Cosplay Photography Tips

Rusty with Jubilee by @francheezy24_7 givign cosplay photography tips

Cosplay photography tips. Why do you need them?

  1. After you’ve spent all that time and money preparing for an event, you’ll want to remember it!
  2. It’s actually tricky to get good photos (angles, light, agh!)
  3. Let’s be honest, isn’t half the fun of cosplaying getting your photo taken or photographing others?!
  4. Plus, asking to take someone else’s photo is the easiest way to start a conversation and make a new friend.

At Headwink, we get requests for cosplay photography tips all the time. We’ll meet @pointblankshot_photography (aka @singledad_cosplay…aka Rus). We love his cosplay photography so much, we recently asked him to be our Senpai of the Week, so that we could ask him your questions and share what cosplay photography is all about.

Rusty in cosplay photography action!

Rus in cosplay photography action!


Q: How did you get into cosplay photography?

A: I started taking pics at cons for my then wife who is a cosplayer. After I retired from the Navy, I needed a hobby to take up the time I now had. I fell in love with the colors and imagery and haven’t looked back.

@wonderwomanisreal and @batcaveproductions

@wonderwomanisreal and @batcaveproductions


Q: What came first, photography or cosplay?

A: They kind of organically grew together. I was taking cell phone pics at cons before I cosplayed, but I cosplayed before I started taking professional pics. Since then, I have learned to split my time between them so I can be both in front of and behind the lens…

Spiderman @spider_matt at Long Beach Comic Con 2018.


Q: Advice on starting photography.

A: Same as posing: lots and lots of practice. Depending on the type of photography you want to do, I found going for walks and taking pictures around my neighborhood helped. I’d also take my camera to the beach and work on different lighting, shadows, and depth. There are TONS of photographers out there that are more than willing to give advice and help you out. I have a few mentors that have helped mould my images while keeping my distinct style.

@shannacistulli and her assistant @jacklyn_rae_ for @makeupdesignory  

Italian inspired goth skull makeup is the creation of @shannacistulli and her assistant @jacklyn_rae_ for @makeupdesignory.


Q: Bonus question: how do you start photography on a budget?

A: There are plenty of good used cameras out there. Get a decent camera body but make sure you get a good lens! The glass you use will make a HUGE difference in your images.

Captain Guts by @ironwolf6

Captain Guts by @ironwolf6


Q: Do you have any tips about posing for cosplayers?

A: Tips for posing for cosplayers: practice practice practice! Try your poses in a mirror. You may feel silly, but it will pay off. One of the lessons I learned from @darthlexii and @utahimecosplay was to research your character. Pick 4 or 5 distinct poses to the character and focus on those.

Phoenix by @darthlexii at Long Beach Comic Con 2018

Phoenix by @darthlexii at Long Beach Comic Con 2018



Join Our Community!

Headwink is all about helping you explore and take your cosplay to the next level. And we’re creating a Community space to help cosplayers of all levels!

Q: Any tips for cosplayers during shoots?

A: Have a few poses worked out in your head. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask the photographer. They will probably have something in mind they want to see. Communicate with your photographer as well. If there is anything you are self-conscious about or need the photographer to be aware of, it’s better to let them know ahead of time instead of later. Saves both parties a lot of embarrassment…

Rus focused behind the lens.

Rus focused behind the lens.


Q: How long do photo sessions last?

A: I usually shoot pretty quickly at a con. If I can get 5-10 minutes, I’m good. With larger groups, it will take longer because the models generally like to get individual images as well. Private shoots last anywhere from an hour to my longest being 4 hours with costume and location changes…

Punisher @samanthaschwacher at Long Beach Comic Con 2018

Punisher @samanthaschwacher at Long Beach Comic Con 2018


Q: What are the best cons you’ve taken photos at?

A: My favorite so far is a tie between Megacon Orlando and Anime Expo. Both of these cons pushed me out of my comfort zone, introduced me to hundreds of different cosplayers and styles and I have made some great friends from these events.

Additionally, Rus says he learned a lot from @darthlexii, @slcgreenarrow, @whoanerdalert, @utahimecosplay and the Cosplay 101 panel at Long Beach Comic Con. Clearly, attending conventions and panels is not only a great way to learn, it’s a great way to make new friends. You can watch the masters in action and get feedback in person. And now you have a few tips to get you started! Be sure to check out Rus’ Instagram to see the evolution of his work; he often incorporates quotes by the characters he photographs into his captions – a very nice touch!

*All photos in this article were taken by @pointblankshot_photography

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