Cosplay Photography Do’s and Dont’s and SDCC

I originally wrote this article to help people who wanted to make photographing Cosplayers more fun for both people. In light of the recent San Diego Comic-con harassment charges brought against numerous guys attending the Con (some being photographers), It became apparent to me that I need to be say something about this. It is just a tragedy that we all as Nerds and Geeks cannot come together to celebrate the things we love, if thats comics, movies,art, or cosplay. I am a geek and nerdy, I get it, guys are all a bit social awkward at times and especially when talking to girls. This can be even more difficult when those same girls are dressed up as your favorite comic and pop culture heroines. BUT actively bothering, cat calling and any physical contact is just plain wrong! We are supposed to be celebrating the joys of being geeky and nerdy and to treat any one of us as less than a person devalues us all as a whole. I am pretty ticked off at the fact that there is a sub group of guys that cannot just enjoy the convention without trying to take advantage of others. This seriously has to stop. I also understand and acknowledge that harassment of this type is not just relegated to comic cons but is pervasive in our culture. I am just surprised that we as geeks and nerds can’t get together without guys being jackasses.

now, on to the actual blog post I wrote:

Below is a quick primer on photographing cosplay that I put together to hopefully help people out. I try to follow most if not all the rules set forth below whenever I am at a convention.

Maybe its because I am going to more comic cons or maybe cosplay is getting more popular. Either way, there are a ton of opportunities to photograph some really great costumes and maybe even make some friends along the way. Let me first state the following, I am not a pro photographer I am an amateur and although I went to school for photography, I do not get paid for my hobby.

That being said I have seen some do’s and don’t when it comes to taking cosplay photos. Here are my thoughts:

Don’t be creepy.

I have seen more than I care to say of photographers wanting to get a photograph of someone who for whatever reason doesn’t want their picture taken. This is most commonly seen when its a male taking a photo of a female. Guys, please try to be professional about this. Cosplayer’s by and large are very proud of their work and I have not come across a person who did not want to at least talk about the costuming they did. If you dead eye stare at a female they are going to get creeped out and not want to stand still for a photo from a creepy guy. Nuff said.

Do Be professional.

I suggest that if you are going to take photos and even think about posting them online at sites like flickr.com or 500px you should have business cards of some sort. I spend $25 bucks at Moo.com and get some mini cards printed before each con. I can ask to take the persons photo then I hand them the business card that has links to my flickr portfolio and my social media contacts when I am saying thank you to them. This goes a long way to also reduce any possible creep factor you may be accidentally broadcasting. It also shows that you care about your photography.

Do give credit where credit is due.

You might not always be able to do this especially at a convention where the cosplayer might be mobbed by other photographers (more on that in a second) but try to get the person’s name or at least a social media contact so you can give them credit when you upload them to your online portfolio. They spent a ton of time to put this all together so you should at least try to get some way to let the world know who they really are in real life. Some professional models will have a handle they go by instead of their name so make sure you know how they want to be represented.

Do take your shot and let others do the same.

There are times when you might not be able to to walk up immediately and get the persons name. This usually happens in the “sweet spot” photo areas in a con. You can always tell where they are as the area usually is larger and when a cosplayer arrives a wall of cameras lines up. Take your shot and move out of the way. Even if you are a “press pass” holder that doesn’t make you any better than the rest of the crowd. If you see the professional photographers there try to take a page from their book. watch what they do and do the same.

Do tell the cosplayer what you will be doing with the photo.

This goes back to why I have a mini business card from moo.com. Cosplayers want to know where their photos will be shown and why you are taking them. Letting them know where to look for them will be appreciated. Also, the cosplayer may not want their photo used on certain sites which they would tell you. All of this can be discussed during that nice section of time when you hand them that card. I really like it as I have made a few good friends that started out by me taking their photo and handing them that little card.

Don’t even think of selling any of your photos without a release signed by the Cosplayer

This is pretty easy. If you and the cosplayer agree that it is okay for you to profit on the photo there are a bunch more things you as the photographer needs to do to make sure legally you can receive money for an image of that cosplayer. This can include waivers, releases, attribution, etc… For me its too much work to bother with so I only post them online in my flickr gallery and tweet them. I make ZERO cash from the cosplay photos and so should you. Enjoy meeting new people and talking about the costuming. Work on your craft of taking photos and enjoy the convention.

The act of going to a con alone should be fun an enjoyable by everyone. If you attend a con as a photographer following these tips will ensure that everyone attending has a fun time.

The Great ComiXology Call for Creator Info Begins @ Baltimore Comic-Con ’12

For Immediate Release:

The Great ComiXology Call For Creator Info Begins!

ComiXology Seeks Info From Creators

26 Week initiative Launches at Baltimore Comic Con 2012

September 5th, 2012 – New York, NY ComiXology, the revolutionary digital comics platform with over 75 million comic and graphic novel downloads to date, continues their digital charge with a virtual “call” to all professional comic creators everywhere! This weekend at the 13th annual Baltimore Comic Con comiXology is launching a twenty-six week initiative to gather creator photos and info to complete the comiXology database of nearly 6,000 professional comic creators whose work is featured on the platform.

During each of the next twenty-six weeks, comiXology will focus on creators with last names that start with each letter in the alphabet — with week one starting with letter “A” and ending with the letter “Z”

Professional comic creators with books on the comiXology platform are invited to submit their pictures and biographies to comiXology by first contacting comiXology through comiXology’s twitter account here: twitter.com/comixology. Once verified, creators will be provided with an email address to submit their information to be used on the comiXology platform.

“Providing the best consumer experience possible is the core part of our mission to bring comics to everyone,” said comiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. “Creators are the lifeblood of the comic industry and having the most complete info about creators will create a fuller experience for our customers. In twenty-six weeks we plan to cover everyone from Aaron to Zuzelo.”

ComiXology was most recently in the news during the week of Comic-Con International, when they announced the launch of their all-new Windows 8 reader, followed by unveiling the addition of three new publishers to the comiXology platform — ABRAMS, Bongo and Fantagraphics Books. ComiXology and Bongo also launched the Simpsons Comics iOS app that week.

About comiXology
Founded in 2007with the mission of bringing comics to people everywhere, comiXology — in just five short years — has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel world. From creating the industry leading platform for digital comics to tools and services for brick and mortar retailers, comiXology has lead the charge in exposing new audiences to the rich history and culture of comic books. With the development of the Comics by comiXology digital comics platform — available across iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 and the Web— comiXology provides the easiest way worldwide for people to enjoy comics at just the click of a button! Regularly ranking as the top grossing iPad app in the entire iTunes App Store, Comics by comiXology was recently selected as a preloaded app on Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Providing digital comics across multiple platforms, comiXology will not stop until everyone on the face of the earth has been turned into a comic book fan.

COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL 2012: COMICARTS and COMIXOLOGY ANNOUNCE DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT

July 12th, 2012 – San Diego, CA. / New York, NY. During a packed panel earlier today at this year’s Comic-Con International 2012, Abrams ComicArts, an imprint of ABRAMS, the preeminent publisher of illustrated books, announced a digital graphic novel distribution agreement with comiXology, the revolutionary digital comics platform with over 75 million comic downloads to date and a selection of more than 25,000 comics and graphic novels.

To celebrate the announcement, four full-length graphic novels and one art book have been made available for download from the expansive library of Abrams ComicArts’ catalogue of classic and instant-classic comic works. Right now, comics and graphic novel fans across the globe can experience these Abrams ComicArts titles through the power of comiXology’s patent pending Guided View technology and CMX-HD. These launch titles are:

 

  • My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
  • Empire State: A Love Story (or Not) by Jason Shiga
  • Mom’s Cancer by Brian Fies
  • Fairy Tales for Angry Little Girls by Lela Lee
  • Cats, Dogs, Men, Women, Ninnies & Clowns: The Lost Art of William Steig by Jeanne Steig with illustrations by William Steig

Abrams ComicArts will immediately follow up this debut on the comiXology platform with numerous titles from Abrams ComicArts’ award-winning frontlist and backlist. Accessible across comiXology’s entire platform—iPhone,iPadAndroidKindle Fire and the Web—the Abrams ComicArts’ collection of comics and graphic novels is a welcome addition to the comiXology platform.

“It’s no secret that Abrams ComicArts is a shining star in graphic novel and art book publishing today,” said comiXology co-founder and CEO David Steinberger. “Charles Kochman and his team have put together such an impressive lineup of books over the years, it’s truly a privilege to be able to bring their fantastic array of award-winning graphic novels to a worldwide audience via comiXology. Partnering with Abrams ComicArts provides an opportunity to expand the readership for these titles and for comiXology as a whole.”

“We’re thrilled that readers everywhere will now get to experience our comics and graphic novels via comiXology,” said Charles Kochman, editorial director of Abrams ComicArts.

“ComiXology has quickly jumped to the top of the digital comics marketplace with their superior reading and shopping experience,” said Lindy Humphreys, director of digital assets and technologies at ABRAMS. “We look forward to expanding the audience for our titles with this exciting collaboration.”

In early May, comiXology revealed they had crested 65 million comic and graphic novel downloads since the beginning of the platform, with 15 million of those downloads happening in 2012. ComiXology recently unveiled that only one month later in June they had hit 77 million downloads — an addition of 12 million downloads — continuing on a trajectory of record-shattering growth.

About ABRAMS
Founded by Harry N. Abrams in 1949, ABRAMS is the preeminent publisher of high quality art and illustrated books. Now a subsidiary of La Martinière Groupe, ABRAMS is the publisher of bestsellers such as the wildly popularThe Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, the award-winning cookbooks of Alton Brown, and the stunning photography of Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Earth from Above. ABRAMS publishes books in the areas of art, photography, cooking, interior design, craft, fashion, sports, pop culture, as well as children’s books and general interest. The company’s imprints include Abrams; Abrams Appleseed; Abrams ComicArts; Abrams Image; Abrams Books for Young Readers; Amulet Books; Stewart, Tabori & Chang; and STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books. www.abramsbooks.com

About comiXology
Founded in 2007 with the mission of bringing comics to people everywhere, comiXology – in just five short years – has revolutionized the comic book and graphic novel world. From creating the industry leading platform for digital comics to tools and services for brick and mortar retailers, comiXology has lead the charge in exposing new audiences to the rich history and culture of comic books. With the development of the Comics by comiXology digital comics platform – available across iPhoneiPadAndroidKindle Fire and the Web– comiXology provides the easiest way worldwide for people to enjoy comics at just the click of a button! Regularly ranking as the top grossing iPad app in the entire iTunes App Store, Comics by comiXology was recently selected as a preloaded app on Amazon’s Kindle Fire. ### Contact