Definitely have a game plan set up before you plan anything else. It's all about location, lighting, and an understanding between your model and you. Check out some of our work if you want some examples!
For the best cosplay pics, you need a model that can really get in character! They have to be believable.
Guys, can I tell you something, this is not the kind of advice I'm after. I know how to do a photoshoot, I've done many, my "game plan" about doing studio, non-event shoots IS my goal. What I have no experience doing is the event stuff, meeting people in the trade, and getting a portfolio together to show people to get them interested in my work. Getting started with my work in college was always the toughest part, and now I'm entering a new subject matter and starting over, but I've made lots of good connections along the way.
My apologies, the way you worded it made you sound like a beginner. Sorry about that! Well, if you want to meet people in the trade, just attend some conventions, there are always photography booths there.
imagesolutions2Featured By OwnerJan 11, 2013Hobbyist Photographer
I would suggest you map out a game plan first. Set up your budget for the year then look at the conventions around the US/ work you can attend ([link]). When I go to conventions, I usually spend about four hundred dollars for that weekend and that is before getting a booth, if you are interested in that aspect. After you get some great photographs, you could start advertising on online anime boards to set up photo shoots while at the events.
My best suggestion is to focus on your photo technique and learn environment portraiture. The vast majority of cosplay photography I see is terrible. It is almost always boring compositions in harsh light. Which is really a shame because the costumes are often impressive and the poor photography makes them look tacky and cheap. If you want to see what really well done cosplay photography can look like take a look at Michelle Monique's work ([link]). It does mean every single shoot requires a lot of prep and set up which is then followed by many hours in photoshop but the end product can be very striking.
I absolutely expect each shoot to be quite an ordeal. Like I said, I've done a lot of model photography in the past, been exhibited, won awards, etc, and my goal as a cosplay photographer is honestly to blow so far past the rest and really just make really, really great photos. I've got some very interesting things in mind.