A great photographer can take pictures anywhere and with any equipment, well almost any location and equipment. No matter how good you are, you’re not going to get the same quality of pictures with a disposable as you are with a mirrorless camera or DSLR. But aside from such extremes, great cosplay photographers usually create amazing work no matter where they are. I have seen some amazing cosplay photographers such as (Shiro Ang Photography and Santosphotocosplay) create images that are way beyond my skill level but I’m trying to get there.
But regardless of your skill level, I notice most people have preferences for their shoots. This is only natural of course. Maybe you feel more comfortable with natural light or you have more experience using flashes. Either way, the elements you choose to create your photos are usually specific to each photographer and today I want to touch a bit more on indoor vs outdoor photos. So sit back enjoy and let’s take a look at some of the benefits and cons of indoor vs outdoor cosplay photos.
Starting Off our talk I want to first discuss indoor shoots. There are several benefits to indoor shoots but some of the largest are absolute control over lighting and control over your background. Having absolute control of your lighting is a game-changer. Amazing images are created from tons of elements but lighting is arguably the most important. The way light shines onto a subject determines nearly everything from the perception of the viewer to what’s hidden and revealed in the final elements of the photo.
Conventions usually provide terrible lighting for photography hence why many photographers bring an external light source with them. Using an external light source such as Godox or Rovelight flashes and monolights with a large diffuser allow for relatively consistent results. That is if you are not changing locations. This means that you will not have to drastically change your settings between each image. This will make your post-work in lightroom or photoshop much easier. As stated earlier, each photographer has a specific look for their pictures and when shooting indoors, it’s much easier to constantly create that look due to more control over each element of the shoot.
This fact is amplified even more when you decide to do studio shoots. For example, look at these two images. One was taken outside and the other indoors. I love the way both of these images turned out but I had a lot more control over the indoor image. The lighting was consistent indoors and meant that I could basically use the same settings all day. When I was outdoors I had to constantly correct my settings and position the cosplayer either further or closer to the lights with regards to the position of the sun. You also had to account for any clouds that were passing by thus adding another element to factor into the shoot.
Second, with the indoor images, I had an extremely consistent background. I did not have to worry about people walking past, cars or any unexpected things popping into my images. I have to admit cons do not offer my favorite backgrounds but hey you work with what you got. If given the option, I would like to use my blackback drop for shoots as seen in the images above. But this is not always an option for each convention so I usually opt for a wall rather than a shot where the individuals are standing in the middle of the convention floor. Again, this all comes down to personal preferences and both look great with the right settings and setup.
Now to take a look at Outdoor Shoots. Outdoor shoots are in my opinion much more challenging but can be extremely rewarding. Selecting the right location for a shoot is everything. Natural vs industrial areas greatly accent or completely take away from a shot depending on the cosplay being exhibited. Unfortunately, I have yet to find any ruins but I really want to find some for my next outdoor shoot. You can also experiment with items such as fireworks, fire and even light painting. These items are not exactly con friendly.
Touching a bit more on the backgrounds, nature provides some of the best backdrops available. Sure you can recreate them in photoshop but I personally like to head to locations to get the full experience. These images were taken at the fountains at the boardwalk in charlotte North Carolina during Queen City Anime con. Ps: I just finished this year’s pics and you can find them HERE. I personally loved this background and would choose it any day over a convention’s walls.
Another problem with many outdoor shoots is getting cosplayers to come over to your location. If you do not have shoots scheduled, then you have to constantly bring cosplayers over and possibly disrupt their convention experience. If you can find some receptive cosplayers, I’m sure they won’t regret the decision once they see the final product. Just make sure you have everything set up and are good to go as soon as they arrive.
Last but not least I would say one of the greatest benefits of outdoor shots is the angles. You can position the cosplayers against trees, rocks or even on stairs. The possibilities are endless and simply changing the angle of a shot can drastically affect the overall outcome of the shoot. Getting above or below the cosplayer adds in elements that direct shots lack and although they do not always turn out well, they can be the fuel needed to stimulate the creation of absolutely amazing shots.
There are so many more amazing aspects of indoor vs outdoor shoots but I will save them for another post. I have to keep you guys coming back right LOL? Well, I hope you enjoyed this look at indoor vs outdoor shots and hope it makes your next con shoot decision a bit easier. Well, that’s everything for today. Until next time stay BOUNDLESS!!!
PS: For more Info Related To Cosplay Photography Check (Here)