I don’t know about you but for me, it’s hard to get good cosplay photos. And I’ll explain why in this post. But before we do, let me tell you my experience.

Having doing some recent cosplay photoshoots myself and seeing the results, I can now appreciate the work and effort that many cosplayers take to get great photos. Because honestly, it is pretty tough! Like I mention in a previous post (link), there’s a lot of nuance that goes into making cosplay look good on you. Not only that, there are also external factors that could influence how you look in the photos too.

And for me personally, I’m just not photogenic at all. I may be the biggest critic but I don’t say that to insult myself; that’s just how it’s been for me. So to add that on top of things, it’s pretty much difficult to get good cosplay photos from me!

In this post, let’s talk about 5 reasons how it takes a lot of effort to get good cosplay photos:

1. Costume

I’ve noticed with awesome cosplay photos, the costumes themselves look amazing as well. There’s a lot to making a costume looking nice. But in general: using the right materials, making sure the cosplay fits and is the right size for you and the attention to detail. All these little things add up to make a wonderful costume.

If you make your own cosplays, then you have a lot of control over this. If you buy your costumes, then it can be good or bad, depending on the make. But let’s say the costume maker screwed up one of the sleeves. Or the pants look like garbage. Then it’ll definitely stick out in the photo like a sore thumb.

2. Your own posing and modeling skills

Photo by C. Fountainstand. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

When a cosplayer knows how to pose, it makes a HUGE difference in the quality of photos. Of course, I’m not saying all cosplayers are expert models. But knowing which angles and poses flatter you the best will make your cosplay photos look a lot better. Again, it’s something I appreciate more now that I’ve been cosplaying for a while. I’ve noticed a lot of my friends who have cosplayed for several years, have gotten really good at posing. They’ve practiced and experimented so much, they know what’s best for them. Practice really does make perfect.

3. Any little thing can mess it up

For me, I’m really nitpicky about the little things in my cosplay photos that make it look worse! Whether it’d be my costume part facing the wrong way, the wing blowing my wig or someone photobombing me, to me it makes the photo look not as good. And trust me, when you’re doing a photoshoot outside or in public, there’s a LOT that can go wrong. So when a cosplayer is able to achieve a perfect photo with the right pose, it really makes things look so much better. Even more so when it’s by accident (e.g. funny photo).

Yes I know Photoshop exists to correct these little blemishes. But most of the time, you can tell when a photo is heavily edited. I don’t know…I feel like it’s not the same.

So the next time you see an awesome cosplay photo on social media, definitely appreciate how much effort it took, as well as the good luck needed to make sure nothing went wrong during that pose!

4. Makeup

Having cosplay makeup will make your overall presentation look so much better in photos and in person! It can do things such as hide blemishes, accentuate your jawline (a good thing) and of course make you look pretty! I have an entire guide on how to do cosplay makeup from start to finish. But if you’re not comfortable wearing makeup, then I wouldn’t worry about it.

Cosplay makeup brings the finishing touches to your look, and your character to life. Just like prop making, sewing, or photo editing; cosplay makeup is an important part of the process that comes with practice and experimenting. I know a lot of my cosplay friends sometime spend HOURS at a convention just doing their cosplay makeup. It’s a lot of effort to use cosplay makeup and look fabulous with it. If you do decide to go for cosplay makeup, remember to give yourself plenty of time, use reference photos, and plan ahead! Whether you’re going to a con or self-shooting in your backyard, your cosplay makeup skills can be an important part of your costume.

5. Photographer

Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

Last but not least, we have the cosplay photographer, the person who will take your photo for you. I always say that finding the right photographer for you is more important than finding the best photographer in general. Because every photographer is different, and their style may or may not fit you the way you want.

I have a theorycraft to why your selfies sometimes get more likes sometimes than a full-on photoshoot. Why? Because you know your best angles and weaknesses out of any other person on Earth. So while you may be taking a quick selfie in the mirror, subconsciously you’re taking a photo using your best angle, best facial expression and taking it with the most comfortable person; yourself!

With that in mind, when you actually get amazing photos from a cosplay photographer, it truly is a work of art between you and the photographer. So don’t think hiring a super photographer instantly means = amazing cosplay photos. There’s a lot more that goes into it.

That’s my rant for the day. When I see amazing photos on social media, I definitely appreciate them more. While the cosplayer may look like they didn’t put much effort into it, I’m sure they spent a lot of time, research and practice into crafting that awesome cosplay photo.

What do you think of all this? Let me know in the comments below!


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