WHY SO ANON?
TL;DR “Patches is sick” rambling ahoy! I hope it makes sense… note, I have friends who pay and friends who charge, I’m not judging them or anything, these are just my own thoughts on charging cosplayers for photos in general at a con. Traveling to on-location places, outside of cons etc can get a little more harried I think depending on the circumstances but even then…
In general though regarding shooting cosplayers at conventions -
I spend my time, sweat, skills and money on both costumes and photography solely because I love it and would rather shoot with people who do the same. Being a costumer is not cheap nor does it take a lack of talent and wisdom learned over the years. Same with photography. (lol maybe this is why I have so few photos of my own costumes! XD)
I feel that the vast majority of photographers who charge listing reasons like equipment costs, travel costs, time spent behind the scenes etc to be disingenuous. Most of them would be attending the convention anyway because they are fans and the love to photograph cosplayers. I do not have photographers paying my travel, creation time and equipment costs for costuming, why should I pay them for the same? There are very few of them out there that are even worth the money anyway. Most it seems, spent the money on a camera and now feel they are justified to charge. You got a few cheap off-camera flashes? Double the price! Who cares that you don’t know proper exposure from a hole in the ground. This community doesn’t know good photography in general though if you ask me. It seems most people who pay do so to be guaranteed photos, good or bad. XD
We are all artists. Why can’t we just contribute to each other’s artform in meaningful ways with an exchanging of talent, ideas and hard work? That is so much more rewarding to me than photographing the first so many people who book you for paid shoots, regardless of creative spark between yourself and the model. More rewarding than feeling like I have to pay someone to take my photo because I can’t get a shoot otherwise.
I’ve also seen some horrifically bad photos people have paid for and they convince themselves they are awesome solely because they paid for them :/
I am an artist. I am going to create art regardless of someone paying me. Cosplay is a community of people dressing up as fantastic things solely because they love the feeling of escape, attention and accomplishment it brings. They spend countless hours and dollars on their craft. The photographers in the community love the fantasy, beauty and heart of these cosplayers and want to tell stories with them. Those stories can be just the snapshots that capture the experience of the convention or highly thought-out and composed works of art that can tell sweeping epics. They also spend countless hours and dollars on their craft.
Can’t we just work off of each other to create beauty? Why does it have to be a product? This isn’t like shooting weddings or senior photos and shit. This is an extremely small portion of the populace who like to dress as cartoon characters and the photographers who appreciate that kind of model.
People do need to realize that just because you pay doesn’t mean you are getting quality, it just means you’re going to get the photos.
I’d rather know I got some great photos back because that person liked my costume or did it because we’re friends, having fun together making art. :) Even modeling for someone who is just learning the ropes can be alot of fun! It’s all about the camaraderie and challenge to me.