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There's a ton of threads about bad photoshops, photog drama and the like. But let's try to do something constructive. Let's discuss something simple, what do YOU think is a good cosplay photograph? If you're going to pay money for a photoshoot, what exactly are you looking for in the finished product? Also, post photos of what you consider as examples of good cosplay photos.
>>
Am I the only one who can't stand excessive photo-shopping of effects?

I get cleaning up the skin and stuff, and adding some minor effects, but there comes a point where the sparkle and fake fire start looking insanely tacky and unprofessional.

I want a photo.
Not a painting.
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>>10192666
I don't like them either. I love doing practical effects in photography, like traveling to locations and having real smoke-bombs on set etc. Photoshopping effects always felt like cutting corners to me. Why not challenge yourself with doing real life effects? It's frustrating sometimes, but finally getting that good shot is insanely rewarding. I get that con-shoots can't really have practical effects since they're usually inside/in residential areas, but it's not hard to arrange a location-shoot with a photographer outside of a con.

If you want to photoshop your pictures to oblivion and make them look like straight-up Marvel movie posters, just label them as digital art/mixed media pieces rather than photography. It's mostly editing at that point, anyway.
>>
This is kind of vague and simplistic but I think a good cosplay photograph should first and foremost be a flattering photo of the subject, regardless of outfit. I see a lot of cosplay photogs taking photos from weird and unflattering angles just to show off the outfit, but the end result is still cringy. If a photographer first teaches themselves how to handle difficult lighting, make people look good, pose them properly, and take photos that flatter them, then their cosplay photos will turn out just fine. So I guess to answer OP's question, if I'm paying money for a cosplay photoshoot, then what I'm looking for in the finished product is not too different from what a normal person getting a normal photoshoot done would be looking for. Skill and nicely composed shots.
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>>10192616
Actually being serious but how do you take good polaroid photos? I couldnt do it in the 90s and i sure as hell still can't do it now.
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>>10192828
It’s really easy, maybe you’re just stupid?
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>>10192666
I think there's a huge disconnect between cosplayers and photographers when it comes to these effects, and over photoshopping in general. I've seen a lot of complaints about faces being melted in photoshop to make them look plastic. At the same time I think a lot of photographers feel they need to overphotoshop and make cheesy effects to appear more professional, like they know what they're doing, because they think it's what cosplayers are looking for.
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>>10192666
I'm with you. I've been cosplaying since 98. The photoshoots I've paid for and liked best were simple nice photos, with good lighting, a sense of framing and storytelling, and possibly some after-editing for blemishes and color correction. That's it.

I'd rather pay a photographer for good photos, then pay an editor later for good special effects if I /really/ really wanted them, but most of the time I think it's just overkill.
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>>10192616
From a photographer standpoint, I think the two things that kills 99% of cosplay photos is the posing and the facial expression. Posing isn't just googling a pose a character is doing and trying to copy it. Two cosplayers can try to mimic the exact same pose and one cosplayer could look stiff and forced and the other can look completely natural. It comes down to a little bit of acting skill and being able to really get into character.

Facial expressions kinda tie into this too, a lot of people will try out different poses, but I find that almost no one really practices their facial expressions. A lot of cosplayers have that dead look on their face that ruins an otherwise great photo. I think both of these things tie in together because the reason for them is an inherent feeling of self consciousness. Nobody wants to look like a dork, and emoting your facial expression for a photo is basically letting everyone see into your innermost dorkiness. I think it's just human nature to not want to put yourself out there.
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Countering some local cosplay photog drama

No photographer, taking casual floor shots, is "required" to take a photo of anyone, come what may. I don't care how "big" you are, or how much effort you put in, or how much you ask, or how big our floor shots album is, no one is "required" to take your photo.

If you want to secure some photos, pay someone.

Kthx.
>>
It's more a question for photograph.
When I pose for photo in cosplay, for private shoot or during meeting, I can't stand the sun light/direct light, so on almost every picture I look grumpy or worst I try to keep my eyes open but I look dead inside. Do anyone have tips on how to deal with this ? ( how to rest in between shot or focusing on specific stuff ? )
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>>10192703
>smoke bombs
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>>10193176
your photographer should be smart enough to notice when a position is uncomfortable and that the sun is hurting your eyes. maybe mention it to them before you start the shoot or even days in advance so they can bring a diffuser or otherwise plan accordingly.
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>>10192834
Plastic skin bothers me a bit less than fake fire/reflections/excessive sparkles/photo-shopping the entire background in.

Some people legit just want that because people don't look like perfect anime characters. Sometimes it can be overkill, but maybe I'm just more passive about it because all of my clients for anime want their pores nuked and their eyes brightened to be a tad uncanny.
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About to start charging after shooting for free for a little over a year.
What am I in for?
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>>10193176
Explain the problem to the photographer. You can close your eyes between shots and then maybe the photographer can do a 3,2,1 countdown do your eyes are only open when they have to be. A diffuser could help for some shots, but a lot of cosplay photographers nowadays aren’t real photographers outside of cons so you can’t bank on them owning extra equipment like that. Diffusers aren’t expensive though so you could buy one yourself then bring a friend to your shoot to help you.
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>>10192833
Sweetie you must the stupid person here. Show me some polaroids that don't look like garbage because I've never seen anyone take decent photos with one of these without it looking like a wind up camera from the 80s. No photoshop plz~
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>>10193176
The photographer should be taking your picture either in the shade or with the sun at your back with a flash filling in your front to balance out the exposure.
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>>10193178
>tony kornheiser images
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>>10194194
I used to work with a professional photographer who sometimes used polaroid cameras, mainly for small events so people can keep their pictures.
I had my picture taken and it was really nice. The grey backdrop and his extra light gave a nice shadow affect so it looked like i was glowing.
So nice polaroid pics are possible.
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>>10196679
NAYRT but what you described just sounds like a plain old snapshit
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>>10196825
Wtf are you saying? Snapshit?
You couldn’t sound any less intelligent.
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>>10197624
It's like a snapshot
Except it's shit
Just like your opinions on photos
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>>10197628
You just sound retarded and like you have zero experience in photography or polaroids
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>>10192828
>Actually being serious but how do you take good polaroid photos?
Let's get the autism out of the way first; polaroid is a brand, not a noun. Instax cameras and actual polaroids are worlds apart, they don't have much in common aside the instant film aspect. They're very different to use and even within the brands there's a lot of variation.

Secondly, like all things, practice, practice and more practice. If it's something you're legitimately interested in pursing then that's it. Invest in a camera with an actual auto-focus system and get the hang of the fact the viewfinder is offset. If you want actual polaroid I highly recommend picking up an impulseAF

If you just wanna be able to take nice pics with your friend's instax then think about your pictures before you take them, and look at the general troubleshooting bellow. If you suck at it now you're probably just not a great candid photographer though, and I genuinely am not trying to insult you or start a fight by saying this, but these cameras are designed to be retard proof. They became so ubiquitous because of the ease of use and reliability of results.

General troubleshooting though:
>If they're washed out, you're not setting it correctly or too close to subject, especially if combined with blurriness
>Blurry means you're not in the focusing range, good rule of thumb is 0.6 of a meter away from the camera at least, most focus up to infinity.
>Too dark means you're either not setting it correctly, or you're actually in an environment too dark to take well exposed images
Any error that consistently pops up even in different environments points to a camera fault; for eg. images always being too dark no matter the lighting condition.

Keep the photos dark as they develop, and absolutely do not bend or shake them.
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>>10197746
Thank god someone with brain cells who knows about Polaroid pictures replied.
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>>10194194
"Sweetie"? Aunt Judy is that you?
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>>10197746
the higher end instax cameras have more settings to change so that can definitely help get a better picture rather than the original model only having settings for sunny cloudy and inside
>>10197624
snapshit is a common term on /p/
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>>10198935
Unfortunate that no one knows about cameras and cries snapshit as if they worked with cameras for years or spent thousands on camera equipment
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Some people like the look and nostalgia factor of polaroids.

Who fucking cares if it's not "professional" looking. Let people like things.
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>>10198948
letting people liking things isn't allowed in /cgl/ when its full of salty cunts
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All I gotta say is I hate photographers who charge for pics and don't even edit skin. I had a photographer ask my group to take pics at a con, he did 2 whole shoots then after the second shoot told us about his rates. We were like uhhh you didnt tell us this was a paid shoot, we thought it was free since he asked to take pics of us, but we paid anyway due to thinking it was just a miscommunication and feeling pressured in the moment. Then once we get the pictures back, all he did was up the saturation and add a watermark. The saturation made us look ORANGE and you could see our pimples. One of our members complained about the pimples and he edited out her acne while leaving it on the rest of us :) So in some pics she looks smooth and matte while the rest of us look shiny and red/orange.... never again letting a guy scam us like that when we would rather pay people we know are good.
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>>10192666

That's your opinion, but if you are getting those types of photos and you didn't want that, you need to talk to your photographer before you shoot.

Time and place for sure and I know some markets are insane, like the Russians. Everything is photoshopped to be soft and porcelain
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>>10193239
Can you actually take a photo or are all your friends and family saying the photo is good? Throw them up on Reddit and ask the photographers in the photography and cosplay sections for critiques
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>>10199406
Photographers like that are scum. They stop you for what you think is a hallshot and then hit you with a fee afterwards, and now you feel some pressure for wasting time and wanting something to show for it.

There's some photographers by me that do that at cons, but they charge like $1-2 for the regular photo to download, and then $10-$15 for any actual edits. They literally just take the photo, give out a card, and then leave.
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>>10199406
Namedrop pls
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>>10199493
I dont wanna give too much info here and namedrop but he is in the phoenix community. We did talk to him about how we thought it was a free shoot and how his editing was shit, and he seemed to have taken our advice but just editing one of us after is like wtf. I just hope he changes a bit after us giving our criticism. His pics are free hall shot level not paid shoot level at all
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>>10199501
Just fucking do it so your fellow gulls know which asshole to nope the hell away from.
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>>10199406
Paying him at all was your first mistake, it's a complete dick move to spring payment on someone who thought you were doing the shoot for free. Him having the audacity to give you such a shitty result after arguably coercing you into paying is the cherry on top of the dickbag cake.
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>>10193239
Show your portfolio
>>10199474
Communicating with your photographer before the shoot about what you want the pictures to end up like is super important, otherwise you might be unhappy and the photographer might not have any idea why
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>>10198938
>worked with cameras for years or spent thousands on camera equipment
Spending more money does not mean you’ll take better photos. I came across someone who’s photos looked like they were taken with a potato and when I checked the exif it turns out they were using a hasselblad
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>>10199406
Any photographer who does that is a dickbag and should be banned from the con. I think it’s also safe to say that anyone who does that sort of thing will always produce shit photos. I mean if their photos were that good then people would have booked them before the con and then they wouldn’t need to go around scamming people. If you don’t mind me asking, how much did he charge you and your friends?
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>>10199477
>your family and friends can give opinions on quality
>Reddit can provide good judgement and feedback
kek
>>
>>10199982
>>10199406
I'd actually pay *more* if they didn't edit skin. I want my photos touched up with good lighting, but not J Nig levels of cringey fake
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>>10199994
I think he was implying opinions from family and friends are worthless since they'll just say "wow it looks so good u have a great camera!"every time.
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>>10200026
ah, true. If you ask family and friends you are bound to get bullshit feedback that means nothing.
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>>10199997
Just ask your photographer.
Anybody worth their salt will be able to do both the plastic skin and minor editing. Tbh, I'd like it if I could just do a quick touchup for scars/acne and a light softening and move on. Saves so much time.
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>>10199997
This >>10200642
They'll probably be happy about saving a shit ton of time not having to go through the hassle of retouching skin to plastic levels too.
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what sucks is when you're friends with your photographers but then when you pay them you're a customer, but hassling them to get photos back / fix things you feel like a real asshole for wanting what you paid for. had this issue numerous times.
>>
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>>10199994
Yeah sorry if I was unclear. Friends and family just want to be supportive, and many don't know a good photo other than it's exposed enough. Reddit can be full of wannabes too, but the general consensus is you at least get mostly usable feedback on what to improve and what works.
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>>10201566
Lmao I feel like the asshole for taking so long, don't worry about it
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>>10202282
who is the middle one?
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>>10201566
>Hassling them to get photos back
How long do you want before you start hassling them?
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>>10199477
I think so, not the best but I don't think I'm absolute complete garbage.
The people who say my work is good are people who became friends with me after I've shot with them and random, non bot commenters/cosplayers on my pictures. It's moreso cosplayers and not photogs throwing comments my way so I'm kind of iffy on whether or not I should take those compliments seriously.
Randoms who DM me to shoot ask what my rates are before I can say I'm free, or was free in this case, so I assume I'm decent enough to come off as someone you need to pay for to shoot with.
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>>10199477
Also yeah I should probably start posting up my stuff for critique. Haven't done that but it's been on my mind.
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>>10202675

What are you going to charge and what are they going to get?
I'm a professional photographer who charges for shoots.
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>>10204229
For now $40 for 4 - 5 edited shots back with skin retouching & color grading and all that, though I'm not doing special effects or extravagant composites. I'd like to think I have a decent grasp at directing poses and getting people to ease up and feel comfortable during the shoot at this point.
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>>10204243

Sounds expensive for someone only shooting for a year. Can you share one of your photos?

I've been shooting for over 10 years professionally and charge about that rate but include nearly every photo I take, all edited.
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>>10204893
>Can you share one of your photos
P-pls no, I just don't feel too comfortable outing myself as a gull.

>10 years and charge that rate
Damn really? That seems super cheap in comparison to some of these photogs that charge around or over $100 for 5 or so edited back.

>Include nearly every photo I take, all edited.
Jesus, what does your workflow typically look like, how far do you take each edit and how many returns do you typically give? Are the edits mostly limited to LR slider tweaks or do you go into PS and do the whole frequency separation & full retouch shebang for a gorillion images?

What do you shoot outside of cosplay?

I guess I should backpedal a bit, I did do around 3 shoots somewhat casually late 2017 but I started going heavy and taking this seriously last Katsu. Should have probably said 1.5 - 2 years instead of a little over 1.
Why is time going by so fast.
>>
>>10204908

Nothin' wrong with being a 'gull. We all degenerates here. You are going to need real constructive criticism to improve. But I understand.

I think if you are going to a convention and booking private shoots with cosplayers, you have to understand who you are shooting. For me, cosplay photography is a symbiotic relationship. It gives you creative liberty to try things that would normally cost an IMMENSE amount of money to create by yourself. That as well as being able to play with angles, effects, etc in a more creative spectrum.
I charge a rate drastically lower at a con vs non-con shoot for a wide variety of reasons.

>what does your workflow typically look like
Step one is take a good photo that would be good without editing. Once you do that, then nearly every photo is usable.
Bring into lightroom, adjust accordingly to make the photo look exceptional and then consider the cosplay/character/mood and stylize from there.
I generally only photoshop when there is a incredibly distracting element or effect I want added, or if it is shot that I want to represent the entire shoot.

>What do you shoot outside of cosplay
I shoot a lot of events and portraiture as well as editorial and cosplay.

>Why is time going by so fast.
If you are a photographer, then you are one of the few people who can control time, to a certain degree. :)
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>>10193239
If you want to do it in cosplay, don't expect to make a living out of it.
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>not a single person posts any photos of what they think is a good cosplay photo
I was kinda hoping to get a visual baseline for what people think are good photos.
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>>10192666
I also dislike excessive photoshop. But there ARE times where what would be "excessive" is actually OK. Learning when it's OK is also key for learning when it isn't.
For example, you specifically mentioned on-set effects. I agree that adding smoke etc with effects may be cheap (or may not be, if you do not have access to a smoke machine; let's play Devil's advocate here), but I have an ever bigger gripe: fake aditions of things that aren't actually there. I mean, things like flying spaceships or battle auras or lightning bolts or medieval castles or the like. You know what I mean.
So, WHEN would adding such stuff in Photoshop would be OK? Because by definition, adding them in other cases would be excessive and "not-OK".

My take on it:

- You actually took the effort of setting a studio set (or whatever)specifically for later aditions. I mean, if you are actually taking pics in front of a green screen, that is actually a technique, not a cheat.
- You are adding an element that is literally impossible (or would be dangerous) to add physically and is ACTUALLY relevant for the cosplay. I mean, if you've made a kickass Roberta cosplay and want to make an action shot of her walking away from the explosion of all the grenades she just dropped form her maid skirt (actual scene of the character), you better do it with PS than with C4. The explosion, not the grenades. Those better be props. And that explosion wouldn't be relevant for many random characters.
- You're adding elements to expand a partial set. Things like adding the upper part of the buildings or the city skyline to a shot made in an one-story set. That's a time-honored technique for cinema, and takes actual skill; it's not "cheating".
- You've got the PERFECT action pic by blind chance but the background is horrible (NOT "you were lazy and took action photos in a bad background"; I mean those cases where REALLY you HAD to take the pic). Changing the background there is aceptable.
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>>10202541
3 months
>>
I'd like to post some shots I took, but I also don't want to post strangers online without their permission.
I assume if everyone feels the same way as me than we're not going to see too many photos to critique ITT.

I really like photographing people in cons, but I always get such a short time to photograph them before I feel uncomfortable about holding them up.
How should I go about catching someone for a long-ish photography session?
I had one time where a cosplayer asked me if I wanted to do a longer shoot but I felt terrible that day and declined, is it just a matter of me being likeable and the cosplayer being up for it?



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