Do you want to be a cosplay model?
When you see professional cosplayers on social media showing their beautiful cosplays, it definitely inspires a lot of cosplayers to do the same. Whether it’s looking amazing on camera, or making money doing what you love, being a cosplay model looks fun! But how do you go about doing that? We’ll find out here!
How to be a cosplay model?
Believe it or not, but being a cosplay model is not something out of reach! Many cosplayers who knew nothing about sewing or modeling started from “the bottom” and worked their way up and now look as great as the professional cosplayers. By practicing your craft such as learning how to pose and knowing what makes a top quality cosplay, you’ll soon be on your own way to becoming a cosplay model. If you want to make money as a cosplayer, it definitely takes a lot of commitment and work to grow your followers in order for them to be willing to support your hobby financially.
In this post, I’ll show you 15 tips on how to be a cosplay model. From just looking better on camera, to actually becoming a cosplayer that makes money, you’ll find these tips useful for your journey to becoming a successful cosplay model.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Learning how to pose on camera
This is one of the most important aspects about learning how to cosplay model. Learning how to pose will definitely make you look better on camera. There are a lot of aspects when it comes to posing, such as: knowing your best angles, using the best facial expressions for you and using your environment to your advantage.
Although these skills take time to learn, the best way to get better at posing is by practicing time and time again. The more cosplay photoshoots you do, the better you will become at posing! And this is important in becoming a cosplay model.
2. Learning how to use makeup
Learning how to use makeup can drastically improve your looks on camera and help you become a better cosplay model! Ever wonder how a cosplayer can look so flawless in photos? A lot of that has to do with the makeup they use. There are a lot of aspects when it comes to cosplay makeup, and I have a complete guide on it here: https://rogersenpai.com/cosplay-makeup-tips/
I will say this though. You yourself don’t have to be an expert at cosplay makeup. While I highly recommend using makeup to help improve your look as a cosplay model, you can always get someone to do it for you if you don’t know how on your own. We have wonderful and talented makeup artists for hire that are always willing to help!
So if you want to be a cosplay model, adding makeup is one of the easiest ways to do so!
3. Make sure the cosplay fits great on you
One aspect of looking like a great cosplay model is doing your best to make sure the cosplay fits really nice on you. It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are, having a costume that fits perfectly, will definitely look better on you. And that’s just in general, whether with cosplay or regular clothing. If the cosplay looks too big or small on you, it’ll definitely show on camera and not look as well as if it was fitted more properly.
The best way to make sure you get the right size is by taking your body measurements and recording it down. And whether you’re making your own costume or buying it online or getting it commissioned, knowing your measurements will ensure you get one that fits as best as possible.
4. Find the photographer(s) that best complements your cosplay modeling style
So we did the best we could on our part to ensure we look as good as a cosplay model! Now the next thing is finding the right photographer for you.
In my experience, every photographer is different and finding the right photographer is better for you, not necessarily the best photographer. It’s important to find a photographer who fits your style and makes you feel good and comfortable during a photoshoot. While doing your part in making your cosplay awesome is important, having a good photographer will make a huge difference on being a cosplay model.
So I suggest doing photoshoots with various photographers and who fits and makes you look best. It could take a while to find the right one(s), but once you do, you’ll have this aspect nailed down!
5. Prepare yourself for the cosplay photoshoot
Getting ready for the cosplay photoshoot beforehand will do wonders for your cosplay model! By being fully prepared, you’ll be doing yourself a favor in making you fabulous in those photos!
Here are some of the ways you can fully prepare for the shoot:
- Show up early. Believe it or not, showing up early can indirectly make you look better as a cosplay model! How? Giving yourself more time to get ready before the shoots means you can correct and fix some things, and lets you practice beforehand some of the things you need to do.
- Grooming. Be sure to do stuff like shave and cut your nails the day before so you’ll look as good/clean the next day.
- If you haven’t worn your cosplay for a while, be sure to iron it and clean it so it looks fresh and brand new.
- Any considerable of wig styling should be done now, so you don’t waste time doing so at the photoshoot
- If possible, put on your costume at home and see how you look in the mirror. If you see something is off, now is the perfect time fix it up.
- Download reference photos and practice posing. You don’t want to head into a photoshoot and hope you can “wing it.” Think of at least 3 different poses you can do for your photographer. I personally believe less than 5% of all the photos taking during a photoshoot will be excellent quality (e.g. if 100 photos are taken, fewer than 5 will be 10/10, or even 9/10). Therefore, doing different poses will increase your odds of landing that “perfect” photo!
Click here to check out this guide on how to do your best to prepare for a cosplay photoshoot: /
The following tips below don’t necessary make you a better cosplay model, but they sure make you look a lot better on camera, which will definitely help you!
6. Get the best quality materials for your cosplay
I say this from time and time again; the cosplay material quality will make a HUGE difference on looking like a cosplay model! If you’re using cheap materials (or if it looks like you bought a cheap costume), it will definitely show on camera. I know this kind of sucks if you’re a cosplayer on a budget. But don’t worry; I have money-saving tips to help you mitigate this.
The easiest and best way to get the highest quality is to get it commissioned. However, I know this isn’t a financially viable option for many cosplayers.
So the next best thing you can do is ensuring you use the right materials for cosplay.
Here are some good cosplay materials to use:
- Spandex: very flexible, resistant to liquids such as water and it dries easily
- EVA Foam: Almost as good as Worbla for armor but much more affordable and certainly better than cardboard! Looks even better on an aspiring cosplay model like you!
- Cotton: Cotton is just great for everything
I like this article about which materials are great for cosplay.
On the other hand, here are some not-so-great materials for cosplay:
•Satin – in general, satin is great for regular clothing. But it tends to look bad on cosplays. And it’s very difficult to use on cosplay. So try to stay away from using satin on your costumes if possible.
•Polyester – I know that polyester is great for keeping you warm in the winter! But it doesn’t look too good on cosplays because it’s so shiny and kind of bland-looking. That’s the kind of stuff that Halloween stores tend to use. So avoid polyester!
•Tablecloth – works great for keeping your dinner table clean. Not so good for looking great in cosplay!
7. Adding props to your cosplay look
One quick and easy way to make yourself look better as a cosplay model is just simply adding some props to your cosplay. Whether it’s a few bracelets on your wrists, some embroidery on your costume or carrying a weapon that’s relevant to your character, these few accessories can really make your cosplay look a lot better!
A good example in my opinion is with my Marth cosplay from Fire Emblem. It was decent on its own. But when I commissioned his legendary sword and added it with me to conventions, it made my cosplay stand out a lot more! I was getting a lot more photo requests when I was carrying my Falchion sword with me.
So if your character carries a weapon or a cool-looking accessory, you should consider making that on top of your cosplay. It’ll definitely improve your look!
How to make money as a cosplay model
So you want to earn money as a cosplay model? As mentioned in the beginning of this article, it’s definitely not easy and takes a lot of work to do so. But once you’ve established yourself, you’ll find these various methods to make money as a cosplay model.
Professional cosplayers and models not only rely on social media not only to reach their audience, but to also earn money. There are various ways for a cosplayer to earn money using all the different social media platforms. None are easy; they take time and dedication to build an audience willing to pay to see your cosplay work!
9. Start a Patreon account
One of the most popular ways for cosplayers to engage their audience, Patreon is a platform for cosplayers.
Patreon is basically a subscription service; your fans and followers pay you a monthly fee and in return, you offer cosplay content. What cosplay content, you ask? Well, that’s up to you.
It could be a costume tutorial, prints and posters of your cosplay photos, exclusive content and more. And it doesn’t have to be one price either; you can have different price levels with more content for those who pay more. Patreon has been a reliable platform for professional cosplayers and models for years now!
10. Having a large ENGAGED following on Instagram or Facebook
While having a cosplay Facebook or Instagram account alone won’t make a cosplayer money, having a large following will definitely open a lot of doors for you! And no, they can’t be fake followers you bought on Fiverr; they have to be real!
When you have a lot of followers, then you can do things like: advertise cosplays from costume stores, be part of paid sponsorships by companies who are looking for influencers, do paid share-for-share posts, and more.
Engagement is crucial!
But again, you need an engaged audience. Hence the reason why I emphasized “engaged” audience in the heading above. Having a couple million followers on Facebook or on Instagram is pointless is none of them are viewing, liking, commenting on your photos and not responding to your call-to-action.
Again, this is not easy to do because it takes a long time and dedication to get a large, organic following on social media. But once you have some clout and reach, you’ll have more opportunities as a cosplayer to make money.
11. Be a Twitch streamer
Wouldn’t it be awesome to combine two of your favorite hobbies to earn money…cosplay and gaming?! Well, that’s how Twitch can work.
While I have no experience using Twitch, I know that a lot of cosplayers are making money doing cosplay Twitch streams. Like Patreon and other social media platforms, Twitch involves a lot of time and dedication. And you’ll need to be gaming pretty often to make it worthwhile, and it helps have a unique personality or look, so that people would want to watch you play video games for hours on end!
I wanted to mention OnlyFans as another method that cosplayers make money, for those who are comfortable putting out “spicy” content!
12. Start a YouTube channel
Video content is the future, and YouTube is leading the way, especially for cosplayers. By creating cosplay-related YouTube videos and getting a lot of views, not only will you earn money directly from ad revenue but you’ll also have an engaged audience who will click on your products and services as well off YouTube.
So what type of cosplay content should you do on YouTube? There are lots of options, including:
- Tutorials (how-to make something, makeup tutorials for some of your cosplays)
- Commentary (e.g. tell us how it’s like to be a cosplay model!)
- Cosplay Music Videos (like this one)
- Cosplay advice (e.g. your firsthand experience with things)
- Random stuff (I know a lot of cosplayers who just talk about random stuff and their audience loves it!)
13. Take on Cosplay Commissions
You can earn a decent amount of money by making costumes and props for other Cosplayers! As mentioned in a previous article I did about buying cosplays; the fact is that not all cosplayers are able to sew or craft their own costumes. So this is where you come in to help these aspiring cosplayers out. With your reputation as a wonderful cosplay model, you’ll have a brand name that will resonate with many customers.
As cosplay gets becomes even bigger than before, there’s going to be even more demand for cosplay commissions. So if you have the time and skill, you can definitely make some decent cash by accepting cosplay commissions.
On the downside however, this type of work is labor-intensive and fairly time-consuming. Taking on cosplay commissions isn’t something that isn’t going to make you rich by any means. So pick and choose which cosplay commissions you want to do, so you don’t overload yourself!
14. Appearing as a guest at cosplay conventions
If you’re a cosplay model with a large following, you can get paid to show up at conventions! However, of all the methods here, I’d say this is the most difficult. For many cosplayers (even the professional one), the convention organizers will only pay for your flight/transportation to and from the con, as well as lodging and food.
But unless you’re a big name cosplayer like Jessica Nigri or Yaya Han and can draw a huge attendee following, they probably won’t pay you to be there. But hey! A free convention is not a bad thing. I would certainly love a free ticket to a con; that would be awesome!
I personally know quite a few cosplayers who were invited as guests for the convention, and it’s pretty cool the perks you get. Even I was a guest at a con once; I love the free stuff I got for showing up. And of course, it’s always fun to be a con, so why not?
15. Selling prints of your cosplay photos
Lots of cosplay models sell prints of their cosplay photos.
If you’ve ever been to a dealers room at an Anime convention, you’ve probably notice that cosplayer sell prints. Well, that’s one way they earn income; selling photos of their cosplay on a poster or calendar. Maybe you’re not a celebrity or a supermodel. That’s okay. As long as you have your loyal fans and treat them well, they would be more than happy to buy a poster or calendar featuring you. Lots of cosplayers do this and it’s a successful method for cosplayers to earn money.
Just be sure you have permissions or the rights from your photographer to sell the photos.
To summarize, here are the 15 ways you can work your way to become a cosplay model:
- Learning how to pose on camera
- Learning how to use makeup
- Make sure the cosplay fits great on you
- Find the photographer(s) that best complements your cosplay modeling style
- Prepare yourself for the cosplay photoshoot
- Get the best quality materials for your cosplay
- Adding props to your cosplay look
- Growing your social media
- Start a Patreon account
- Having a large following on Instagram or Facebook
- Be a Twitch streamer
- Start a YouTube channel
- Take on Cosplay Commissions
- Appearing as a guest at cosplay conventions
- Selling prints of your cosplay photos
And there you have it; 15 tips on how to be a cosplay model.
I hope you found this post useful. And I hope I get to see you as a cosplay model on social media and even as a guest at a convention. Do you want to be a cosplay model? Let me know in the comments!
My name is Roger Senpai. I’m a cosplayer that’s been in the community for well over a decade now. I’ve traveled all over the world to Anime and Comic conventions and hosted my own cosplay events. Now I’m writing articles for new and experienced cosplayers like you to help inspire, save you money and improve your cosplays!