When you ask a woman of a certain age, especially a somewhat nerdy woman, who their favorite video game character is…Lara Croft is going to dominate those answers.

Why? Because Lara was the first lead character in a video game that wasn’t a princess and didn’t need to be rescued. She was the one doing the rescuing in the iconic franchise Tombraider. Lara didn’t want to live a trust fund life. She was too busy jumping off cliffs, shooting bad guys and being an adventurous bachelorette.

These are all big reasons why she was my first real attempt at cosplaying a decade ago. So I was super pumped for the opportunity to revisit the character for the upcoming GAAM Adventure Show:

#GAAM | Games, Art And Music. Your favorite video game based, charity art party/show is back, this time with an Adventure theme focused on Zelda, Tomb Raider, and Uncharted! This adults only event has Charity art auctions, Indie games, DJs, cosplay, livestreaming crowd participation, live performances, food trucks, dancing, current gen games, prizes, adventure, and surprises! 

GAAM has held cosplay photoshoots for years that have grown into a great community here in North Florida. Friendships and relationships have expanded where photoshoot day is just another reason to laugh, eat chicken wings and take shots with your friends.

Related: Sonya Blade cosplay.

Want to learn more about how to achieve this Lara Croft cosplay? Read along to see how you can create your own…

Lara Croft Cosplay Breakdown


DIY/Already Owned



Disclaimer: I’ve always loved working out and while I make a half-assed attempt at dieting, I really wanted to challenge myself for this cosplay. But after this photo shoot, I don’t care to eat another helping of spaghetti squash or cauliflower pizza crust for as long as I walk this earth.

Before this shoot my idea of a diet was only eating junk food on the weekends. However, all the cosplayers stepped up their fitness routines and shared diet goals and FAQs in a private Facebook group—which was an incredible help.

For my diet, I cut out sugar, limited sodium intake and only had 50 grams of carbs on gym days for three weeks. Then the final two weeks leading up until the shoot, I followed this diet.


From research to the released photos, hit the “next” link in the gallery to check out all of the inspiration, photos and BTS from my Lara Croft cosplay.

Photography: Mark Painter Pariani