10 Years After – Is It Wrong to do Paid Shoots at Conventions?

10 Years After series – Is It Wrong to do Paid Shoots at Conventions?  (DanPhotoMoney)

After 10 years of doing cosplay photography, I finally have a better answer for the child repeating “Why”:

What is your opinion about charging for your photoshoots at conventions?

This has been standard practice in the East Coast, but recently this is becoming more pervasive at larger events in the West Coast like Anime LA 2018 and SakuraCon 2018.  From the latter event, a friend of mine, Keikopin Cosplay , linked me to a Twitter thread by an attendee:

Link to Twitter Post: https://twitter.com/raikamudapon/status/986013792306802688
Quick shoutout to Keikopin: https://www.facebook.com/KeikopinCosplay/

I have wrestled with doing paid shoots in the past (See <previous post link>), but this brings up some good points about the importance of pro-badges for conventions.  It is difficult to find reputable paid photographers since we only see the end result. I wanted to bring this topic up before I dive back into paying photographers since this is rarely discussed but could have benefits and consequences with how conventions could be run in the future from a photographer’s point of view.

Conventions are great for photographers because they provide a safe space for cosplayers to gather and work as well as networking.  In the current system, all photographers (paid or not) only need to obtain an attendee badge, just like many cosplayers. They can stand in the middle of the pathways or block off extra space by using their tripods, lights, and even background setups.  On the other hand, Dealers Hall and Artist Alley exhibitors have to get business licenses, pay extra for designated spaces, and go through background checks to make sure they are doing legitimate business. Commercial work, whether it is selling goods or providing services, should be under equal scrutiny.

Having a badge for Paid Photographers can bring new opportunities for both parties.  In exchange for the increased fees and background checks, paid photographers could also advertise their services officially.  Registering paid photographers will give cosplayers confidence to hire them. The extra fees could also be used for setting up “cosplay sets” that are free to use for any attendees and photographers for shoots.  Opening up new opportunities will make conventions more inviting to the cosplay community and legitimize paying photographers for their services.

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~ by BlizzardTerrak on May 15, 2018.

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