So this is become an increasing problem at Comic Con’s as our wonderful nerdy hobby becomes more mainstream more people are being attracted to Comic con and this includes photographers that have no idea about the community or any form of etiquette to be honest.
Oh not again!
I know this subject comes up after every major con, but honestly it seems to be getting worse. so what it cause this ?
well as I said comic con and cosplayers are becoming more main stream so people are coming that have never been to a comic con before have no idea how to treat cosplayers and almost treat them like they was included for free with the ticket prices. Yes most con have it tucked away in the T&C that you should ask before taking pictures but funny then never make a big deal out of it they never do anything to promote this for the simple reason they don’t care in most cases (there are exceptions) the job of the con is to get people though the door to spend your money they don’t care if you cosplay or not Sad but true as I said this is not all con. For example Kupocon is the only con I know that give you a discount if you cosplay and also come down hard on people that just snipe it just doesn’t happen at Kupocon thou and that because its a community drive con rather than a business to make money.
But why is it bad?
From a photographer point of view you gone to the effort of arranging to shoot with a cosplayer or even just having the courage to ask a cosplayer for a picture you should be directing the cosplay and putting effort in to get a good in focus shot (thats a whole different subject I will cover in another post), so its very annoying when you make this effort for someone to have snipped over your shoulder really just stolen your shot that may get posted on social media before your (especially as people that snip tend not to do any editing and are just throwing out raw shots)
Buy why is it bad for the cosplayer you know more coverage the better right ? well first of all there is a really good chance your never see the shot and your not be credited for the shot. secondly unless the sniper is stand right where the photographer is the angle of the shot is likely to be off so it will not be the nicest shot. Also chance are your looking the wrong way or you get confused who to look at so it make both shots come out badly and lastly you don’t know what the photographers intentions are for the shot so many people have ended up in the daily mail with shots they didn’t even know had been taken and that they hate in some article slating our community they say no such thing as bad press well there is to be honest.
Why is it seeming to be on the increase ?
Another fact that more and more people are buying better camera as the prices drop what means they can attach longer lens making it easier for people to snipe from a distance. I saw this a lot at MCM Birmingham people walking around with 70-200 on standing at a distance taking shots one guy had a 70-300 mm lens on like he was stalking wildlife now I am not saying all people that use a 70-200 lens is a sniper far from it its a great lens for portrait shots and I should use mine more but I can’t be arse to lug it around to be honest but it does make sniping easier.
What can be done?
So thats what I see as the potential cause of this but what can be done about it. First of all Con should be making people more aware rather than just a little bit of text in some T&C we covered ourselves sort thing it should be something they talk opennly about. they should have there security prepped and ready to deal with this being reported as currently they don’t seem to.
I think more important than that What can WE do about it. I am not a cosplayer But we do have cosplayers as part of the team at Toneagraphy but as a photographer we need to work with the community to stop this. but we have to stand together. if you see a photographer doing a shoot and someone sniping them you could either approach the photographer doing the sniping and explain why they shouldn’t do it, no of course safety first if you don’t feel at easy doing that at least let the cosplayer and the photographer know they are being sniped. I often if i see it happening wander in front of the sniper so they can’t get the shot. unless we stand up to them and make them aware its not acceptable this will continue to happen well to be honest it will always happen as there will be a new crop but if we can educate a few then maybe they might educate a few more
I have a Cunning plan
there is no reason we can’t have a bit of fun while trying to tackle this humour is often the best way to disarm something so my plan gather around chaps and chapesses. I am going to call this the IMAR method
- Identify – if you see a sniper shout CODE RED
- Manoeuvre – cosplayer to put the photographer between them and the sniper
- Attack – photographer and any other photographer that have heard the call pose in the most outragious way for the sniper
- Rest – once the danger is past we will all fall about laughing
This will cause one of two action:-
The sniper will just walk off Yay
they will complain when we can explain why what they was doing was wrong and maybe we educate some one at the very least the sniper will not get the shot and they might see the funny side of it (ok I can hope).
Lets here your view on Sniping at cons and what you think can be done to stop it
Many thanks to Silver Skitty Cosplay for her help with these images and our very own Haukur for shooting and Modeling