I was speaking with an old friend from out of state, who at the time had just completed an awesome cosplay. They had commissioned a photographer to shoot them at a con they attended.
“Wow, these pictures look amazing! You must have had a pro do them”
“Yeah, someone was advertising on Facebook about being at a convention doing photos. I like how they look, but I wish I could do it again”
“Why would you want to do it again?”
“Because they look good, but the photos do not look like my character; it seems like the photographer just had a few poses ready for me, but it was the same poses they did with everyone they shot. I wanted something unique”
The Pose: The Missing link…
This is a conversation I have had with many people over the years I have been in cosplay. Photographers, like anyone else get into a groove. Even with poses. A photographer can take as much as 1,000 photos at a convention in a matter of hours. As much as three times that in a ninety minute shoot. Sometimes, they want to “get through it” and get their client the photos they agreed upon. To manage their workflow, they have a set of poses that they put most of their clients through. On top of that, most photographers don’t understand their clients cosplay. Sure, they could be a fan of the recent marvel movies, or maybe saw the occasional anime.
But, they don’t understand that Cosplay is more than just a costume…
Seeing this predicament, I knew that HCWC would need to create a solution for this, while still maintaining a quick workflow during shoots. After much trial-and-error, we created the posing workbook.
The posing workbook utilizes a handful of poses of the Client’s character, and gives both us and the client the ability to prep before the shoot. Our clients get the ability to practice their poses, and we have the ability to prep compositions and set up lighting before the shoot. This not only makes your pictures just as unique as your cosplay, but it also gives us the time to shoot more photos.
Each workbook is different; we design each one to the cosplay and cosplayer we are shooting. Each pose is designed to mimic the character you are cosplaying to a T. We utilize images and screen grabs to find the perfect pose each time. We also provide an area for notes during the consultation, or while you are practicing the poses. These workbooks are meticulously designed with the perfect pictures for the client in mind.
The above image is a quick mini shoot that was completed at a recent convention. The pose workbook was generated before the shoot during the consultation. Client had specific wants / needs that were translated into the workbook. After shooting, our team was aware of exactly on composite assets were required, translating into a much faster workflow allowing us to get the completed photo to the client in forty-eight hours from consultation to completion.
Although this is not always the case (this shoot was a one-shot quick shoot at a convention), the pose workbook allows us to complete the best photos possible for our clients, in the fastest manner possible.
Please keep in mind, not all poses translate to a completed image. Props break, minds change before the shoot, or some poses just don't work the way they should have.
To combat this, we put as many poses as possible in our workbooks, even for a half-hour convention shoot. There have been cases where we have had as many as twenty poses for an hour shoot!
In full-production shoots, we have several workbooks with storyboards. This allows us to not only get the best photos, but gives us the ability to tell a story with every location we shoot. This also gives us the ability to create an unveil video telling this story in post.
This is an extreme example, however it has happened where we have a large amount of poses is condensed down into a few by the time composition is completed.
At HCWC, we pride ourselves on shooting the best photos possible for our clients. The pose workbook is a valuable tool in creating the best experience for our clients possible.