How Not to Be a Dick to your Photographer

Cosplay Photography

Project Kai Studios – Photography and Design shooting with xWhiteRussia Cosplay, who is never a dick to photographers.

If you’re a cosplayer in any capacity, you’ll be interacting and forming relationships with a variety of photographers and videographers. Working with cosplay photographers to get amazing shots is just part of the fun, but you may be a little confused about how to go about this rather odd and probably unprecedented relationship. I’m going to assume that you have every intention to be a good person and form great relationships with your buddies who are shooting with you, so here are some basics to avoid unintentionally pissing off your photographer friends.

The biggest key to good relationships with cosplay photographers is communication.

There are few solid “rules” to this cosplay photography thing, so there are lots of views and preferences on different topics. The safest course is to be open and ask if you’re unsure about something. It’s much better to ask than to assume.

For example: editing photos. If you know your way around photoshop (especially if you’ve demonstrated this), some photographers won’t mind tossing you the raws from your shoot and letting you go nuts. However, some are strictly against you doctoring their finished shots. Some want credit for taking the photo that you edited, while some don’t want their name on it if they didn’t personally edit it. From what I can tell, there’s no “standard” for this, so just ask your photographer in a respectful way what their policy is. And if they’d prefer that you not edit their photos, respect their wishes.

I would hope it’s common knowledge, but it bears repeating: CREDIT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER. Whether you’re posting on deviantart or tumblr or whatever, always always give credit to your photographer. It’s also good form to not just list the name of the photographer, but to link to their page as well. They’re giving you their time and energy, and it’s just the right thing to do. If other cosplayers appear in your photo, be sure to credit them too. If something happens and you slip up accidentally (that tag didn’t work right or whatever), apologize and immediately correct the issue.


  • Arrive on time
  • Plan out a few poses beforehand
  • Bring water to stay hydrated during your shoot
  • Bring a comb if you have a long wig
  • Consider the weather


  • Bring other cosplayers to participate without clearing it with your photographer first

Don’t Nag Your Photographer

We’re all people. We all have lives, and most of us have jobs that don’t revolve around cosplay. Don’t be that person who starts bugging your photographer for your shots a mere 2 days after your shoot. Editing is a time consuming process, and you’re probably not the only cosplayer waiting for pictures. Of course, previous arrangements regarding a deadline or paid services are another matter, but generally speaking your photographer is doing you a favor and isn’t to be rushed. If the delay gets to an unreasonable amount (like 6 months), you can always politely ask for a status update. Photographers work at different paces, and you might see a photo from your shoot that very evening, or you may be waiting a few weeks. Sometimes a bit of a wait just goes with the territory of getting free shoots.

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