NOT just another boring portrait: Nikon dishes tips for cool cosplay photos


posted Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 3:44 PM EDT


Life got you down? Your friends all looking the same? Craving portrait subjects with a bit more life to them? Try cosplay!

Costume play, or cosplay, is hugely popular in Japan and a popular subject for photographers. Here in the US, various "Comic Cons" and SciFi conventions are where cosplayers gather to strut their stuff, with literally thousands of great photo ops for the asking. But there's a big difference between random snapshots and photos that really capture the essence of the players and their costumes.

Nikon has decided to market its cameras directly to cosplayers and cosplay photographers by teaming up with professional cosplay photographer Yoriko Inoue and aspiring photographer Rinami to publish a series of photo tips on its Japanese website specifically for photographing cosplay.

The "Cosgenic Lesson" series offers a series of tips, images, and behind-the-scenes photos to illustrate the key points. One of the biggest is to try to capture the character the subject is dressed to represent, not just a random person wearing a costume. People put a lot of time and effort into portraying a certain character, and they want to ensure that a portrait of them captures the character too. Encouraging them (and givine them time to assume) different characteristic poses or facial expressions can help this.

Perspective is important as well. Shooting from above or below your subject is an excellent way to give your portraits, and subject, a different look. By shooting from different angles, you can make your subjects appear to have varying facial features and emphasize different aspects of their personality.

By having your subject change their facial expression, you can better capture the character that they are portraying. Image credit: Nikon

Capturing a great portrait of a character is not just about their pose and face, but also the background. A strong and relevant background can add a lot to your image.

Capturing images from different angles can create very different portraits. Image credit: Nikon

Ultimately, the biggest takeaway from Nikon's first cosplay photography lesson is one that also applies to more traditional portrait photography: Try to capture different facial expressions, perspectives, and backgrounds to create a sense of depth in your portraits. These help the viewer connect to a character or subject through your image.

By using a background with dull colors, you can draw attention to your subject and also create a sense of depth. Image credit: Nikon

Cosplayers and those who photograph them are a passionate lot, so marketing directly to them strikes us as a strong move by Nikon. As much as the cosplay community loves to make excellent costumes, they also love sharing their work with others via social media. - And they'll share it with you, if you just ask nicely and show and show an appreciation for their creativity; seriously, you could hardly find a more interesting or willing set of photo subjects anywhere! Check to see when the next comic-con will be happening near you; regardless of your interest in comics or sci-fi, it'll be a cornucopia of photographic opportunities!

In creating this series, Nikon has exclusively used their Nikon D5500 DSLR camera with the 18-55mm kit lens and the DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G lens.

This lesson is only the first in a series of "Cosgenic" lessons from Nikon. The next lesson is scheduled to be published in early April. Stay tuned!

(Seen via Rocket News 24. All images used in this article belong to Nikon.)