How many shots do you try to get of each cosplayer?
Most of the time, about 2-3, but sometimes I will take 5 or 6.
What's your typical con-going camera setup?
We usually take several cameras, Pikminlink's 5mp Minolta, my 6.2 mp Canon 10D slr camera, and 17.2mp Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II.
I take about 4 lenses including a 50mm which I use for portraits and a 17-80mm which is most often used for cosplayers during the con. My 75-300mm is used only if I don’t have a chance to sit close to the stage so I can zoom in really well. If I’m close to the stage, I'll be using the 28-135mm lens. All of my lenses have an image stabilizer.
I take five 512mb memory cards. I don’t want to use any 1or 2 gig cards because just in case something happens to the card, I won't lose all of my photos.
Pikminlink: The laptop is a must. Every night at the convention, I transfer all of the photos taken that day to our external hard drive, and I start processing them so my dad has a fresh set of memory cards for the next day. I like to get a head start in getting all the photos ready for uploading to the site so I don’t have to worry about having them all pile up on me when we get home.
We take 6 rechargable battery packs for the Canon where we use 2 at a time. And we take about 20 rechargeable batteries for the flash and Minolta (if needed). Battery chargers are also a must.
Our two printers also come with us. We have a printer that prints images up to 13x19 and also our small printer that prints 4x6. And we bring photo paper and extra inks.
Most of the time, we will also take the studio setup.
Are you shooting full resolution?
Yes! We like to print a lot of photos, and the higher resolution makes the images a lot nicer.
Include cosplayers' footwear in the shot?
Most of the time footwear is also part of the costume so, yes, it’s a must!
What are some tips you can share for people trying to take their own cosplay photos?
First, be patient. Give the cosplayer(s) time to get into their poses. Sometimes it also helps if you ask if they are ready. Well-lit areas are also best for photos.
What about prints?
We offer photo prints in 4 different sizes in our photo store at Consplayers. We also take our photo albums with samples of the different sizes to cons.
How many photos are you averaging at conventions?
We now average about 400+ pics for one day; we want to make sure that we get enough photos of each cosplayer. So if a cosplayer accidentally closed their eyes, we have another photo to choose from.
What software do you typically use in post-production?
Pikminlink: I like to use Adobe Photoshop to fix the brightness or contrast and the color tone if needed.
What type of cosplay photos won't you shoot?
I really dislike when cosplayers pose by showing their middle finger to the camera because they don’t know what else to do. We’ve seen cosplayers do that a lot of times, but I try to tell them to pose differently when it comes to that.
The perfect cosplay photo is...
...a photo where the cosplayer's character and the background match, and it looks like if it were taken straight out of an anime, video game, or movie. The lighting and pose, and also camera angle add really nice effects and moods.
The most important thing for a cosplayer being photographed to remember is...
You're being posted on a website, and you're getting your photo taken so you've got to look your best, and you've got to show your work of art! And be in character. If there is a particular part in your costume you like best, show it off. Hide any flaws, like fraying. Try not to pose in a way you're not comfortable with, but if that’s the way the character poses, a hands on the hips or arms crossed pose will work fine instead.
What's your favorite type of cosplayer photo?
Pikminlink: hehe Personally, I hate candid shots because I hate it when they happen to me. I think it's really bad when a person doesn’t ask to take your photo, and at a time you least expect it, they walk or run up to you and take your picture. The worst part is finding your picture uploaded, and you have the dumbest expression you could ever have. XD So yeah, people shouldn’t be shy to ask cosplayers if they can take their photo, or even if you're too shy to speak, show them some kind of movement that gives the impression that you would like to get their photo. What my favorite type of photo is... I would have to say, a picture that looks like a scene -- like something’s about to happen or is currently happening. It's the type of picture where the cosplayer is in a type of environment that relates very well to what their costume is from, and the cosplayer is not looking at the camera but instead, doing what the character would be doing.
How many conventions are you averaging per year?
We used to do about 4-5 a year when we attended the Star Trek conventions during the years 1991-1998. When we started to hear about the anime and sci-fi cons in 2003, we went to only 5, but then in 2004, we attended a total of 17 anime and sci-fi related conventions/events. Conventions became a hobby for us, and this year, we also plan to attend 17.