With the rising popularity of comic books and comic book movies, anime and manga, and many other entertainment properties over the years, there is also a growing interest being given to a new type of portrait photography: cosplay portrait photography.
Cosplay portraits are unique not only in the sense that the subject is portraying not as himself or herself but as a different character. It also is a type of photography in which both the subject and the photographer have an active collaboration in putting the portrait to life.
The Subject and the Character
Thus there should be some understanding for both the photographer and the subject with regards to the character being portrayed in the shoot: the character’s physicality, abilities, and other features and characteristics that should be present in the photo. The responsibility lies more on the subject who should have more knowledge of the character than the photographer while the photographer should at least be receptive of the input coming from the subject.
Speaking of the character, there should be an effort as well on the part of the subject to make himself or herself look like the subject being portrayed. Unlike other types of photography like newborn photography, an appealing cosplay portrait photography would be one where one can see the character and not subject who is portraying the character. In short, the character must effectively mask the subject in the portrait since the character is the focus of the photo more than the subject.
It’s Post-Processing Heavy
Another interesting aspect of cosplay portraits is that they are pretty much reliant on post-processing technologies to make the photos stand out, more so than standard portraits. With that said, that does not mean a good cosplay portrait requires post-processing work. In some cases, you can take good cosplay portraits even without such editing, though that would be on a case to case basis depending on the situation as well as the setting.
Unlike regular post-processing work for photography, post-processing work for cosplay portraits are more pronounced and given much emphasis. That is especially true if the character is someone who has superhuman abilities or futuristic weapons that are being emphasized through adding colors and effects which highlight them to the viewer.
In The End, It’s About Having Fun
Getting into character for a cosplay portrait shoot takes up considerable time, money, and effort. The subject has to be prepared spending a lot of these to look the part of the character. And oftentimes, being in character for a long while can be draining to one’s energy
With all the costumes, the poses ones has to make to play such character, what is important is that one gets to have fun doing this type of shoot. It is not everyday for both photographer and subject that there are shoots like these where one can get to unleash his or her inner geekery. So make the most out of it and enjoy the experience. Most importantly, both photographer and subject should make a good effort at least to have some good portraits as an output of a fruitful collaboration.