Don’t Forget to Have Fun
All the normal photography rules with regards to composition and lighting apply, but everyone has read about those a million times and frankly they are a distant second to the more important element: the subject.
Content is king, and in this case, the content is cosplay – literally “costume play”. Your subject has the costume, so you concentrate on the “play” part. Let your subject be the character as an actor would. Give them scenarios to play out and have fun with it. Don’t pose; direct.
Props are a great way to help you and your subject get into character, and give their hands something to do. They’re also a good way to start crafting a story. What are they doing? Shooting a gun, protecting a gem, analyzing an orb or fixing a bike? Especially for people not used to being in front of the camera, crafting a story is a great way to get them in the right mindset.
Let the setting be a character your subject can play off of. Engaging with your surroundings grounds your subject and makes them feel like they are part of a bigger world. Don’t be afraid to really pull back and let your setting take center stage to help tell a larger story.
Too many people nowadays forget the “play” part of cosplay, so when taking pictures this Halloween, don’t forget to have fun with it.
Bonus Tip: When possible, use music to set the mood. If shooting the Guardians of the Galaxy, how can you not have the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack playing?
Based in: London, U.K.
Shoots with: Canon 5D Mark II. I own a few different lenses, but it’s my 50mm f/1.4 Sigma that I use the most.
Has been shooting: For over six years