How to prepare for a Cosplay photoshoot

This article is submitted by Lisa, she is also one of our convention reporters! Submit your article to us to get sponsor by miccostumes.com

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Hey everyone!

I always get a lot of questions regarding on how to prepare yourself for a cosplay shooting – as a beginner. As some of you know, I am neither a model nor a beauty who loves to stick around cameras. Actually, I still feel a little uncomfortable at photoshootings.

If you are new to cosplay, a little shy and have little to no experience at standing in front of a camera, this guide will be perfect for you.
Everyone else probably won’t learn anything new. Let’s start then, shall we? ^_^

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Planning ahead

First of all, if you don’t know the photographer all that well, ask a friend you trust to come along with you on the date of the shooting.
If he’s a complete stranger, I also recommend bringing a tfp (time for prints) contract with you. Here’s a template: http://dpanswers.com/forms/contract_tfp.html
This is a basic contract usually used by amateur models to agree on the terms that the models as well as the photographer has the rights on the pictures, but none is allowed to use them for commercial purposes.

Things you should also do are talking over what you expect from the shooting. The location is just a basic aspect. Do you want your character to appear evil? Sexy? Cute? Have you seen a special picture you would like to imitate? The more the photographer knows, the better he can prepare!

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Test your make up and some poses a few days before having your photos taken. Search fanarts of your character – you’ll get some of the best ideas for in-character poses there.

If you are insecure about a part of your body, you may want to tell the one taking your pictures. If they know, they can either help you to hide it or edit the pictures afterwards.

The day before

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Check if all parts of your cosplay are still okay. Anything missing? Wig styled?  Do you need to repair something? Also, try out all the poses you found by looking at fanarts in front of a mirror. Sometimes, it looks good as a drawing, but weird to do in real life.

At the shooting

Remember to eat and drink enough! Don’t underestimate a photoshooting – it can be very exhausting. If it is cold, never forget to bring a jacket or a blanket. If needed, ask the photographer for a break.If the photographer asks you to do a pose and you feel uncomfortable doing it – DON’T. If he is a professional, he will understand and drop the idea instantly. Remember that you’re doing this for fun – you don’t owe anyone anything!  :)


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Some basic model rules:

Use Make Up! The skin always shines in the light, so powdering it is a minimum to have natural-looking skin in the photos.
Chin up, shoulders down! Posture is very important. It is a part of being in-character, if your character is shy, try to pose that way. Also, always try to show off your cosplay! Avoid weird poses and gestures that hide your beautiful cosplay!
Always do something with your hands! Like fiddle with your hair, act like you’re looking in the sky, hold something you find on the location… Also, avoid doing the “peace” sign on every photo.
Try to act in character! Start thinking like your character and doing stupid stuff. I always got the best results while doing so. There can always be moments, when you can act funny and out of character for a couple of pictures, if you discuss it with your photographer.

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And the most important one: Have fun! 😀

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Exercise and diet for cosplay

Months before the con, as you’re planning your cosplay, set goals. Be realistic with yourself about what you have time to do and what will happen if you don’t reach your goals. We’ve all set weight loss goals that we didn’t reach. Will you have to give up this cosplay if you’re shy of your goal?

I made sure to exercise, cut soda, and carb cycle before showing more skin as Subaru.

When you decide on your costume, give yourself plenty of time to lose weight in a healthful, safe way. Crash diets don’t work. Most healthy weight loss should be less than two pounds in a week. There are ways to lose weight faster than that, but it’s hard to keep going for a long time.

These are the best ways I’ve found for getting in better shape for cosplay!

Set an exercise schedule and stick to it.

I don’t like to work out in the morning because I work over 10 hours a day and I need to be alert at work. Some people don’t like to work out at night because they’ll make excuses not to exercise. Whatever works for you, schedule that time and don’t make exceptions.

Include weight training in your exercise routine.

This is especially important for us women. Women have been told that using weights will make them bulky, and that’s simply not true. Women won’t gain muscle the same way that men can. By including simple free weight training in your exercise plans, you’ll burn more fat. This page is a much more detailed account of strength training that beginners can do. I also love these workouts because they’re geek-themed and use body weight to build strength.

Reward yourself for working out.

I’m talking about giving yourself a reason to exercise. Maybe consider only allowing yourself to watch a favorite show or movie when you’re working out. For example, I don’t re-watch old favorite anime unless I’m at the gym or lifting weights at home. Or let yourself get coffee or tea with a friend once a week only if you stick to your exercise routine.

Work out with friends or join a class.

Having a workout buddy makes you stay accountable. You won’t want to disappoint your friend or waste their time! You might even be able to work your chosen sport or activity into your cosplay. There are lots of sports anime like Kuroko’s Basketball, and plenty of popular characters are cheerleaders or martial artists. Check out activities at a gym, or see if a local school or community center offers classes like spinning, dance, or karate.

Myself and one of my Ellipsis Cosplay workout buddies. We worked out with my friends for two months prior to cosplaying Haseo and Tokio.

Replace a heavy breakfast with smoothies.

They help keep you hydrated, and you can taste something sweet without eating a lot of sugar or carbohydrates. Fruit is great, but consider adding green vegetables too! Most people don’t get enough servings of veggies. This is also a time-saving breakfast, so you’ll have more time to work on cosplay. If you need inspiration, check here and here for ideas of different drinks you can make for breakfast (or snacks).

Avoid salty foods.

They make you retain water! You don’t want to look bloated in your costume. You also need to stay hydrated so you don’t look and feel tired. Remember that your skin will show when you don’t get enough water, and salty foods don’t help!

Drink water.

Not soda, not coffee (unless it’s black), not juice. Drink lots and lots of water. Tea is fine too, as long as it’s unsweetened, because it has antioxidants. But water is what you should drink all day, every day. I try to drink a minimum of 2L (about half a gallon) of water daily.

Try carb cycling.

One of my best short-term weight loss strategies for cosplay is carb cycling. This is where you change your diet on a three-day cycle. On day one, you eat a normal amount of carbohydrates – whole grain breads, brown rice, and fruits especially. On day two, you eat a low-carb diet. On the third day, you eat no carbs and load up on protein. Then the cycle restarts. I lost about 8 lbs (3.5 kg) in just two weeks doing this. It’s not a long-term solution, but it does help you drop weight if you only have a little time.

My final thoughts.

Ultimately, you should cosplay what you want and be happy with your body. Don’t starve yourself (you’ll only retain weight when you do eat) or hurt yourself by overdoing exercise. When you get injured, it’s easy to talk yourself out of going to the gym again.

Even if what works best for you is walking or bicycling more often, that’s still more activity than you were getting before. Keep at it! You’ll see results. If you’re not seeing results, change something else and try again.

Don’t be afraid to be a cosplay nerd who works out!

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The great social network and apps for cosplayers and how to use them more effective

As a cosplayer, have you ever just wondered “Oh man, I wish I could meet more cosplayers and find out who likes what and who is going to the next convention”? Well I have too! But now there is no need to worry! Here are a few social media apps you can easily find cosplayers on! As a cosplayer, have you ever just wondered “Oh man, I wish I could meet more cosplayers and find out who likes what and who is going to the next convention”?

1.Instagram

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The popular Instagram, known for posting photos for all over the world! While it is not only for cosplayers, after just one search in the section using the hashtag ‘cosplay’ or ‘cosplayers’, you can find millions of cosplayers from all around the world! Leave a comment telling them how cute they look or how they look just like the character, and you’ll be friends in no time!! For more specific cosplays, just search for the name of the series you want to find a cosplay from followed by the world ‘cosplay’. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!You can download Instagram on Apple app store or other android app stores.

2.Cosplyr

Cosplyr is a social media site made exclusively by cosplayers for cosplayers! It has thousands of cosplayers already just looking to make friends. There are filter options that you can use to find someone of the same or opposite gender to be friends with and links to cosplay blogs or photos of other cosplayers so you can get some inspiration too.

3.Anime Amino

Anime Amino is available for iPhone and it is made for anime and cosplay fans from around the world. It’s perfect for anyone looking to make friends with others who like the same animes and cosplay the same characters or from the same series. You can share photos of your cosplay costumes and tell people on the app all about your convention experiences. It is a easy and unique from most apps because it is made specifically for anime fans.

4.Tumblr

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Tumblr is a popular blogging platform that comes with an app ready with all kinds of people and all different kinds of cosplayers. Tumblr is one of the biggest social media networks so there are millions of cosplayers on here. There are blogs full of helpful critique and sewing and prop-making techniques, as well as tons of friendly people who are only an ‘ask’ away. With it’s easy layout, making friends should happen in no time at all! Perfect for all those cosplayers who need some inspiration.

5.CosplayNet

CosplayNet, also known as The Cosplay Network, is a fast growing community for cosplayers. It is similar to instagram but made specifically for cosplayers. It’s perfect if you want to show off your beautiful new cosplay or even if you need help deciding on which cosplay to choose. You can just browse photos from other cosplayers or choose to submit your own. It has image editing, bookmarking for your favorite cosplayers, and private messaging. It even has an ‘offensive content blocker’. This app sounds like just the one you want if you’re trying to make new friends quickly. Avaliable on the iphone.

6.Cosplay Showcase

Just like the name, this app is for if you want to show off your great cosplay to others. It’s perfect for younger cosplayers if they just want to look at cute cosplays and get inspired to try to do one for themselves. Avaliable on the Android.

7.Cosplanner

This app is a life saver for cosplayers!! It helps you sort your cosplay plans into different sections from most important to future cosplans. You can type in the character and write down what you need to get and you can effectively cross off everything on your list until you’re all done. Everyone I know who cosplays has this app and it has done wonders for them! A must have for all cosplayers. Avaliable on the iphone and Android.

8.Facebook

Where would we be without one of the most original social media sites ever made? Facebook is used to keep in touch with old friends but you can also use it to make new ones, especially with all the suggested groups to join based on your area and interest. Facebook can connect you to other cosplayers in your area going to the same conventions you are so you can make friends before you go and you can have someone to talk about cosplay and convention plans with. Not to mention that most cosplayers and cosplay sites would love it if you ‘liked’ their page! You can upload cosplay/convention photos, make status messages, send instant messages and even join cosplay groups for more fun on your convention day.

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Interview with a Cosplayer: Tips and Tricks for a successful Interview

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Photo from Airlim

If you have ever interviewed a person before you know it’s nerve racking. You have to be constantly on your toes and respond to what the person you are interviewing says. You don’t want to offend them in anyway. Interviewing Cosplayers can be even more difficult. The interview can go so many ways that questions get left unanswered and it can turn into a mess. So to help those in need, Here are a few tips on interviewing cosplayers for a successful interview and a happy cosplayer.
Before interviewing the Cosplayers always ask a few questions to get to know them. You want to get a feel for what they are going to say so you can be more prepared. This also helps you avoid asking questions on subjects they do not wish to discuss. For example, If the cosplayer did not make their costume you dont want to ask them how they made it and possibly embarrass them. Some Cosplayers get sensitive on the subject. Then again if they have a very intricate cosplay you don’t want them to go on for 10 minutes explaining every detail. So ask about a certain piece or just the materials made.

Always brief the cosplayer what you will be asking them. You don’t want to put someone on the spot and make them uncomfortable. If you will be asking the cosplayer to say a line in character or to do a pose; let them know that ahead of time so they can think over what to do. Always ask what they are comfortable with doing or discussing. Crossing the line can turn an interview down the drain fast.
Convention interviews can get hectic. Everyone is on the go and probably won’t notice you are in the middle of interviewing someone. Try to find a corner where there is little people around to bother you or to disrupt noise. If you can’t find that then have a friend around to guard around the interview. Having someone walk through the shot or a person asking for the cosplayers picture can be disastrous. A guard will make sure your interview goes as smooth as possible.

The point is to make the cosplayer happy and comfortable. If you make sure the cosplayer is happy then they will give you a lot more energy. Here are some example Questions for you to ask for a successful interview. (Sectioned by category)

Costume: With each of these questions add a good comment before asking to show you are interested in and like their costume.

  • How did you make/where did you buy your costume?
  • How much time was spent making your costume costume?
  • What Material did you use for your costume?
  • What part of your costume was hardest to make?
  • How comfortable are you in your costume?
  • What site did you get your costume from?
  • Do you recommend that site to others looking to buy cosplays?

Series/Character: It is a lot better to discuss this if you are familiar with the series as well. If not keep to the simple questions and move on with the interview.

  • What are you cosplaying and what is it from?
  • Why did you pick this cosplay?
  • Do you have a special connection to the character?
  • Tell us about the series/game/movie your character is from?
  • Would you recommend this series/game/movie to other people to enjoy?
  • Is there another character from this series/game/movie you would cosplay?
  • Can you Make the best impression of your character?
  • Will you show us a few moves/poses in character?

Convention: These will be either general questions to start or end the interview.

  • Where are you from?
  • How long did it take to get to this convention?
  • Are you enjoying this convention?
  • Is this your First time or have you been to this convention multiple times?
  • What panels or events do you plan going to?
  • Are you planning on buying anything anything at the exhibitors hall?
  • Are you having fun?

Now you should be ready to have an awesome, fun, and successful cosplay interview! Just follow the tips, use a few of the questions, and have fun! If you are having a good time the cosplayer will. That’s the Best thing about cosplay. We are all geeks together who want to have fun and be happy. Your Interview should reflect that happiness.

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Tips for Finding Cosplay Photo Locations

I’ve been cosplaying for about ten years, so I’ve taken a lot of photos and had my photo taken a lot too. I’ve taken professional photos in my hometown and at conventions. I’ve taken random photos in con hallways, or photos that my friends came up with on the spur of the moment.

Outside the con setting, though, where do you go to get good photos of your cosplay?

Locations for Modern or Futuristic Costumes

My favorite location for a more modern cosplay photoshoot is any building with glassed windows. If they’re reflective, you can get some really cool “mirror” type shots as well. When I was cosplaying from the game S4 League, which has many urban settings, my friends and I found a building that matches this description.

In this photo: Leiko Yume Cosplay, Langarang Cosplay & Videography, and myself

Head downtown and take a walk. You’ll be surprised how many buildings have columns or steel railings for you to pose around. I’ve also seen a lot of cosplay videos and photos taken in empty levels of parking garages. The steel and concrete really fits with a modern cosplay look.

Locations for Darker or Horror Costumes

Parking garages are again, a great idea. It’s an enclosed space so you don’t have to worry about rain; it’s also a little darker and naturally grittier.

Find a wooded area in a local park or near a walking path. The shade can provide interesting light, and depending on the time of year, you can get really good spooky photos when leaves are falling and branches are bare. A lot of my Resident Evil cosplay photos were taken in a dark, shady corner of a park.

I don’t recommend cemeteries as photo locations, just because you don’t want to offend anyone who might be visiting a loved one’s grave there. I think you can get a similar look in a botanical or rose garden, especially if they have stone benches or plaques that could resemble headstones.

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