|One of my favorite shoots this year, it had a great outfit and perfect character depiction, |
but she started as a novice like everyone else.
Before getting into cosplay, I suggest reading my article about choosing the right cosplay. This article provides a list of suggestions that a novice or expert cosplayer should consider when choosing a future cosplay. Using my metrics, along with other suggestions from cosplayers, I believe that a person should be able to choose a cosplay that is right for them. Choosing a "right" cosplay is one of the hardest things when getting into the hobby, but it is a great adventure that offers infinite possibilities. After choosing a cosplay that you like, you should consider the four basic parts of cosplay: wig, outfit, contacts, and weaponry.
|Contacts can really|
improve your cosplay
|She makes her own|
outfits, but her level of
skill and talent is rare
Once you have all the required materials for your cosplay, you are ready to go. Before going to an anime convention or comic book convention, feel free to find an amazing photographer who can bring your costume to life in a full blown photo shoot. I also suggest going to the website of the convention you are going to and look at these items on the website:
- Weapons Policy: All conventions have a weapon policy which gives the basic rules and protocol for weapons that cosplayers carry at a con. Enforcement of the weapon's policy is normally done by the convention's access control and convention operations unit. To have your weapon approved by convention staff, a cosplayer needs to have their weapons peace bonded. This means that it is inspected by convention staff and approved to fit within the guidelines of convention policy. Once a weapon is peace bonded, the cosplayer cannot make modifications to the weapon, since modification changes whether the peace bonded weapon fits within convention guidelines. (For example, here is Anime Expo's weapon policy.)
- Clothing Guidelines: This is not for all cons, but some conventions may have clothing restrictions. For example, if a convention is a family-friendly event, there may be more rules against wearing scantily-clad clothing or there may be rules against wearing clothes that promote certain companies or brands. In general, just consider that your outfit will be seen by many people, so consider whether your cosplay is appropriate or inappropriate for the event.
- Code of Conduct: A code of conduct is the expected norms and rules of the convention in how people conduct themselves around other people. This is posted on the website of the convention and is normally in the program guide. The code of conduct is reasonable expectations that a convention has regarding how people act. There are certain actions that will result in removal from the event, such as threatening people or participating in dangerous acts. As a cosplayer, following the code of conduct means that the convention experience will be a good one.
Kris Zoleta started working in Anime Expo as a staffer in Manga Library. He worked in Staff Service in Anime Expo 2006 and became the manager of Manga Lounge from Anime Expo 2007-2010. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, the 501(c)(6) non-profit behind Anime Expo and is one of the most recognized cosplay photographers in the west coast.