Top 5 things Cosplayers hate about Photographers

So I've been nurturing the thoughts of this article for very long and I'm finally about to share them.

As the title explains, this article focus on the top 5 most annoying thing photographers do to cosplayers. The 'photographers' includes both event and non event photographers.

Also, as a usual disclaimer. I have to disclaim that this article is merely a written collection of cosplayer's general sentiments . It is targeted at no one in particular. Although if you are a photographer and is guilty of a few of these charges then you might wanna start reflecting. The list goes backward with the biggest number being the most heinous sin.


1.  Posting Unglam shots without permissions

Alright, let me start with the least sinful one.

Taking unglamorous shoots of the cosplayer is bad enough but posting it online without permission is worse. It’s like throwing your dear friend into the pits of hell and flames.

19859_282807101028_569886028_3583237_5222755_nOf course, the definition of ‘unglamorous’ itself is pretty intangible and it’s always hard to judge whether a picture is funny or ugly. Omake shots are almost always something stupid, out-of-character and sometimes  . . . pretty ugly. But nobody cares because the main point of those omake shots are to have fun!

But I guess the fun ends when the laugh’s on you (the Cosplayer). And his/her reputation is jeopardized by the publishing of an un-presentable photo. Thus risk granting him/her a place on the Cosfu shrine.

Once again, I come back to the intangibility of beauty. Because different people will look at different things, how are you going to know it the Cosplayer will get upset or not?. The safest bet , is to just seek your subject’s permission before posting it online. For as we all know, once it gets online, there’s no taking back.


2.  Taking photos without permission when the cosplayer is not ready yet

You guys must be SO TIRED of this issue so I’ll make this brief. I posted something of a similar topic a while ago and received many feedbacks on it.

Apparently, EYERYONE hates it ! It’s a unanimous vote. Photographers out there, please refrain from doing this unless you are a (close) personal friend of the Cosplayer.

Nobody like having lens snuffed 10cm from their face unless they are so short sighted and they can’t even tell.


3.  Insisting /forcing the cosplayer to do OOC poses

OOC = Out of Character

This point does not include mutually decided Omake shots. I’m talking about enthusiastic Photographers who go all “WOAHHH COME ON MORE SHOULDERS ! MORE BUTT! MORE SEX APPEAL !!!”

Yeah those creepy kinds.

Doing OOC poses are completely fine with me as you can see from my track record. I don’t give two hoots about a lady’s refined image.

P1040287 copyStarry Gay Luneth~ *

But I do get upset when people insist/suggest I do something not funny, not spontaneous and not related to the character’s personality. Mostly those that needs you to show more of your body or be of a more ‘servicing’ nature. Thankfully for me, I haven’t encountered much of those (must be my deadly aura).

Having sex appeal in commercial photography is great and is highly sought after. But for Cosplay photography, creativity is usually meant to be applied to looking(costume crafting included) and behaving LIKE the character and trying your best to bring the character to life.

I believe most cosplayers do a certain character because there is a trait about the character they admire and would dearly like to emulate. If the pose the photographer insists the cosplayer do happens to conflict with that trait, I’m afraid the Cosplayer won’t feel too comfortable doing it.

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Get the sexy back!!!

Imagine you are cosplaying the tough, independent and unfeminine Lighting from Final Fantasy 13 and the photographer wants you to wink at the camera or kneel seductively with half your boobs flashing at the camera lens. I don’t think I could handle that.

Have any of you encountered such an experience before? Share it with us in the comments below!


4.  Not taking the cosplayer’s ideas into considerations

I don’t encounter a lot of hentai jij photographers so I guess I can’t say it bothers me enough to place it at this spot. So it went to the 3rd point (above). So 4th (or rather 2nd) place goes to this.

Now this is one point that can really irk the hell out of me. Call me a control freak or whatever. But I like to look at each photo shoot as the making of a concept art. Cosplayers might want the photos from that shoot to carry a certain element in them that will differ it from the usual event shoots or other photos from previous Photo shoots. It’s like, sometimes we have a VISION of something that we want to create. And I believe I’m not the only cosplayer that feels this way.

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I know of Cosplayers who would plan and even storyboard out what they want in the shoot so as to give the photographers an idea of what they would like to achieve. It might be a concept for a still image or a sequence of images telling a story. However the presentation differs, the yearn to make something fabulous stays.

And for a Cosplay Project to work, the support and cooperation of the photographer is crucial. In fact, a good photographer can make or break the cosplay.  And not all photographers are as obliging.

I probably can’t blame them of course, since photographers come from a different background and shoot with a different purpose, so they might find it hard to attune themselves to the needs of the cosplayer.

And some might not even want to try because they either don’t want to change their style or they deem themselves better than the cosplayers who supposedly, knows nothing. Yeah, sometimes it’s all just an ego fight and it is annoying. Not so much of being belittled, I can deal with that, but more of coming away from a shoot without any really good pictures to show.

I’ve always felt it is difficult to bridge the vision a cosplayer has with that of a photographer. I guess one of the best Cosplay is not created by just the cosplayer but also the photographer who captured the legacy. For a good Cosplay to work or rather, for any human photography to work, both the subject and the photographer has to have some sort of chemistry. And the chemistry should show in the photos. But of course that’s just my take, what do you think?


5.  Not giving raws/high res photos promptly

This is so blatantly important I don't even know how anyone could NOT understand it. Yet, many photographers just don't. Or rather,  their photographer's pride don't allow them to.

Yes I can understand from their perspective. After all, photographers are also artists themselves. It makes full sense for any self/craft respecting artist to want to be responsible for the work they present to the world. After all, it’s their reputation at stake here.




But at the same time, we can’t neglect the cosplayer's perspective.

Cosplayers cosplays because they like the series and want to pay tribute to their fandom (well at least most of them). A lot of effort is spent on researching, sewing and crafting. It’s a crazy process. And to finally wear the whole ensemble out for the event or photo shoot they have been dreaming of for the longest time really means a lot to Cosplayers.

Exaggerating as it sounds, but yes, we cosplayers do have dreams and yearns. Everyone has that one dream costume we've always wanted to do since young and it probably the reason we started cosplay. We have that dream group  we worked hard to pull together. And we have that dream photoshoot we spent countless hours scouting and preparing.

It’s a long and crazy journey. And most of us (Cosplayers) don’t mind the relentless work and sweat because we know, it’s worth it. We push ourselves to the limit for the love of the fandom, for the love of the craft and for the growth a new challenge gives.

And the photographers are the perfect closure to all these hard work and dreams. They help create the end product that willjustify all the money and sweat toiled in. The photos proof of the project's existence.

Try telling someone you cosplayed so and so characters and their immediate reaction would be to request for pictures. Get what I mean?

If you don't have a decent photo of the costume, its hard to justify anything to anyone. Not even yourself! So imagine how big a frustration/disappointment it is when all these hardwork pushes to a climax and you had to wait forever to see the end product. It’s worse then waiting for the next episode of anime to come out because you don’t know when you will get it!

As for the need of high res. Well, we all live in the age of 1024 x 780 screen and vivid LCDs. So why not? High res also allows better print results. A good example would be the recent call for cosplay photos contribution by Danny Choo for the new book; OTACOOL 2. High res is needed and if you don't have any, high chance your space in the book will be filled up by someone else.   




I’m ending my entry here. While thinking up this whole entry I’ve actually gathered more than 5 items but I reckon I’ll just keep this entry simple. But I intend to do up another similar article which speaks from the Photographer’s POV so… keep a look out for them!

As per usual, discussion entries on this blog are meant to be entertaining and reflective. Minimal maliciousness. Take it with a pinch of salt and put down that cleaver you have on your hand now.

Here’s a pic to remind you how “kawaii” I am. Don’t kill me. 



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