With the summer convention season gearing up, let's review some handy tips and tricks for ensuring that the convention is a great experience for fans and cosplayers alike:
1.) If you see a cosplayer who is half-dressed or obviously taking a break, don't demand that they get up for a photo. Ask politely if they plan on remaining in the cosplay and if you can get a photo when they're ready, or just catch them later on in the day.
2.) Cosplayers are fans too, and even though some do prioritise taking photos more than others, a lot do just want to run ahead to a panel they were looking forward to. Respect their wishes if they say they can't stop for a photo right now.
3.) DON'T TAKE PHOTOS IN THE DEALER'S ROOM OR ARTIST'S ALLEY (unless you're in an unoccupied corner or a wide open area). This disrupts the flow of traffic and inconveniences a lot of people. I've had a prop nearly broken before because people stopped abruptly in front of me due to photos being taken up ahead. You're also more than likely blocking the wares of the vendors, causing potential customers to just walk by.
4.) Watch out for the tell-tale signs of a paid photoshoot. Lighting equipment (this isn't always present depending on the con's policies), fancy camera, assistants straightening hems and combing bangs probably indicate that the cosplayer is busy taking nice photos of their outfit. Don't hijack it for your own personal photos--photographers are paid by the hour and want to deliver great results to their clients!
5.) Respect personal boundaries. Some people aren't the hugging type. Some don't even like to be touched by strangers. And that is totally okay! Don't assume that everyone is okay with a hug. (For the record, I prefer a wave, and will give hugs if asked beforehand if it is okay.)
6.) And as a cosplayer (or anyone in an eye-catching outfit for that matter), try to be as polite as you can muster for people who didn't quite get the memo that you're busy. Telling someone politely that you're not ready for a photo clears up the issue much faster than giving them the cold shoulder or snapping at them.
Happy convention season! Let's make this a great time! What are tips you think are important to share for the convention season coming up?