Photoshoot FAQ – mid-2015

Cosplayers: AoiKatori + Shiru Chuku Cosplay

Cosplayers: AoiKatori + Shiru Chuku Cosplay

As of Fanime 2015, I’ve officially been doing cosplay photography for 7 years.  It might seem like a long time to many of you, but honestly I’ve seen cosplayers and photographers who have been doing this since high school.  I started very late in life.

Over the years, I’ve changed a lot, and not just the kit I carry.  And even today, I’m trying new parts and techniques to see if they’ll help me accomplish my mission.  So hopefully people read this before Fanime 2015 but if not, at least it’s a good barometer for how I’ll do this at least for this year (assuming all goes well).

  1. Planning

First off, I’m trying a new technique for large cons.  I’ll set aside a block of time where it’s “first come first serve”.  This is subjective for me as to how I use it.  Usually that means either wandering hallshots or light photoshoots (without light stand setups).  However, if you can convince me to, I can instead do an Impromptu Photoshoot.  The results may vary depending on location as well as my familiarity to the characters.

Honestly, despite the work I have to put in (and the people that I’ll inevitably miss or cosplays I’m interested in being missed) I prefer pre-planned photoshoots.  I can do research on pose ideas, re-familiarize myself with the series and characters and come up with ideas as to where shoots take place.  Usually my best work comes out of these types of shoots.  However it does come down to the series and people I like shooting with best taking priority.

Cosplayer: Eliteslayer (car by Rave2theJ)

Cosplayer: Eliteslayer (car by Rave2theJ)

  1. Shooting

I usually have either 30 minute or 60 minute shooting blocks.

  • My preference is with the 60 minute blocks.  It gives me 15 minutes to setup my gear and prep for the shoot.  Typically the actual shoot lasts between 30 and 45 minutes at least 15 poses (more than that is obviously preferred).
  • The 30 minute block is a rushed shoot and doesn’t involve as many poses.  Preferably this is only done for when I already have setup lights and only for limited mobility cosplays since there won’t be as many poses.

My typical style is to pose, then shoot 2-3 photos per angle (to minimize the chance of stray hairs and blinks occurring in the photo).  After a few angles, a different pose is done.  Rinse and repeat till the end of the shoot.  Since conventions are so crowded (and because of setup time) I typically only use one location for shoots.  You can bring friends (in fact I encourage this for safety and because I could use help holding my lights).  I’d prefer it if other photographers aren’t doing it at the exact same time as it will cause confusion and result in awkward poses and bad eyes.  I’ll make exceptions for love ones only.

We Fight For the Lost

We Fight For the Lost

I do have a Prime Directive (because I’m a Trekker / Trekie):

“If I, the Photographer, make you do any pose or shoot at any angle which you are uncomfortable with: DO NOT HESITATE TO TELL ME TO STOP.”

First, many photographers already have the title of “creepy photographer”.  That used to be reserved for truly heinous crimes but now it’s become a stereotype within the community.  I don’t care that I have 7 years of experience or that I’m a “popular photographer”, the images I take will be posted on the internet and will last forever.  And while we all take precautions to limit their exposure to only within the community, sometimes they get leaked to the wrong people.  I am not a mind reader and only you know how you feel about photos being taken of you.  So please, voice your honest opinions during any shoots, especially ones with me.



  1. Review

Assuming I’m not in the hospital after a convention, I’ll do my best to keep in contact with you after the convention.  I’ll wait for you, the model/cosplayer, to contact me.  Once that happens, I’ll send a Dropbox link to the album where all your photos are where you can go through EVERY PHOTO I SHOT and let me know which ones are the following:

  • Keeps: Photos to be kept and edited.  If all goes well these photos will be posted publically on my pages on Facebook,


    Twitter, DeviantArt, etc.  You will also have permission to post these on your social media or other pages to promote your work.  (Limited to non-monetary means.  If you wish to sell prints, please contact me beforehand.)

  • Bloopers: Photos to only get quick edits and only posted on private profiles like my personal Facebook page (not “BlizzardTerrak Photography”).
  • Deletes: Photos that should never be posted either publically or privately.  I do actually delete photos in this category (mostly because I don’t have the space on my Hard Drives).

And this keeps going until you get the photos to the desired effect.

NOTE:  I actually do not use Photoshop.  I use Adobe Lightroom (LR 5) as a way to process hundreds of photos at once.  The software, however, does not have strong tools for special effects.  I can do minor touch ups like pimples, some baggy eyes, some colors and lighting, and maybe the trash on the ground.  Don’t expect fire effects, smoke, or even Laser Beams.  Basically what you see on site is what you get.


Any other questions, feel free to send me a message on Facebook or Twitter.
Or Contact me for this and Photoshoot requests within the Bay Area at:


~ by BlizzardTerrak on May 16, 2015.

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