COSplayMODE Special contents

Idol-Style Portrait Techniques
Want to make natural photos with a floaty feel, like a pop idol posing for a casual, non-forced pic? No problem! Just find a well-lit location or bright studio and start snapping! And don’t forget to read this first?we’ve got lots of tips to add floatiness and sparkle toyour shots.
Model: ここな Kokona / Photos: Chaos / Editor: Seiko Oomura

Handy Photo Accessories

You don’t need this stuff to take pictures with, but having them around really makes it easier to get that airy, glowing look!

A total must if you can afford one! They’re a necessity for outdoor shots outside of the morning/evening hours. The round 1-meter-diameter ones are easy to handle; you’re free to choose gold or silver for the back side. See below for more details.

Flash and telephoto/ fixed focal length lens
Either of these lens types makes it easy to defocus the background. Don’t have one? No problem? just use a long (higher-numbered) standard zoom lens. A flash is also helpful, but not a requirement.
These umbrellas soften direct light on the subject, even on sunny days, making skin look more attractive. Someone needs to carry it, though, so you’ll need some kind of stand for solo sessions.

Use backlighting and a reflector to soften images

Shooting toward the light on sunny days can put dark shadows on your subject, hurting their looks. At times like that, put the sun behind the model’s shoulders and let the backlighting add a floaty light effect to the pic. That’ll darken the foreground, but you can use a reflector to boost up the light levels.
we used a reflector with a gold back side. Gold helps the skin and complexion; silver adds a sharper look. Both are stronger than white.
Use a white reflector, naturally brighter look.


Defocus the background

Adding“bokeh,”or blurring, to the background helps your subject stand out beautifully. There are two types of bokeh, one based on f-number* and one based on focal length**. Which one to use depends on how you want to involve the background with the subject.
* f-number: A measure of lens speed, expressed as“f/”and then a number. Different numbers change the amount of light that enters the lens, altering the brightness.
** Focal length: The distance between the lensvand the image sensor. Smaller (shorter) values provide for wider shooting ranges, while larger (longer) values mean shorter ranges, making the subject look larger.


Change the f-number

Only the f-number is different between these three shots. The smaller it is, the more the area not in focus is blurred (the further away it is, the more bokeh you’ll get). Once your subject’s face is in focus, adjust the f-number to blur the background away


Change the focal length

The model’s actually in the same position in both pictures. Longer focal lengths shorten the range between the background and the focus, giving an overall “packed” look reminiscent of illustrations and letting you blur the background more.

Light, airy poses and moves

Even the moves and poses you make can add a floaty, sparkly look to any photo. Having your clothing or hair get tossed around in the air, for example, is one way to add extra luster. Picture what the character you’re portraying would do as you shoot.

It’s easy to see how a good pose wins out over a picture of you just standing there like a frump. Exaggerate a little, keep your joints bent, and try to curve for the camera.

Unless you can pull it off yourself, you’ll need a helper to add that billowing look to things like the hems of skirts. Either find an extra person or have the cameraman use a remote control to get that fabric blowing.

Use sunlight through trees and camera angles

For photos like these, places where sunlight filters through trees are perfect. If there’s a lush, grassy lawn you can use, even better! Watch out for the way the light hits the model’s face, as well as your camera’s vantage point. Shooting at eye level can create a totally different effect from an overhead pic.

When shooting, don’t be hesitant to get right at your subject’s eye level. Tell her what you’re seeing and what stands out to you as you shoot; that’ll help both of you stay on the same page, image-wise. Be honest, tell her what you’re liking, and things will go great!

The cameraman stood up for the top photo and went down to eye level for the bottom one. Keep the whole body in the shot for more sparkliness; get up close for an airier atmosphere.


Background techniques for floaty, sparkling photos

Even when you’re shooting around the same flower bed, changing the model’s position can make it feel like a casual snapshot or a fancy portrait. Take what you’ve learned above?get a long-distance lens and a reflector or umbrella to eliminate shadows crossing the face. Keep the lens far off for a natural snap. If you want the model to stand out a lot, add heavy blur to the background, or add some bokeh to the forefront for an artier image-centric shot. With enough bright ideas, you can use the exact same backdrop to take all kinds of sparkly, floaty photos!
A telephoto shot from a somewhat faraway point. Shooting at a wide angle can shrink the flowers and mess up the composition, but the telephoto keeps the model and the flowers big, ensuring she doesn’t look too lonely.
Getting closer than the left-hand photo, adding some brightly-colored branches, and defocusing them with the telephoto lens adds a sparkly impression to the entire shot.

Use a telephoto lens to bring the model and flowers into focus, concentrating your perspective on both. Telephoto adds tons of bokeh to the background, so this is good for floaty, brilliant pictures.

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