Professionalism in Photography
I've talked about how to find your photographer and making sure you stay safe during your photoshoot, but now I wanna talk about how to conduct yourself during the photoshoot itself. How to figure out posing and get the most bang for your buck. I myself am not a photographer, but I have enough friends that are, so I'll throw in commentary that I have heard from them. I want both parties protected in both of these situations, so that everyone is happy with the end result.
So, you've picked out your photographer, you're happy with the price (and if you aren't, you can always book a different photographer.) Now you can prepare for the upcoming photoshoot by researching. If you know the particular character you are going to be wearing, the best place to start, is canon poses they are seen in. Put them all in a word document, and try to have at least 10 poses. If the photoshoot is an hour, that gives the photographer 6 minutes for each pose and can get all the best angles and lighting for it. It's also helpful to print that document out to give to your photog so that if they aren't familiar with the character, they have an idea of what they should be looking for. Also keep in mind the personality of your character. If you do this, you'll have a wider array of poses, even if your character is only seen in one episode for 5 minutes. You can also bring along a friend to act as a posing coach (I, myself offer during photoshoot coaching for $10 an hour) who can tell you if a face you are making is weird or your arm is bent the wrong way, etc. We can be photoshoot savers.
You should also practice posing before the photoshoot. If you're looking up poses AT the shoot, it'll eat into your time, and instead of getting 10-15+ poses, it'll be closer to 5-6, which, depending on your purposes, may fit, but I enjoy variety to my poses. Full body mirrors can be found at many stores, Walmart having one for less than $8, and Target for less than $10, while I believe I got mine at IKEA for $15. It's super helpful to look at yourself while practicing your posing and making sure you are picture perfect. You can also have your friend take photos of you with a phone to show you what you need to improve on. Only keep a friend that will offer constructive criticism ("Oh, you need to tilt your head slightly to the right") rather than be straight insulting, ("That pose makes you look fat, don't do it") in order to up your confidence before the shoot. If you feel good about the character/cosplay, you'll look good in the shoot.
If you have a group that you're shooting, there should be at least one designated posing coach for the single shots, and a second outsider for the group shots. That makes the group more organized and creates a good flow so that you get as much camera time as possible. If you don't have many canon poses, you'll be able to create some beautiful shots taking that character's personality into consideration. Are they more cute? Angry? Silly? Once you take that into consideration, run with it. Specifically for Bakugou, I wanted a jumping photo because he's seen yelling and jumping in his Hero Suit often. I wanted to capture the anger and fury he holds in his heart. Capture the essence of your character and run with it! I try to pick characters that correlate at least a little with my personality, so I can just amplify those parts and create the perfect pictures.
After the photoshoot, you're tired, you're excited, and you want your photos back NOW. Please remember that if you're at a convention, you're probably not the only person/group/couple that they are shooting that weekend. Be patient. If you rush your photographer, your photos will not come out how either of you want them. And even outside of the convention, they have a life. They might work full time or have a family they have to take care of, or any number of factors. You must be patient with your photographer. Most of them will tell you their turn around time, but I give at least two weeks until you get at least a preview shot. I know that feels like forever, but every photographer has to go through their images, cull out the blurry/out of focus/eyes closed/not pose intended shots, then make the magic happen. Some require heavy editing and others may not. But you gotta be patient and let them work.
Please remember that once you get your photos back, if you did not sign a print-release form, you legally cannot sell them. Just because it has your face on it, does not mean that you own the rights to sell the prints. You also cannot edit past what they have done and pass it off as their work. That shows others work that that photographer didn't actually do and is basically lying to others about the skill of the photographer. Finally, remember that when you post your photos to your social media, tag the photographer. Every. Time. Their time is just as valuable as yours and they deserve to get more business as well. They work so hard and deserve more work in order to get better not only for themselves, but for their customers as well!