Sunday, 25 November 2012

Convention Etiquette For Con-goers, Cosplayers & Photographers

First time going to a convention? Fear not! I have listed down some of the Convention Etiquette which I took from various site (unfortunately, I forgot to take note of all the sites address... sorry!) for you to read and learn... If you don't like reading, then you can just view the two video I embedded below...

Ok, now some more tips, few of them didn't get covered by the videos... First section is for all con-goers and also to cosplayers...

#1: Please do not glomp cosplayers (or even non-cosplayers).

It HURTS and could ruin their costume! You also don’t know what kind of medical condition they have, so doing so could cause them a LOT of pain! For example, one cosplayer was afraid of attending conventions alone because she has brittle bones; one glomp could cause a break. Another was a pregnant woman who spoke of actually being tackled to the ground, which ended up resulting in a miscarriage.

This especially goes for CHILDREN COSPLAYERS. We know they’re cute, but think of it like seeing a child out at the mall or the store. You wouldn’t run up and grab them because it’s rude and downright creepy. Ask their parent or guardian if it would be alright for a hug and/or picture. Otherwise, hands off the children.

Instead of glomping them, ask them politely for a hug. If permission is granted, hug them gently enough not to break their costume or hurt them. If they decline, a simple compliment will suffice to show them how much you like who they’re cosplaying as.

#2: Ask politely for pictures, and don’t be creepy about it.

I know this seems silly, but there are people out there who will take candid shots of girls in skirts. This sort of thing is NOT okay and can be considered harassment/stalking.

If you want a photograph with somebody, ask permission to touch them. Some people are less okay than others with having people randomly throw their arms around them, and you might restore a little bit of faith to a cosplayer by showing them respect.

Physical contact is a serious matter. One wrong move can win you the wrath of an angry boyfriend or girlfriend. Think before you act. If you'd really like a photo with, for example, your arm around the shoulder of your favorite character - ask the cosplayer first. If you'd like a hug, ask first. Keep in mind that there's a chance that the cosplayer will decline certain requests out of respect for their significant others, or whatever other reasons they might have.

People should know general things like how it's not polite and downright demeaning to pat cosplayers' heads or pinch their cheeks even if they are dressed as cute characters. Especially if the cosplayers are older than the guilty party.

#3: Just because your character does/says certain things does not make it okay to do in public.

The most obvious is Karkat cosplayers screaming the “f” word in public. If you would not do/say it out of costume or in front of your parents/grandparents, don’t do it at a convention. There are children present at these functions, and it is best to act like an adult and set a good example for them.

#4: Hands off other peoples’ props.

This seems like it should go without saying, but there have been instances I have seen where people have actually run off with a friend’s prop or grabbed it and started playing with it, resulting in a break. Props can take a very, very long time to make and most tend to be fairly fragile. If a cosplayer says you can handle it, handle it with care. You wouldn’t want your props broken, so don’t do it to someone else.

And also, don't hit people with prop weapons. Those things can still hurt, or you can damage them in the process.

#5: Personal hygiene is a must.

Being at a convention can result in a lot of dirt and sweat accumulated over the day. Be mindful of other congoers and PLEASE BATHE. This goes double for people who like to hug cosplayers, as nothing is more of a turn-off for a convention than someone getting their stink all over your costume. Don’t forget to also use deodorant. It really does make a big difference between smelling squeaky clean and smelling like con-funk.

#6: Do not block the booth.

Do not stop in front of someone's booth unless you really want to take a look at their stuffs or wanna buy something. If you wanna have some chitchat with your friend, try to do it elsewhere. Stopping in front of their booth might hinder their sales and can also cause traffic jam to the pathway.

#7: Cosplayers, you are representing your fandom. If you do something stupid, it won’t be you doing it, but “that fandom.” Set a good example.


Next is the second section which is for the photographers...

#1: Always ask gently for a photograph

As a photographer you need to ask them gently for a photograph because in a convention they are also there to have fun and enjoy the convention experience. The cosplayer may be busy socializing, moving to a convention panel they are interested it, or eating lunch. As a photographer it is your duty to respect the space of cosplayer. When asking a cosplayer, ask them "may I take your picture?" If they refuse, respect their space and move onwards. A photographer who is rude will not get a good picture and you ruin the experience of a cosplayer.

And also, don't request any suggestive poses unless you know the cosplayer really well, but even if you do know them, try to take picture of it at a more private area, coz you never know, other photographer might take a paparazzi shot of it!

#2: Show them the picture after taking a cosplayer's picture

Showing the picture you have taken of the cosplayer works for both the photographer and the cosplayer.

It works on the cosplayer's end because they get to see their picture, and if the shot is not to their liking, they can request more pictures. I have had several instances where a cosplayer didn't like the pose that they had, so they asked me to take more shots of them in different poses. The cosplayer also has the comfort in knowing that the person behind the lens is not a creepy perverted person just looking to take dirty pictures. If they like the photographer's style, the cosplayer can also request an extended photo shoot with the photographer to get a set of pictures that they may find visually pleasing.

For the photographer you have a couple of advantages by showing the cosplayer their picture after taking it. Those advantages are instant feedback, the ability to network with cosplayers, and the chance to go into an extended photo shoot. When it comes to cosplay photography, instant feedback from the cosplayers are great because it makes you feel good and it allows you to improve your personal technique. As a photographer, you also start noticing what kind of pictures make the cosplayers the most happy and from there you can start honing your skills and perfecting your craft. When you show the cosplayer a picture, you also open the window for extended photo shoots because the cosplayer knows that you are serious about your craft of photography.

#3: Mind the location

Be wary of where you want to shoot the cosplayer. Avoid taking photo in front of a booth of at the pathway area coz you don't want to block people's path and this also can avoid your photos from being photobombed.

#4: Bring Business Cards

If you are a good enough photographer, a cosplayer will ask you if you have a website or Facebook. It will do you good to have a batch of business cards. This will do a world of good because the cosplayer can contact you after the convention and ask you about the pictures you have taken of them. Not only that, they also have your card as reference so that they can contact you if they want to do a future photo shoot in an upcoming convention.


hmmm... i think that kinda cover most of it... owh... and not to forget one last thing... Have fun! Just because there are things you shouldn’t do doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy yourself at the convention. Attend panels and meetups. Make new friends. Go watch the masquerade. There’s so much you can do at a con without ruining the enjoyment for others or yourself! Cheers!!! ^^v

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