First off, before you can even have a photo shoot, make sure that you can actually hold the photo shoot at the con that you’re at. Some conventions actually have a set schedule of when and where photo shoots will be held. If you’re looking to schedule one for the convention, message the required party (usually a forum moderator for said thread.). This is the first step, and usually the most important. If you aren’t allowed to have a large group meet up, then you can’t do it.Now that you’re actually at the photo shoot, time to round up all the cosplayers and start the photo shoot. Here’s how to do it:
- If you plan on running the photoshoot, be sure that you know series/game that you’re running the photoshoot on. This will help you keep things flowing and will help you to think of ideas for photos. (I wouldn’t run a shoot on anything Clamp since I don’t know any of Clamp for example).
- Have a mental list of photo ideas that you would like to do. I tend to go by this list: Everyone, individual game/movie/series (if there are sequels), Male characters, Female Characters, couples, etc. After that, you can get more specific with themes (for Final Fantasy try doing things like classes (thieves Treasure Hunters, fighters, mage, etc.))
- Keep the photoshoot moving: Nobody likes sitting around doing nothing and having to wait…especially when it’s cold. Have the cosplayers pose for one photo for about…15-20 seconds, and then have them switch. After the same amount of time, count down from 10 and have them move out of the way for the next category. I remember one time I was at a photoshoot, and the person running it would not have us switch poses. We were cold and we were getting uncomfortable holding the same pose.
- Try not to request things that people aren’t comfortable with. For example: things like having couples kiss or show other forms of PDA. Some might be cool with it, others not.
- From time to time, you might get people who are not directly part of the series/game who ask to be a part of the photoshoot (One time I had some people from No More Heroes to be part of the Nintendo shoot for example). Depending on how they act, I might let people go ahead and take some photos, but it depends on you. If they’re being rude about it, then you don’t have to say yes.
- Be mindful of the time. Most photoshoots only run 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on what the series/game is. Sometimes you CAN’T get to every request. Don’t worry it happens. So try to make sure that you get to what you can and then disband for the next group.
If you’re not the person running the photoshoot and are just taking part of it, here are a few things you can do to help things out:
- If the person running it is IN the photo, it would help to do the countdown. Try not to have too many people do it, because when millions of people start counting down, it can become a mess.
- Don’t rush the person running it. Be considerate and let them handle things.
- To the people in the photos, try not to say rude things to them and distract them. Be nice, and let them take their photo.
- Don’t bombard the organizer with photo requests. Don’t be upset if they can’t get to your request. There is a time limit.
- I might get flack for this one, but don’t turn the photoshoot into a yaoi fest. A lot of people like to ship characters and turn them into a yaoi pairing. Please, don’t do that unless it’s official. (Jack Harkness from Doctor Who/Torchwood pairing with characters is ok because…well its Jack Harkness). You might be a HUGE yaoi fan, but remember that not everyone is.
- Don’t complain if the person running it doesn’t do things that you dont like.
And for those of you who are not part of the meet up at all, you can even help out by following this simple rule:
Don’t photobomb or disturb the group. You might not like the fandom, but that doesn’t give you the right to go out and crash their photoshoot. They don’t have the space for a long time so let them do their stuff. If you do disturb them, then you might be asked to leave the con if security is there. So…don’t do anything stupid.
Once again I’ve reached out the community for some advice and here’s what they’ve said:
“Make sure you have a commanding voice, and can project, but not screaming.”
“BE FRIENDLY TO PEOPLE! Chat with the people (both photographers and cosplayers) who show up for the photoshoot before and after the photoshoot time. It gets people a lot more relaxed.”
“It’s easier to start from let’s say first game to current one and all the in-between characters.”
With that all being said, you should have everything that’s needed to run a fun and effective shoot. Now many people will be happy with the photos that are posted online (or they don’t like them and they’ll ask to be untagged). Make it fun and enjoy yourself.
Next week, how to prepare for a masquerade.
I would like to that the following people for their input: Matt, Samantha, Kim, and Desiree