Quality Pictures Without a Camera

Thursday, 20 May 2010, 12:00 | Author : Kricket
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As a cosplayer, I make it a priority to schedule an official “photo shoot” during each convention; this usually results in me wandering around the convention center and the surrounding streets as I search for a location.  Ideally, your photo shoots would be scheduled during the first day of the convention, when your costume is at its best, and taken with your own camera.  It’s also easier to capture the “perfect” pose in the “perfect” lighting when you bring along a group of artistically-inclined friends.  Even though I want my costume to be seen and acknowledged, I would say that first and foremost, I make my costumes for my own pleasure.  The photographs I take of my costume are the only lasting testament to months of preparation and they provide an artistic outlet when I’m struggling with after-con depression.

The camera that we use is a Nikon D60 digital camera, which takes large, high-quality photographs.  It is a D-SLR model, with an 18-55 mm lens, pop-up flash, and 10 megapixels.  I would recommend this camera for anyone with the money to buy it. However, I realize that many people have a limited budget for cosplay and anime conventions, so I would like to share with you some other possible photo opportunities if you are unable to afford a professional-grade camera.

Before Amitie and I purchased our camera, we would spend hours searching the internet for cosplay pictures taken by amateur photographers after each convention.  Even though the pictures were taken in bad lighting with poor composition, we were excited if we could find even one picture.  And yet, the convention scene has changed significantly over the years.  Nowadays, there are a dozens of professional photographers wielding expensive cameras and searching for cosplayers that will let them take their picture.  Although you will have to wait a short while to retrieve the photos, these photographers will generally share their pictures free of charge.  This is a service not to be taken lightly and we insist that you follow specific etiquette rules when you are asked to pose in front of an expensive camera:

  • For the most interesting pictures, be sure to practice your poses ahead of time.  Some photographers will not wait for you to master the “perfect pose”.
  • When someone takes your picture using a professional camera, ask them if they have a business card and if they will be posting their photos online.
  • Check out the websites of professional photographers who normally make the rounds at the major cons (e.g. Eurobeat King and Conpix.)

If you feel uncomfortable asking a photographer for their card, you can always look around the dealer’s room for a photo-station with a green screen.  These stations are generally equipped with light diffusers and computers that allow you to select your own background using stock images.  The downside is that not every convention will have such a booth and if they do, their service is going to cost you some money.

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