Cosplay photobooks are my guilty pleasure

So after a few years of doing cosplay, I’ve amassed a crazy amount of photos, and sure I post them online, but what else can I do with them? There was this trend 5 years ago where a lot of cosplayers started making coscards, but I wanted something more than just a business card with my socials on it.

June 16, 2020

While sometimes I take photos with making a photobook in mind, sometimes I just have a great set with lots of images and zero pre-planning.

I start by laying out all of my images and I try to see if I can make some sort of narrative or theme. From there I group similar images and themes together in Lightroom. Then, export, and bring it into InDesign to do the layout. Add some drawings or stock images and you’re done.

The first photo book I made was like over 5 years ago, and it wasn’t very good. I printed and cut everything myself to save money and… it was just all-around terrible. I was going to upload a video about it but turns out I gotta pay extra to upload video so y’all not gonna see it today. Instead, have this sample of my mediocre photography.

The most recent photo book I made was for my friend @smiletwofifty on Instagram and he wanted to make it to surprise another friend. The idea was that he would make the cover and I would make the content. When I received the photos, I was actually in shock because there were like 34 photos of the exact same thing (the cosplayer’s face) in the same angle. I guess if you like her face, there’s lots of that so you’ve stuck gold. From a layout perspective, it was horrid.

I tried multiple layout designs and concepts to make it seem less repetitive. You can view the full Summer Mashu photo book that I designed for them here.

But actually, Smiletwofifty makes his own books :^) And let me tell you, they are a great aesthetic. Please take a look. Simpin’ his work here.

If you know me, you probably know my ride or die, @Luminixen/ Lucia Cos. I take photos of her sometimes, and she cute and savage af. We worked on a few concepts together in the past, the most memorable one obviously being our Spirited Away photo book where my face is there 0% of the time, but that’s okay.

I took a selfie.

You can view the full Spirited Away photo book here.

There was quite a bit of effort editing the background to take out random garbage cans and poles and extending the images but it was all eventually done and printed. The funny thing about this project is that it legitimately took us two years to complete because she was busy then I was busy and then she moved to freaking Japan for awhile and it was never a priority. A little bit frustrating, but that’s life.

Of course, we cannot forgot our photographer @Roguesader for taking these for us like 4 years ago. I s2g it’s been that long.

Here are four notable publications I’ve contributed to.

I’ve contributed to more than just these four but there are some great memories associated with these. If you are a cosplayer or photographer, I cannot stress this project enough. Make a photobook.

In fact, the proceeds of the Violet Evergarden photobook was donated back to KyoAni to support them after the arson. If you want to donate, I think there might be some extra copies. You can message the cosplayer, @Homulillie.

My advice for any newbie would be: just do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Do it, at least for yourself. And if you want some advice or help, message me on Twitter (@Sha_Nyan) or Instagram (@Sha.Nyan). I’m always down to make them but it does take quite a few hours (maybe 10 – 20 hours to design depending on length) so just keep that in mind if you have a tight deadline.

So since Covid is still happening (let’s not lie… it’s still happening), I guess… I should look through my photos to make another photo book. If I’m not too lazy, I’ll try to document it for next time.

Take care Nyanners, and stay safe.

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