I guess it goes without saying that one of the best compliments a cosplayer can get at a convention is to have their photo taken and then shared. Photographers (unless paid or otherwise convinced to do otherwise) are mostly interested in producing a great photo to show off in a gallery. Obviously there are exceptions (such as Atlanta Fashion Police), but a photographer is just a person with a camera and people tend to do what benefits them and aren’t really that driven by altruism.
I recently went to MCM Comic Con in London and spent all day Saturday in cosplay. I have never been one to attract photographers, probably quite the opposite: I’m old and from their point of view, probably cosplaying the wrong gender too. However, I think this convention marks an all time low for me. At the end of the convention, I had a few photos on my phone that a friend took, a few selfies and a couple from a random stranger that kindly took a few photos on my phone.
Photographers showed zero interest, which really doesn’t make me feel photogenic at all. A few random con-goers took photos with me, so I guess a few people either appreciated the cosplay or felt that it was odd enough to record. I don’t expect to ever see copies of those photos (that’s just the way it is).
I guess the lesson is that if you want to document your cosplay at a convention, bring a trusted friend and ask the friend take photos (ideally with your own camera, so you don’t have to beg for the raw files). I did this at Cosvision two years ago (thank you so much, those photos are awesome) and I also had a friend who likes to do convention photography at Dragon Con last year (thank you). I had some friends in London too, but we didn’t do a proper photo shoot even though I had a my camera with me. For some reason, they were nowhere to be found on Sunday when I was walking around with my camera and showed no interest in doing a photo shoot at dusk on Saturday when we were all in cosplay.
I was taking photos on Sunday and decided to focus on Black Widow cosplays, because I felt they could find their photos through the Facebook group. I think that worked out really well for a few cosplay Natashas (and made me very happy too to have been able to do that for them), but I also got completely ignored by a couple of people (in other word, got treated like a total creep).
What do you do if having a friend take photos doesn’t work for you and you don’t want to pay a professional? You can either go with a huge cosplay (huge robot, massive armor, furry beast, …) or look really sexy & show a lot of cleavage. It doesn’t matter if your cosplay is accurate or if it’s something you made yourself or bought and barely modified. (OK, so if you are a virtual doppelganger of your cosplay character, that might actually score some points.)