Cosplay Photography: A guide

Spiderman creative cosplay photography utilizing silhouettes and bokeh techniques

Cosplay is becoming increasingly popular, and along with social media growth, high-quality photography is a vital part of the hobby. Cosplayers often spend hours manufacturing accurate and stunning costume pieces, so it’s no surprise they’d want to document them in such a way. Cosplay photography can significantly extend your skills and enable you to have fun with creative shots and editing. This post will cover the benefits of adding cosplay photography to your resume and some tips to get the most out of it.

What is cosplay?

A portmanteau, literally translating to costume play, is dressing up as characters in pop culture. This can be anything from classic comic book characters to video game characters. Cosplaying is often found at events like comic conventions or as a social media hobby, with cosplayers reaching out through YouTube, TikTok or Instagram to share their designs.

How much can I earn from cosplay photography?

Cosplay photography earnings can be subjective. Many photographers do it for fun because of the freedom of creativity you can have from the shoot, as it allows for a lot of space within editing and the opportunity to try out new techniques. Those who offer their services for free often take their photography to conventions like comic con.

However, it does not mean that you can’t make a good income through cosplay photography. Cosplayers often seek photographers to help them create content for social media and request high-quality editing. Therefore, often they would be more than happy to pay for your services. Cosplay photography is a relatively new concept, so there is no fixed amount you should charge; most cosplay photographers offer packages for around £100-£200 an hour with additional costs for special effects editing.

What can I get out of Cosplay Photography?

Cosplay photography is the perfect way to experiment with your skills. Whether it be photography or editing. Cosplay has many themes and characters, making it ideal for trying out different poses or editing techniques. Many fantasy characters have elements that cannot be captured accurately through the cosplay itself; this could be lightsabers and lasers or the superpowers of a hero. This introduces a creative license to create these elements via photoshop and emphasize your graphic design skills.

Not only this but these photos are then utilized on social media. Benefiting you with a level of organic social media marketing and exposure when these images are shared and credited. Also, if you are shooting for fun and not for profit, you can decide if these images have your watermark. Again providing great marketing tools for your new business venture.

spiderman cosplayers walking through a shopping mall

How can I prepare for a cosplay shoot?

Discuss as much as you can with your cosplayer/client. Get to know what they want out of their photos. Getting to know the character more will allow you to translate the themes of the character and it’s environment from through photography. You may even want to research the character yourself, so that you can help put together ideas for the venue. (or even if the shoot would require a green screen)

You may even want to ask your cosplayer to put together a shot list, or a mood board for the sort of photos they want.

Harry potter themed cosplay photoshoot with two cosplayers dressed as Gryffindor's with detailed school backdrop and props

Overall, cosplay photography is a great way to learn more about editing and photographing people. Not only this, but it is a brilliant way to have more creative license with your work, refreshing each time.

Learn more about photography and how you can get involved and expand your skills with our other expertly crafted blogs.

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