Just some helpful hints from your friendly neighborhood cosplay model, Mala Foxx.
- Arrive early and ready to go! I recommend that you give yourself an extra 10 or 15 minutes to get ready in case you run into make up issues. If you know you will need to change once you get to the location allow yourself enough time for this.
- Have a light and healthy meal/snack before. I like to have a banana and Greek yogurt. Apples with peanut butter are a good per shoot snack too.
- If you will be doing an all day shoot make sure you have snacks and water. Modeling takes a lot of energy and can be draining. If you let yourself get too drained this shows in photos.
- Have about 10 poses planned a head of time. These can be recognizable poses of the character or original poses. I recommend a combination. It wouldn’t hurt to have reference material to show the photographer. Especially if you want a particular scene from a comic or movie. This will help you both be on the same page.
- Practice your poses and faces in front of the mirror.
- Be open to photographer suggestions about location, angles, and action poses. If they are making suggestions to your poses or where to look it is because they are trying to help get the best shot possible. If it weren’t for Missa Zane helping with costume adjustments and the photographer taking the time to suggest moving my limbs or pointing my toes this awesome shot would not exist. Note: Just because a pose feels good to you does not mean it look good on camera!
- Action poses are difficult to get! If you want to get some of these make sure the photographer is aware of this. If you have a limited time slot with a photographer I do not recommend trying for these types of shots. I have spent 30 minutes trying to get one shot before. Sadly, I cannot show you the result due to not having permission to release the photos from the photographer. I can show you these two of my Mystique with Anna Belle as Rogue from X-Men!
- If you have a prop make sure to get pictures using it. I also suggest getting some pictures without it!
- If you can have music playing during the shoot than do! But make sure it will help with energy levels or embodying the character you are portraying. Even if it is only when you are doing your make up. For example, I listened to heavy metal while preparing for my Steampunk Snow White shoot. The reason I chose this type of music is because this characters inspiration comes from the though, “I don’t need a hunter or a prince to save me.” The band I chose tends to make me feel empowered.
- Have make up and an emergency costume kit in case you need them!
- If you are shooting on location make sure your shoes allow you to walk. Or that you bring ones to use. For example, I did pictures of my R2Dtutu in a swampy forest areas. My shoes for the costume were pointe shoes. Not the best for walking in the outdoors! Even indoors is difficult in these after a while. I used a pair of rain boots between locations.
- If you can’t get into your costume alone have a friend with you. Depending on where you are shooting the photographer may have to worry about lighting and it is not their responsibility to dress you.
- Remember when scheduling photo shoots that each photographer will have a different skill set. Some can do action shots, well others excel at using a green screen and editing. And others can compose shots beautifully and artistically. Still others take an organic approach letting things develop the shoot goes. Always look through a photographer’s work to see if their skill and style works for your goal of the shoot.
- If you want the best photographers you are going to have to pay. Don’t get mean about it if someone wants to charge you. Guess what, that is most likely their job and only source of income. If you don’t want to pay than you will have to work with someone starting out. These people are usually willing to do free shoots to build their skills and portfolios.
- Also, don’t be offended if a photographer doesn’t want to work with you. I have been turned down even though I was offering to pay because what I wanted was not something the photographer was interested in.
- Last but not least, make sure to give credit where credit is due!!! Do not erase or crop out watermarks without permission.
What are somethings that have been helpful for you at photo shoots?