perjantai 14. huhtikuuta 2017

Learning to pose - really necessary?

If you ask me, the answer is yes.

Many cosplayers want their costumes to be photoshooted at some point. They don't only want to look like the character, they want to act and be like the character they're cosplaying.
At this point I'd like to say that this is just my opinion from the subjective point of view, not the absolute truth. I'm not a professional model either, just someone who has posed for the camera quite many times.

Believe me or not, at some point I hated to be photographed. When I saw a camera I practically ran away, I really didn't want to be photographed. Actually I was afraid of it on some level - probably because I thought that if I'm in the picture, it can't turn out to be good.
Basic teenage angst, I could say.
Then I got into cosplaying, saw others take cool pictures and was like "Hey, if they can do it, I can do it too, right? It can't be that hard!"

Boy, I was wrong.

Compare these two pictures.


Pic © Gure.
This was basically my first cosplay photoshoot ever. That's my own character, Walter McRavenhill (version 1, I've cosplayed the improved version of him too). As you can see, back then I had no idea from which angles the photos would look good. I didn't want to show my face to the camera - back then I truly hated my face.
(And when I looked at the camera I had basically no idea what kind of facial expressions I should make.)
There's not much point in this pose. I'm not looking at the camera - I'm looking at the ground - yet mostly my body is turned towards the camera. I'm also kneeling on the ground but there's no reason why I'm actually doing so. There's nothing else in the ground, no reason to kneel down. Ainakaan se ei ole slaavikyykky.
This just doesn't work well in my opinion. It just looks like I have no idea what I'm doing.


Pic © Shiro Samurai.

Yes, I still look a bit shy - this time it was intended though, Japan is a quiet and polite character who seems to be quite shy.
But can you see the difference?

This time I'm actually looking towards the camera/photographer. My facial expression is a lot more open, and my body isn't that stiff - really, in 2013 it looked like I had been made of stone! The angle is much better, it brings out "the good side" of my face.

When I learnt how to control my facial expressions, posing for the camera became a lot more easier. That doesn't mean that learning the controlling would've been an easy task to do. I don't have any big secrets behind the learning - just the basic " 'glue' your tongue to your palate to avoid the double chin" etc.
But boy, learning them was - for some reason - pretty difficult for me.

Let's take a look at my trademark cosplay - Ayame Sohma.

The first time I cosplayed him in 2013. Back then I had quite recently gotten into cosplaying and hadn't had many photoshoots - actually just two, one of them being more like "let's take proof pictures that I actually had a cosplay on", and viral contest pictures of my Sasuke Uchiha cosplay but at this point that doesn't count.
Anyway, the first picture is from 2013, the latter one is from 2016.

Picture © Asuka.

Picture © Shiro Samurai.

I'm smiling in both pictures but just compare them - the pictures are taken from different angles. In 2013 I didn't know about "the bad side" and "the good side" of my face, I just wanted to get pictures taken!
In 2016 I was, obviously, paying more attention to this.

In the upper picture I look... Pretty awkward, I have to say. I think that I was trying to cover my chin with my hand and didn't pay attention on my facial expression in general. My smile also looks a bit derp, in my opinion it's too wide. Back then I didn't even smile that often so I guess that I didn't even know how to smile... x__x

In the latter picture my facial expression is more controlled and my smile doesn't try to reach China - which means that it was easier to control my face. My eyes are also a bit more open so it looks like I actually have eyes, not just dots in where they're supposed to be.
I'm leaning on my hands and the branch, looking a lot more relaxed.

Do you see the difference? In my opinion it's quite noticeable - I grew over my fear for the camera and at some point actually begun to enjoy photoshoots!
I wouldn't have been able to learn as effectively as I did if my photographers didn't give me advice how to pose, where I should look (straight to the camera/to the sky/to the ground) etc. I owe them a big thank you. <3
I know that I still have a lot to learn - by far I've made quite controlled poses and not that much action poses. I think that it might be my next step to take.

So, my tips: practice in front of the mirror, ask for advice if you need some and listen to your photographer. The ones behind the camera see what you're actually doing and they can tell if it looks good or not.

A couple of full body pictures of my Itachi Uchiha cosplay (I'm still practicing his poses though). The upper one was taken in 2014, the latter one in 2015.

© Judzle.

© Shiro Samurai (yes, he's one of my trusted photographers, if you haven't noticed it by far :'D)
Just compare them. I won't write a comparison about these pictures - if you want to write a comment about what differences you see in these two pictures, feel free to do so!

So, yes - learning to pose is quite necessary, if you ask me.

Maybe this post explained, why that's my opinion.

Happy Easter everyone! ^__^


(Oh, btw - I know that these pictures are also technically very different. I will write more about photographing etc. in a separate post in the future. Even though I'm not a professional photographer either, I know some little things too.)

4 kommenttia:

  1. I didn't know you back when you started cosplaying but even without that I think I've noticed your evolution. :) This was a fun post to read!

    I want to point out though that light conditions, photographer's skill level and angles also play a huge role in the outcome of the final photo. A good camera also does, of course. But you probably know that already. :'D

    I must confess that on that last Itachi pic (the one I took) the angle looks off/awkward but, then again, we were in a hurry because it was FREEZING COLD. I could have done it a loooot better if my fingers were still responding – aka I'm not really happy with that one, to be honest. xD I honestly like the first Itachi pic much more; the composition is nice and it draws the attention to you and hey, you're obviously walking so the "stale pose" doesn't even look bad, just natural. But that's my two cents.

    This is also a bit awkward to admit but that very first photo on this post (of your OC) reminds me terribly much of my first cosplay photos... Let's just pretend those never happened. I hated to be in front of a camera too before I started cosplaying. *rolls eyes* Maybe I should do this kind of post myself...? :D

    ☆ Shiro Samurai's Cosplay & Circle Lens Blog ☆

    1. Thank you! :)

      They do, indeed, but I'm going to talk more about those things in a separate post :'D Didn't want to write a kilometer long text wall this time so yeah xD

      Well, the con wasn't called Frostbite for nothing - I didn't feel my toes after the photoshoot so yeah :'D Thank you for your opinion~ I admit that the latter Itachi pic looks a bit more static when concentrating on my pose. Then again, my facial expression in it is a bit better. :'D

      Haha xD Well, at some point I wanted to delete those OC photos from my blog but then decided not to. After all they're part of my story as a cosplayer. And yeah, I really can relate to that "I fucking hate to be photographed" feeling...

      Just do it, it would be interesting to read! :D

  2. This was an interesting read and of course, to see how you have grown in the "posing in front of the camera" department. Great effort dude! :DD

    But oh my gosh now when I have read through this post, all of those cringe worthy early-cosplay-year photos flooded back to my memory! In other words, those photos where I stood and looked at the camera like stupid and couldn't pose to save my life. Yupp, I have those photos too.

    I absolutely agree with you that posing when in cosplay while being photographed, does a LOT and so does photo angles and makeup. I used to think when I started cosplaying that my face just can't look good in photos, no matter what but then I learned about angles and makeup. The difference from then (2010 - 2012) to now is clearly noticeable. Sometimes, I just can't wrap my head around photos that looks way too good to be me, even when it is. Gosh, Shiro Samurai is just amazing behind the camera! <3

    1. Thank you! :)

      Haha, seems like every cosplayer has had those moments and pictures, especially from times when they've just gotten into cosplaying... :'D

      Yep, make-up and angles play huge roles in the "will this photo turn out to be good or not?" game (going to write more about that in the future). You've certainly developed your posing & make-up skills during these years~!

      And yes, Shiro Samurai is an amazing photographer <3

      (Sorry that I didn't answer earlier, blame my phone - also known as my proper Internet connection - dying on me. ;__; )