Originally posted on the blog, A Cosplay, I thought this might come in handy for CBwaB readers as well! Enjoy!
Tip #1: What are you judged on?
Craftsmanship, Accuracy (two of the most common factors), and Embellishment (If you did it, why?)
These criteria vary based on competition. If you want to know exactly what you will be judged on, it’s best to go to the convention’s website and poke around the Costume Judging section to find the rules and regulations.
Tip #2: ALWAYS BRING REFERENCE SHOTS!
Always. Always. Always. As many as you can. In as many angles as you can. This helps with the accuracy points.
Tip #3: Progress Shots go leaps and bounds.
Ana Aesthetic talked about a particular incident where a girl being judged hadn’t thought to bring progress shots and she didn’t end up winning because even though her sewing was fabulous, it was almost too fabulous. They couldn’t verify that she had actually made her costume.
Even if they are just cell phone pictures (hehe, mine are) it keeps you from being accused of buying the costume and taking credit.
Tip #4: Don’t Discourage Yourself
Just because you think your costume is crap, doesn’t mean it actually is. Don’t let that keep you from entering. Sam cited a moment where they entered a compeition and then were bumped from the Novice division to the Masters Division because the judges thought their costumes were so great.
Tip #5: Showmanship vs. Craftsmanship
One of the more interesting things Ana, Sam, and Steven pointed out was the difference in costuming for the Stage and costuming for walking around hallways. They encouraged us to make sure that we crafted for Showmanship when we needed to. Even if the fabric looks horrible in normal light, if you know its going to look amazing on stage, do it. You may have to defend it to the judges, but that’s OK.
Ayden is a fellow cosplayer and writer at the blog, A Cosplay. She is also a freelance photographer for the online convention website, Nerd Caliber, and a cosplay photographer. You can check out her cosplay photography at her Deviantart.