Help with posing

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#1 Miss Filly on 3 years ago

So, I'm really bad at posing for photos. I have a con coming up this weekend and was wondering if anyone could help me with ideas for the characters I'm cosplaying. I'm going as Q from Skyfall, Quicksilver from Days of Future Past (I would rather not fake running) and Loki. For the most part I'm on my own except for Q, when I have a friend going as Bond. I don't have any props either.

#2 StarsOfCassiopeia on 3 years ago

Here are a couple of tips!

1. Come up with 2-3 generic poses that match the character's personality. Q is a smart guy, a puzzle solver, so poses where you look like you're deep in thought will work well. Loki is a trouble maker who wants control-- mischievous smiles, dramatic hand motions, and wide/open poses where you're trying to look larger/more intimidating than your photographer will help that come out in photos.

General posing tips!

1. Do a 3/4s turn. It's generally a very flattering angle that also shows off more details of your cosplay! Standing sideways makes your size very noticeable, and straight head-on shots tend to make you look 'flatter' (and generally not as dynamic) in photos.

2. [URL=""]S curve[/URL]. You don't need to put your arms up like the models in these examples, and it generally is better for female characters, but shifting your weight to one foot can help make a difference and make you more interestingly posed. (Think about the 'line of action' in comic book art-- that applies to photos too!)

3. Chin out. Helps prevent the 'flatness' that the camera always makes. It's also more confident!

4. Research! Go back to the media you're cosplaying from, and pay particular attention to your character's body language. Look for cosplayers who have done the character you want to cosplay before, and see what you like about their photos (if anything). If it's a good photo, check out the pose, and try to do something similar. If you feel the photo isn't so great, figure out why and don't do that!

4.5-- Research stuff that's NOT your cosplay! Just poke around the cosplay tag on DA, Tumblr, or galleries here. Maybe somebody else has done a set of two characters with similar personalities and have great poses already figured out.

5. Ask your photographer! A good photographer will at least have a couple stock poses to put you in, and if they're super awesome they'll have character-specific ideas.

6. Use your surroundings! Sit on things. Lean on things. Interact with what's around you. You're probably shooting in a particular location because it's character-suited; what would they do if they were there?

As for partner posing...

1. Levels. Just having shots of you both standing side by side for an entire shoot is boring. Try ones where one is standing, one is crouching; one standing, one sitting; one lying down (dead maybe?), one crouching.

2. Interact! You're cosplaying that particular duo for a reason. What's their dynamic? Figure out what you/your cosplay partner is comfortable doing, and play off of each other.

3. Talk to each other! Maybe your friend has ideas too. Maybe you're posed in a way that is physically difficult (standing on tip-toe, holding a crouch for a very long time, balancing on something a little unstable), and having a "spotter" helping you is awesome. Maybe you're just joking around in-character and get a great idea as a result!

Elite Cosplay has a bunch of awesome posing tutorials on YouTube that might help-- [URL=""]this is the intro one[/URL].

#3 Miss Filly on 3 years ago

Thank you so much! This is really helpful :) Thanks again!

#4 nathancarter on 3 years ago

Good information above. I thought I had some posing-advice posts around here but I can't find them any more :/

Practice in the mirror, especially facial expressions. Practice with a friend with a smartphone camera or point-n-shoot, just practicing so you see how poses look from the camera, which may be slightly different than what's in the mirror.

A little counterpoint to #6 above: You don't HAVE to use your surroundings if they're not really suited to your character. You don't have to be leaning on a tree just because it's there; don't let it become "Here's a picture of me and a tree" when it could have been much more focused on your cosplay and expression and pose.

Another thought:
For hallway snapshots, be mindful of where the light is coming from. If there are windows, make sure that you're facing the windows or the light, and the photographer's back is to the light. This will invariably result in better photos than if your back is to the window. If the only lights are can lights that are high overhead, tilt your chin up just a little bit to get some light on your face.

#5 StarsOfCassiopeia on 3 years ago

^ NathanCarter makes an excellent point again about #6! The surroundings thing is just something I'll turn to if I'm really super stuck and already used up all the rest of my pose ideas.

#6 Helara on 2 years ago

Some poses help if you have a bit of a "run up" to them. What I mean is if I want a photo of me punching something for example, if I do a couple in run up to the one for the pose it can help make it a bit more dynamic, real and get a good expression on my face if I put effort into my punches rather than just pose into one which may be a little off. Sounds silly and you need to explain what you are doing but if your body is engaged entirely by just doing the action than try and pose into it then it can look better.

#7 psychoemmy on 2 years ago

There is a Youtube channel called Elite Cosplay that has different posing tips that might help as well. The videos are
Cosplay Posing 102: Posing for your Environment: Nature
Cosplay Posing 102: Posing for your Environment: Cityscape
Cosplay Posing 102: Posing With Another Person
Cosplay Posing 102: Crossplay/Male Posing
Cosplay Posing 102: Facial Expressions
Cosplay Posing 102: Posing in Armor
Cosplay Posing 102: Posing for your Environment: Indoors
Cosplay Posing 102: Sitting Poses