Con Advisor: Photography Tips

Greetings fellow con goers. I hope everyone is calmed from the craziness of E3 because this week, I’m talking about something a few people have been asking about. This of course is taking photos and getting your photo taken. Let me remind you that I’m not trying to make you into a professional photographer with this article. This is intended for people to know how to properly approach cosplayers as well as be approached by a photographer. If you’d like some personal tips on photography, I might be able to refer you to someone else. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s begin:

Its quite easy during a con to get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of people in awesome costumes that you want to get a picture of all of them (That’s how I was when at my first con). It’s probably one of the most flattering things that can happen to a cosplayer…and they’ll like you even more if you recognize their costume. Of course, some people tend to be a bit reluctant to take pictures. You don’t have to be afraid (at least most of the time). Cosplayers don’t bite, and they’ll love to let you take a picture of them…well most of the time. That being said, here are a few pointers when taking photos of cosplayers.

Now that I’ve gone over some tips for people taking pictures, there are a few things that we as cosplayers can do to help out photographers:

So, once again, I’d like to take this moment and talk about something that happens very often while taking photographs.


Photobombing is when a person who is not intended to be in the picture ends up being in the picture. This is something that I have done unintentionally in the past (and I’m even guilty of doing it intentionally…sorry to those people who have been photobombed by me) and it got me thinking; Do other people in the cosplay community share the same thoughts on photobombing as I do?

I reached out to the community about this, and this is what has been said:
It is annoying of friends/strangers if you’re trying to get certain pics. There are times it can be funny though but usually I prefer them not to.
~Steve STVO Universe

Nearly always annoying. EXCEPT when relevant to the cosplay being photographed or when good friends who don’t take it too far or do it too regularly. ~Laura V …And Sewing Is Half the Battle

Friends doing it every once in awhile can be funny, but random strangers doing it is annoying. ~ Casual Cosplayer

and from a photographer’s point of view:

They aren’t my favorite.  It can be a problem, particularly in crowded areas and most of the time I will wait for the photo bomber to leave and take another. ~ Jess – Photographer, Geek Girl Chicago

So as you guys can see that there’s a time and a place for photobombing. I’ve had my share of photobombing, from 2 people (one at a time) interfering with me taking a photo of Joe from Digimon, to a random guy coming up and photobombing my friend while I’m trying to get a picture of her Chell cosplay (that one was quickly deleted). They were mildly annoying (the first one making me very mad because I had to take the picture 3 times total!)

My advice for this would be, unless you really know the people cosplaying or taking the picture, I would really think twice about doing it. Depending on who you end up photobombing, it could cause a major problem with them. It all comes down to common courtesy. Don’t do it to someone if you don’t want them to do it to you. In the event of someone photobombing a picture, kindly just ask them to get out of the picture. If they don’t, be firm with them and say it again. If they’re still bugging you, move someplace else and take the picture. By that time I’m sure they won’t bug you, but in that event, go to security.

In conclusion, if you’re a photographer and want to get a picture of someone, don’t be afraid. It’ll really make their day. Just be sure that you use good judgment and make sure not to offend the cosplayer.  And on the flipside to cosplayers, let’s try to be more considerate of photographers. It does take a lot for some people to come up to you and ask for a picture.

Next week’s topic will be: Going out of state to a con: How to prepare for it, and even some on the road tips. Be sure to tune in.

Before I end this week, I wanted to take this moment to thank a few people for giving me their input on this week’s article: Paul, Laura H, Megan, Kevin, Ruby, Steve, Anya and Laura V.