Free cosplay photos of yourself!

If you’re a cosplayer who regularly posts on social media, you know how important it is to have lots of cosplay photos of yourself. While it’s great there are cosplay photographers that will help you do that, we don’t always have the money to consistently book professional photoshoots. So perhaps you want to look for ways to get more photos without breaking the bank. If that’s the case, then keep reading on.

In this post, I’ll give you 5 ways you can get more cosplay photos for free! That way, you can expand your photo portfolio and have more photos to share!

NOTE:  This is NOT a post to discourage shooting with cosplay photographers. In fact, I made an entire article about why cosplay photographers are awesome and essential to the cosplay community. This post is only to supplement what cosplayers can have in their portfolio. It’s not a replacement to what cosplay photographers do!

Of course, I know you’re looking to save money, and Senpai is always here to help you do that! If you are looking for free photos, here are a few ways to do it:

1. Setup a home studio to take cosplay photos

All you need is a phone and tripod and you’re good to go! Image by MD SHAHIN SHAH SHAHIN from Pixabay.

Yes, you can setup your own home photography studio, and for cheap. This is the best way for you to consistently get photos for free and at high quality! It can be as budget-friendly as having your smartphone camera with a delayed timer, or as expensive as buying a DSLR camera with elaborate backdrops. The choice is up to you.

Every cosplayer has a different budget. Maybe you have an awesome DSLR camera that takes top notch pictures. Or you’re a broke cosplayer and the only way you can take photos is with your smartphone. It doesn’t matter. As long as you have something that takes photos, you’re good to go!

Generally speaking, here are the things you need to setup a home photography studio:

  • Camera (whether that be a DSLR or your smartphone)
  • Tripod to hold your camera and take delayed shots
  • Lighting (e.g. ringlight)
  • Optional: backdrop
  • Optional: reference photos

Not only is a home studio budget-friendly and free, you also can take your time setting up, practicing and getting the right photos! I know a lot of cosplayers who take a lot of home studio photos. If you see an Instagram feed with the same lighting and mostly portrait shots, chances are that they’re using their home studio.

If you want more information on how to setup your home studio, click here to check out my guide!

2. Look for Time-For-Pay (TFP) photographers

Many beginner photographer will trade time-for-pay (TFP). So you can get free cosplay photos while they get experience! Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

Like many cosplayers who are just starting out, there are also cosplay photographers in the same boat! And they’re not looking to make money off the bat; they’re looking to get experience. In other words, they’re looking to trade time-for-pay to get that experience, which means they’ll shoot cosplayers for free! This is where you can come in and be their subject to practice their photos on.

If you just want some free photos, then this opportunity is perfect for you and the photographer. It’s a win-win situation. Although the photos won’t be as good as an experienced photographer, who cares? You just want some photos for your Instagram, so lower your standards!

3. Attend group photoshoots that the convention has scheduled

I got this photo with Klee by simply heading to a convention!

Another easy and free way to get cosplay photos if you’re already attending a con – attend the group photoshoots! Almost every large convention will have timeslots for cosplays from various fandoms to meet up and take photos with each other.

For example, if you’re cosplaying from Fire Emblem, there will probably be a photoshoot scheduled for Fire Emblem cosplayers. Here is where you can get not only free photos from other cosplayers, but you can also take some shots with cosplayers from the same series! Definitely do not miss out on this opportunity.

4. Search for hallway photos of yourself during the con

I found this cool photo of myself at Anime North on Facebook. Of course, I asked the photographer permission to share this. 🙂

If your cosplay is popular at a convention and people are asking to take a picture of you, chances are that you’ll see those photos pop up online. A lot of these attendees or hallway photographers will post them on social media. Either you can find these photos by

  • Searching through Facebook groups related to the convention (e.g. if the convention is Anime North, look for Anime North groups)
  • Using hashtags related to the character you cosplayed OR the convention itself (e.g. If you cosplayed Love Live!, at Anime North, try searching for hashtags such as #lovelivecosplay and #animenorth.

Chances are, you might find an amazing hallway photo of yourself online! If that’s the case, then ask whoever took that photo if you can share it on your social media. And congratulations, you have some more photos in your arsenal. 🙂

Have a friend take some photos of you during the con. Pretty self-explanatory.

5. Take selfies!

Shield Hero cosplay
You most likely have a smartphone, so take a bunch of selfies…you might end up with one that turns out good!

Of course, how else can we end this list with the easiest way to get photos of yourself…selfies! Whenever you’re feeling good in cosplay and want to snap a photo, take a quick selfies.

I find the best time to take a selfie is when you’re getting your cosplay ready and about to head out of your hotel and towards the con. My advice: Take a selfie of your cosplay before you head out. Get a few quick pics of your brand new cosplay outfit before you head out before the con. Honestly, some of my lame bathroom selfies get more likes and engagement than my photoshoot pics. I think it’s because we know our best angles and poses, so it’s easier to get a great shot of a selfies than a full-on shoot.


To summarize, here are the 5 ways to get free cosplay photos of yourself:

  1. Setup a home studio to take cosplay photos
  2. Look for Time-For-Pay (TFP) photographers
  3. Attend group photoshoots that the convention has scheduled
  4. Search for hallway photos of yourself during the con
  5. Take selfies!

And there you have it; 5 ways to get free cosplay photos of yourself. And of course, remember that while selfies and free photos are good, but cosplay photographers are even better! 🙂 This is just a list to supplement what you already should be doing with cosplay photographers!

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