HARD QUESTION IS HARD. I’ve always been an extremely photogenic person since I was a child (mom said I just loved getting my picture taken). Who cares, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
I’ve had a bunch of cosplayer buddies who considered themselves un-photogenic and awkward generally in cosplay (or awkward socially with Aspergers and such.) Most of them have grown out of that simply with the enjoyment of cosplay which helped them make it easier to come out of their shell. So here are a few tips I hope help
Smile at yourself in the mirror more
Many people who consider themselves unable to take photos are due to the fact that they can’t seem to get their smile down. Sometimes at my job I have to take photos of faculty and staff, and about 85% of campus wish I just wouldn’t, and it is because they can’t feel they smile right at the camera. If you’re already uncomfortable smiling at a camera, it’s because you feel unsure of your smile in general.
Smiling is most certainly my favorite part of any cosplay picture where a character is smiling. It is a simple emotional thing that really captures you being happy. So try becoming more comfortable with your smile by smiling at yourself in the mirror. Make derpy jokes at yourself and watch yourself laugh. Pose like an idiot and laugh at yourself more. Love your smile and learn to love to smile nice and big.
If you have trouble smiling still when in front of a camera, one of the things I do behind it is tell people is to think of a phrase that will make them laugh. My personal favorite is singsonging the word fuck in a bubblegum type song. It gets everyone relaxed and laughing, making their smiles more natural.
Take photos with others first
Sometimes taking photos in cosplay alone is hard. You’re alone, you’re nervous, you don’t know what you’re doing, oh god now you gotta pose? Shit shit. This is one of those moments that it’s great to drag in a friend to take photos with you. Who cares if you’re not even from the same show! Pose together, and most certainly do some awesome derp shots with your friend. Be yourself for the first half with them and just let the photographer capture your natural moments, and the move onto seriousness. Shooting with a friend, especially one who’s been cosplaying longer, can really help give you visual cues on how to become more comfortable in front of the camera as well.
Alternative: Have your friends take photos
Majority of my first cosplay photos were with good friends with a simple point and shoot camera doing whatever we wanted. Sometimes taking photos with a stranger is a little unsettling, but taking pictures with someone you trust and enjoy their company? That’s more fun. If your friends can’t do it, get a family member to! My mother took my first Summoner photos and sometimes I like looking back and go ‘this is where I really started cosplaying. Yea.’
Take all the photos in of a shoot- both good and bad
You have to remember too that if you do photo shoot, not all your pictures are going to be amazing. Hell, there are times where my face has not worked for the span of a half hour and every shot during it just looked awful on my account. But then there is that one in the mix of all the bad, that glorious smile, or glare, or just look that is utterly perfect. (And of course then there is the face of me with my eyes crossed that I store away for future keeping.) Do not get attached to the photos that came out poor or let it make you feel as if you have wasted your time. Taking crappy photos is practice to getting more comfortable working with the camera.
Also remember that hall photos are hall photos and don’t let them make you feel uncomfortable or nervous. These aren’t portfolio worthy and if you find them later and look at it going, oh god what was I thinking when I did that? Learn from it instead. Take away the fact that you shouldn’t do this or that with that pose or the outfit. For example: I realized in many of my Celebi photos at Otakon 2012, my undies kept rolling over my stomach and you could see it from the bottom of my corset. This made me feel really uncomfortable in realizing, so I fixed it for the future and made sure before every shot to adjust them so that a good shot wasn’t ruined for me by me not checking my costume. I’d say 90% of cosplay is just learning how your costume is going to work in real life.
Most importantly: Find someone you’re comfortable working with
There are hundreds of private photographers at conventions, and many on the internet can tell you who the best are to work with for people uncomfortable with first time photography. Normally I like to give a shout out to Lionboogy or Lionel who does free shoots and is a generally open and calm guy, and does really well with setting people up for posing if they can’t figure out how. Another east coast favorite is Yenra Photography who actually does modeling photography too and really is a sweet and lighthearted person and makes you feel like a wonderful person too (my buddy Catslock took a tip from him and was amazed by the results.) Although I haven’t worked with her specifically, Ger or ChouWa Photography is really good at working with nervous cosplayers as well and can really set them up to shine.
All in all, I really hope that some of this helps. Taking photos is my absolute favorite part of cosplay and I always love sharing that part with others. Although I know you annoned, give me a fanmail if you follow me when you take your first photo in cosplay that you love! I’d really love to see a nervous cosplayer come out of their shell and shine :D
girl scouts are letting in trans* girls and letting girls replace God with whatever they want in the pledge, also they use cookie income to support abortion and LGBT agendas
boy scouts are just now allowing gays in, officially in january, but gay leaders are still banned and they’re talking about segregation on camping trips, with gays and straights in different tents. also they still ban atheists,
girl scouts: 10000 boy scouts: 0