Asking for photoshoots from famous cosplayers

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#1 Dinner4two on 5 years ago

Famous or Well known cosplayers like for example
Byndo Gehk, Sarah Fong, Lindsay Elyse, Vampy Bit Me

Is it as simple as asking?
And, I wonder how I should ask them.

#2 nathancarter on 5 years ago

This reminds me of the stuff online a few months ago about whether a cosplayer can get away with charging photographers for a shoot, or vice-versa. Ultimately, it boils down to a fair exchange of services. If you're a novice photographer, or you're an experienced photographer whose work/style just doesn't suit that cosplayer's tastes, there's not much incentive for a "popular" cosplayer to spend an hour (or hours) shooting with you. They have novice photographers, con snapshotters, and creepy GWCs fallin all over themselves to take their pictures. And, they almost certainly already have relationships with skilled photographers to keep their portfolio updated. They simply don't benefit from green-box-mode snapshots from a novice.

It goes the other way, too - if you're an extremely skilled photographer, there's not much incentive to spend a day photographing a novice cosplayer in a wrinkled costume straight out of the Alibaba package, a Party City wig and no makeup. You don't gain any new skills, and your portfolio doesn't benefit from it.

For quick snapshots at a convention: Make sure your camera is prepared and in hand; smile and ask politely; get a couple shots; thank them for their time and move on. Most cosplayers (famous and not) do these all day at conventions, unless they're in a hurry or not feeling well.

If you're looking for more than that - an extended private photoshoot, either at a convention or outside of a convention setting:
Get the communication rolling a few weeks or months in advance. Start by having a relatively strong portfolio prepared. Doesn't have to be a ton of images, just eight to twelve of your best, showing a variety of styles and looks, and not all of the same person. And, some references in and out of the community.

Send a brief message by your preferred service - email, FB messaging, instagram, whatever - with a link to your portfolio, some names of other people you've shot with in the past, and your intentions.

Here's an actual example of a message I sent through FB messenger. This is for photographing a burlesque show, which is one of my other photography hobbies.

"[I]Hi {name redacted],
If you don't have a photographer for Sunday's show, would you be interested in trading a couple of seats for my photography services?
On my Victor Voyeur fan page, you can see albums of my past and recent work with Big Bang Boom Cabaret, Moxie le Femme, Marion at Midnight, and other troupes, as well as lots of cosplay and related photography.
For personal references, you can ask [_____],[_____],[_____], or just about any of the performers in our mutual friends list.
Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you,
Nathan (Victor Voyeur)[/I]"

This was met with a positive reaction - I didn't photograph that show, but I'm lined up to do one next month.

#3 Access on 5 years ago

I think it would depend on who, as well as your own motivation for wanting to do so. Like Nathan says, one way to approach this (if between strangers) is fair exchange or mutual benefit. But, only if your own skills stand out above the rest. If not, just know that people who are well known within a certain circle are not inherently any different than anyone else. Everyone responds to "fame" or "being well known" differently, for instance some may shun their own 'fame', while others revel in it. I've found that, sometimes, you can find notable people just by keeping your eyes and ears open, and responding appropriately when an opportunity presents itself. Or maybe I'm just lucky.

#4 nathancarter on 5 years ago

One more thing, "Famous" cosplayers are only a very, very small subset of "good" cosplayers.

If you want to photograph someone with a top-notch costume and modeling skills, you don't have to just wait around for someone "famous" to work with.

#5 KVN on 5 years ago

If you're talking about getting a photo shoot at a con then just ask. That's it.

#6 shumi31 on 5 years ago

I thinks there is no loss of asking for anything to them. And for me we should take the chances!