Finding a good location for a cosplay photoshoot can be tricky, especially if it seems like there’s nothing cool or noteworthy nearby. But not to worry! It’s actually a lot easier than you might think, and here, I’m going to show you how to find a photoshoot location for any cosplay, no matter the cosplay, no matter where you live!
First off, one of the most helpful things when you’re trying to find a good photoshoot location is in-person location scouting. Googling parks and attractions is all well and good, but a couple of photos on a website isn’t actually all that helpful for seeing if a place will be a good for a photoshoot. Plus, not all photoshoot locations are actual sites or attractions — some of the best photoshoots I’ve done were off the map.
One that comes to mind is the shoot I did for my General Amaya cosplay, which was on the edge of a random field next to a two-way highway. Super random, definitely wouldn’t be advertised as a photoshoot location anywhere, but I absolutely love the photos I got out of it.
So, how do you scout for locations? One thing is taking a camera (or just your phone) with you wherever you go, and take pictures of anything that looks promising. Maybe you’re taking a walk in the park, and you find a glade of trees that would be just perfect for a fantasy cosplay. Or you’re going downtown, and you find an interesting building or wall that would be great for a more modern costume, or even as just a blank backdrop for any character.
It doesn’t have to be something amazing and show-stopping to make a good photoshoot location! You can get good photos just about anywhere.
An example of a random, out-of-the-way location that I got great photos out of was this photoshoot, for my Lady Sif cosplay. The location was just a short, paved walk by a river, with some nice waterside, wooded areas. Nothing super fancy. But by positioning my camera in the right place, and posing in front of the right backgrounds, I still got some great photos! Plus, the snow made for a really interesting shoot, with very nice, bright photos at the end.
Another example of a super random location was for my Jacquelyn cosplay. Jacquelyn is a character from the show A Series of Unfortunate Events, and she works most regularly as a spy in a large city. As I live in a pretty small town, going to a big city wasn’t really an option.
However, I decided to compensate by finding some nice, large buildings, with nearby gardens, so I could do a mix of more man-made backgrounds, and nature ones. It may have just been some campus buildings at a random college, but they still made for some great photos! Again, it’s not something that would be advertised as a great photoshoot location on any website, but the best locations can often be found by thinking outside the box!
Although, there can be some great options for photoshoot locations just by Googling ‘photoshoot locations near me.’ I have found some potential spots this way, and it can be helpful in finding out what’s nearby. It depends on what you’re looking for, and what’s close.
Photoshoot Location Ideas
All that being said, I did promise location ideas for any cosplay, and I plan to deliver! So, below are several ideas for different photoshoot locations for different genres of cosplays. A lot of these types of locations can be found anywhere, though a couple are more specialized. Again, it all depends on where you live, what you’re looking for, and how far you’re willing to go. Wherever you do end up going, though, just make sure you’re allowed to be there, and to take photos! That is pretty important.
So, then, here are a ton of different location ideas for cosplay photoshoots!
Fantasy Photoshoot Locations
Castles, old ruins, or stone walls. Things like this are most often found in Europe, but you can compensate in America by using an old stone structure somewhere, the remains of a building, or just a wall or building made out of stone.
Forests and glades. Even trees and shrubs in you backyard can be good for photoshoots if you position yourself and the camera right. Or else public parks, or nature trails. Wherever you are, I can almost guarantee there’s at least some kind of out-of-the-way nature trail nearby.
Modern Photoshoot Locations
Random walls and buildings. Just walking down Main Street, you can find some nice walls and buildings to pose in front of. This photo of my Lady Loki cosplay was taken in front of a random wall while walking to a comic con, and it’s a great example of finding places for photoshoots wherever you are.
Office building lobbies, colleges, hotel lobbies, and other indoor, public places. Again, make sure you’re not forbidden from taking pictures. I’ve personally never had any problems with this, but if you’re worried, you can always ask. Or just use your best judgment. For indoor locations, though, one thing to keep in mind is how good the lighting is. Indoor lighting can sometimes be tricky, unless you’re bringing your own lighting equipment.
Sci-Fi Photoshoot Locations
Arcades and gaming rooms. Admittedly, I don’t have a ton of experience with sci-fi shoots, but I have seen a ton of cool cosplay photos taken in arcades and gaming centers. All the fancy setups and colorful flashing lights can make for some awesome photos. Just make sure your camera can take good photos in dim lighting (my iPhone could never, haha).
Inside modern buildings. When I think of sci-fi, something that comes to mind is big, white, bright buildings. Maybe a museum entryway, a convention center, or something similar. Places like this can help mimic a sci-fi appearance, without actually being a spaceship or futuristic building.
With sci-fi, modern, and fantasy, I feel as though I’ve covered most cosplays. Yes, there are many other genres and types of cosplays, but by doing some brainstorming and adjustments, you can adapt these types of shoot locations for almost any cosplay. Some random trees, for instance, or a blank wall, can be a good backdrop for almost any cosplay. Plus, there’s a lot you can do with editing afterwards.
So, while I couldn’t cover EVERYTHING, I hope this article was still helpful to you in figuring out good photoshoot locations! And if you don’t have anyone to take pictures with you, not to worry! I actually have a full Youtube video about how to take your own cosplay pictures, which you may find helpful.
With that video, in conjunction with this post, you’ll be unstoppable!