In cosplay photos, people often talk about the cosplayer, however, they don’t always talk about the guy behind the camera. Photography is actually much more complicated than it looks, with photographers being mindful about the lighting, shadows, angles, and so on.
Capturing a cosplayer at his/her very best is not just up to the cosplayer, but the photographer taking the picture as well, and Nikon has launched a new campaign which gives out tips for cosplay photographers.
The tips are part of their new “Cosgenic” lesson series, which is an online cosplay photography tutorial found in their official website (site is in Japanese). The lessons offer a few basics of photography, with “Lesson 1” taking on the fact that cosplayers have to get the personalities of their characters right, and not just get an accurate costume. Here we have the same model, wearing the same costume, but two very different emotional effects:
The “Cosgenic” series also talked about the angles of the shot, which are important in any type of photography. The straight-on or normal angle shot is the “best method to create a feeling of proximity between the viewer and the subject,” and is considered the simplest of all angles to take.
By getting a stool, step ladder, or whatever you can use to increase your height, you can perform the “high-angle shot,” which can make the cosplayer look diminutively, but increase his/ her cuteness. This may be best for characters from moe anime in general.
And then there is the “low angle” shot, which can “add an aura of strength, or, depending on the model’s facial expression, arrogance or intimidation,” as if the cosplayer is looking down on you.
Finally, “Lesson 1” talked about depth, and mentioned that choosing backgrounds is very important, and must be able to go with the characters costume. Photographers must be able to judge what effects the background will do to their photo. For example, if your goal is to make the colors of the model’s clothing and hair pop like their animated counterparts, consider a background that doesn’t have hues that will compete with them for attention.
And photographers must also be able to use the backgrounds to create an atmosphere for a character and give “a sense of isolated depth” to a photograph or the “intense, almost intimate closeness.”
This is just “lesson 1,” with Nikon releasing “Lesson 2” on 7 April, so all you aspiring cosplay photogs out there, be prepared to take down notes and visit the Nikon official website.