirror. Ideally let your friends, family or girl-/boyfriend take pictures of you to see how it looks on camera – the mirror outcome is not accurately the same as on pictures, even if it is ‘just’ a smartphone! This is the best way to find out your ‘best side’ and to gain a better body-awareness.

Furthermore, it is convenient to have a friend with you who assists you with carrying your cosplay stuff or dressing up at the location. He/She can also have a third pair of eyes on you and check if your cosplay fits, your wig is in place and to avoid hair strains covering your face when they shouldn’t etc.

Finally, some bureaucratic stuff: if the photographer provides you with his model release in beforehand, print and fill it in and bring it with you. If you’re having a paid photoshoot, make sure to pay your bills in beforehand or bring it in cash. The best way might be to put it in an envelope and include the model release, seal it and label it with your name and the character’s name to bring it with you to the shooting or convention.

 

> The day before the photoshoot

Put all costume parts, makeup and additional stuff to eventually fix your costume/wig (hairspray, brush, pocket mirror, super glue, gaffer tape, scissors etc.) in place so you can start your shooting day without ruffle and stress the next morning.

Prepare and pack all props and accessories (such as candles, backdrops, flowers, scrolls, smoke bombs, lighter, balloons, paper sheets, fairy lights, books etc.) that add up, complete your character and create a certain ambience in the images.

Confirm the exact time and location for your meetup with the photographer and print the details or write them down so if you have any cell phone crash, you don’t end up desperate.

Take a shower and wash your hair either the evening before or the morning of the photoshoot so they are clean and free from hair products (in case you’re using your natural hair). If needed, put on some nail polish and shave your legs.

If you shoot a cosplay that requires a lot of makeup, put on a face mask or use skin cream on the day to make sure your skin doesn’t get too hydrated during the next day. If your elbows and knees are visible when wearing your costume moisturize them the day before.

Depending on your character, you could also watch your favorite episodes, listen to the appropriate soundtrack or even watch the movie to get into the mood of your character.

Go to bed early to avoid rings under the eyes and set your alarm for the next morning and keep in mind to schedule enough time to prepare yourself so you have an easy-going drive to the location.

 

> At the day of the photoshoot

As mentioned above, get up as early as needed to prepare in a relaxed manner. While you put your makeup and wig on, you could listen to some music related to your character to already set your mind and mood for being him/her.

Make sure you bring along all needed ‘ingredients’ for your shooting that you have packed the day before, such as:

  • Costume & Wig
  • Makeup, repair stuff (see above)
  • Accessories and props
  • Water and some small snacks
  • Model release (pay shooting, if not already paid in advance)
  • Reference images
  • Extra pair of normal clothes and shoes
  • Blanket for warming up

During the photoshoot, it is all about communication. If the photographer wants you to pose in a way that you don’t want to or for some reason can’t do, such as climbing up a rock or any offending poses, tell him/her. If you are hungry, thirsty or need a break – tell him/her. If you’re cold, take a break and warm yourself up with tea/coffee and a blanket.
If you have own ideas coming up your mind, let him/her know as well. Remind the photographer to show you the images on camera from time to time – to be honest, we sometimes are just so excited about the light and the pose and everything, we just forget to show them to you (at least this counts for me).

 

> After the photoshoot

Something, I really enjoy doing after a photoshoot is having lunch, dinner or coffee together. 🙂

But back to the actual tasks: if there are any remaining questions, sort them out. Then drive home safely, relax and enjoy the rest of the day! If you had a shooting during cold weather, make sure to take a bath or have a hot shower right after you got home so you don’t get sick! Depending on the amount of makeup, your skin might be thankful for some care as well.

And then, it all comes down to patiently wait for the final images from the photographer. 🙂

 

In this blog post, I left out the details on how to find a suitable location, what you need to check before going there etc. I already covered the details in my blog post on how to prepare for a photoshoot as a photographer. If you are interested, please check it out here.
That’s it – I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and you could take away at least some new preparation ideas. If you have any further tips or tricks you want to tell me, please comment below or send me a message on Instagram, Facebook or via email.

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