Convention photography is a large topic with a lot to cover. To get started, I hinted at why convention photography is fun and what you can gain from it as a photographer or as a cosplayer.
Much of the book was dedicated to technical information for photographers. The beginner and intermediate photographers were shown everything from how DSLR cameras work to details about the most important camera settings like aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.
Lighting was described by giving ideas on how to manage both natural light and light from a strobe flash device. The importance of using devices that soften and angle light were stressed.
Composition and photographic techniques were a big part of the book that had more of an artistic flair to them compared to the equipment and camera setting topics. I went over some of the common ideas such as the rule of thirds and golden ratio. I also tried to point out some of the more popular framing styles like the portrait, full-body shot, and the dutch angle.
Even post-processing tools and my convention photography process from start to finish has been described. When having a photo session, it’s important to take multiple pictures for each pose to avoid a cosplayer’s accidental blinking reflex. Every aspect of the process can be key to success and even just having a good time.
Doing photography at conventions isn’t all about taking photos. From approaching people to letting others know about how to find your photos, there were a lot of extras talked about. Depending on your goals for convention photography, promoting your work and networking with people can be challenging at times. I discussed my experiences with getting photos out there on the Internet and how I directly interface with people using more common methods like business cards.
Convention photography isn’t all fun and games. I hinted on the costs involved as well as the difficulties of taking photos in harsh and cramped environments. A long day of walking around the convention center can be taxing on your body. It’s smart to take your time and rest by enjoying what the convention has to offer.
Advanced convention photographers were not left out with respect to helpful bits of information. While you probably understood the technical aspects or other detail oriented topics I covered, chances are you came away with a few tips and techniques you could try out for fun to see how they work for you. Sometimes more advanced photographers avoid using prime lenses as they can be inconvenient compared to zoom lenses. I pointed out how equipment like that can be manageable and rewarding to use.
I’ve been on both sides of the fence with cosplay photography. While I focus on photography most of the time, I have cosplayed quite a few times before. I included helpful tips for fellow cosplayers to help them get better photos, as I know how the photographer thinks when out in the field looking for hallway photos. Practicing your posing is important because you can’t expect the photographer to control everything in a photo.
Being asked for photos is great recognition for the work cosplayers put into their costumes. As a cosplayer I mentioned the importance of putting yourself in situations where it makes having your photo taken very likely. Cosplayers, especially men who have a harder time getting their photo taken, that have extreme props and elaborate or quality aspects to their costumes stand a better chance of getting attention and photo requests as they roam the convention halls.
I also mentioned a surefire way of getting the photos you want. Hiring a photographer or visiting one of the many photo-stands, usually located in the dealer’s room of large conventions, is a good idea. While paying for photos is the easiest way to go about the problem of getting your photo taken, it certainly isn’t necessary with some effort on your part.
When it’s all said and done, the main thing is to enjoy the convention in the way that means something to you. I’ve found that I express and develop my photography to its fullest extent in the context of a convention setting. I can also have fun at conventions by enjoying their events, cosplaying, and meeting great people who have a mutual interest in whatever the convention is about.