Comic Con Cosplay Etiquette 101

Comic Cons are some of the best people watching there is but there are some things that you should know before Photographing and Taking Video of Cosplayers.

cosplay etiquette how to take pictures at comic con

If you are a costume enthusiast like me you might find yourself giddy to be surrounded by all the amazing cosplay creativity that comes with con life. I'm not going to lie my absolute favorite parts of conventions is the cosplay. Whether it's the variety of Salt Lake Comic Con or the video game focus of PAX I just adore seeing all the amazing DIY costumes. While most cosplayers are flattered by the attention that their costumes bring, there are few things to keep in mind so that, in the midst of your excitement over seeing your favorite character from that obscure-but-awesome fandom come to life, you don't accidentally cross any lines.

Amazing Doctor Who weeping angel cosplay and comic con photo etiquette

  1. Always ask before taking pictures or videos. Most cosplayers are more than willing to pose for a picture, but make sure you ask permission before clicking that shutter.
  2. Respect the person in the costume. While it might be normal to throw an arm around your friends in photos, don't assume that's okay when posing for pictures with cosplayers. Sometimes the contact might damage their costume and, more than that, they are strangers - you've got to ask before touching strangers. If you want to put your arm around their shoulders or waist, ask first. Under no circumstance is it appropriate to try to touch a cosplayer inappropriately. Make sure to stay away from private areas. If their costume has patches of exposed skin, be extra considerate. And finally, if they don't say yes, that means no.
  3. Don't touch the costumes or props. Sometimes in the excitement over the awesomeness of a costume it might be easy to forget that there is someone in that thing. If the costume is oh-so-amazing and you're oh-so-curious about how something feels, do not try to sneak a touch. Oftentimes, costumes are more delicate than they look and some people just do not want to be touched even if it's through layers of gear. Politely ask if it's okay and respect their answer.
  4. Consider your timing. Cons are long and everyone - including cosplayers - needs to take breaks to eat and run to the bathroom. If they are sitting down for a bite, heading for the restroom, or talking on the phone, be patient and, if possible, wait for them to finish and ask them politely if they have time for a picture.
  5. Watch the flow of traffic. There will be a lot of people so when you do take a photo (after asking permission), step to the side so you're not smack in the middle of everyone else's way or blocking an emergency exit.
  6. Don't jump into someone else's picture. No one wants to show their friends pictures of themselves, that awesome cosplayer and that jerk of a stranger that forced himself into the shot. It takes time to get a good picture and there will often be a line of people wanting to get a picture with popular cosplayers. Don't just butt in. Wait your turn.
  7. Be nice. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. If you don't like the character that the cosplayer is dressed up as, you don't need to announce it. Skip any hateful talk, even if you think it's a playful joke. Hearing hateful comments (even if it's addressed to the character) can get old fast. Please don't criticize their costume, how it looks on them, how accurate it is or how it's made. Everyone comes with different abilities and experience and, in the end, this is about having fun.
  8. Don't go all crazy. Control your excitement.You are a stranger and even though you might interpret your own behavior as appreciation or excitement, screaming and running up to someone you don't know might just make the person terrified.
  9. Be extra mindful of kids. When kids are involved, keep all of the above tips in mind - times 10. Whether it's kids in cosplay or just nearby, be careful not to come on too aggressively in a way that might scare them. Of course, do not touch them. Kids in costume can be super cute, but always ask permission from their parents or the adult that is with them before taking their picture.
  10. Report inappropriate behavior. Finally, if you see a cosplayer being harassed or endangered, please report it.

basic cosplay etiquette how and when to take pictures properly at comic cons

I originally posted this on the Salt Lake Comic Con blog. You also might like:

Costume Tips from Cosplay Pros - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #comiccon #halloween

Fabulous tips for costume making from Cosplay Pros

 

12 Costume Tips from Cosplay Pros

Costume Tips from Cosplay Pros - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #comiccon #halloween(from PAX)

I had the honor of going to two geeky cons last month, first PAX the video convention we always go to in Seattle and then the very first Salt Lake Comic Con. Both were fantastic and one of my favorite parts was seeing all the amazing and creative handmade costumes. Seriously people are SO talented and they go all out. I figured those of use getting ready for Halloween could use some of the tips and tricks that these megafans have discovered which make their costumes awesome. At SL Comic Con I was able to sit in on a session of all about cosplay and costume making so I thought I'd share the top 12 costume tips from cosplay pros I gleaned from the discussion while of course sharing some of my favorite cosplay shots I got at both cons.

Tips and trips to costume making and cosplay - Rae Gun Ramblings(from PAX)

  • When making a costume out of your favorite character there is a range from total accuracy to original rendition. Both are cool in their own way it's more about your own style. As long as you have key elements of the character you're good to go. Think colors.
  • Look for every day things and how you can use them in your costume. The whole panel raved about the usefulness of cardboard, duct tape, and even those rubble refrigerator liners. Go figure.
  • Spray pain is like magic. You can build a costume out of every day items or even trash but add a coat of spray paint and it can take on a life of it's own.
  • Plastic boning (like for corsets) aren't made to be worn for long periods of time. If you'll be wearing your costume all day (or many days like they do at the conventions) industrial strength zip ties from Home Depot are a great substitution.
  • Another Home Depot find: the strapping that they used to transport plywood (that they just throw away) is bends but also holds it's shape. This is great for the bottom of skirts so you can pack it but when it's own poof it out.

Amazing cosplay costumes and tips and tricks for making your own - Rae Gun Ramblings (from PAX)

  • Let your brain run wild in unexpected stores. Don't just limit yourself to craft and costume stores. Kitchen stores often have great pieces that can be used in costum
  • Seamstresses and professional tailors often times have trouble bringing 2D imaginary characters off the page because they are so stuck in their training. Go ahead and break the rules and use unconventional methods.
  • You can get used 3D glasses from movie theaters often times for free and those lenses can be popped out and used for cool things like scales and armor.
  • Vecro is a costume maker's best friend. For odd pieces and details sometimes it works best just to have those parts attache with velcro. They were saying this was great for unwashable emblems and tool belts.
  • If you want to paper mache anything like a mask or head piece for instance, coffee filters work great because they are strong but breathable. Plus they are white so unlike newspaper you don't have to deal with the print.
  • Keep in mind stress points and air vents. Think about which parts of your costume will get the most wear an must be strongest. Also make sure to allow yourself plenty of ventilation. Humans need air. If you have a helmet or headpiece it will work better if it's a little suspended off of your head to allow air flow. Consider using sections of breathable fabrics, spandex, or even mesh to help with temperature control and air flow.
  • Finally bond with your character. Figure out what it is you like about the character and let that fuel your creativity.

DIY cosplay and tips for making your own costumes - Rae Gun Ramblings(from SL Comic Con)

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What’s For Dinner PAX Prime Sneak Peek Edition

carte blanche PDX one of my go to Portland eateries #foodtruck #portland - Rae Gun Ramblings You should be proud of me. I actually cooked this week. It felt like coming back from vacation but you know for two months haha. But now that the weather has finally started cooling down and costumes have exploded in my work room it seems that I'm back on the dinner making wagon. We did go on a trip during my cooking hiatus. To PAX the video game convention and it was a blast. We drove through Portland to play a Rotten Musician concert and seriously the Northwest might be a little wet but goodness do they have yummy food. We had delicious sweet and savory crepes, super yummy freshly made Asian noodles, hot dogs that blew us away, Voo Doo Donuts, and more. Above is the one place I'd go to in Portland if I had to pick one - Carte Blanche Food Truck. What's for dinner this week...
Day Main Meal Goals (Veggies, Whole Grain, Fish)
Sunday Birthday BBQ for friends Grains and nuts: pasta Veggies: Peas Fish: ??
Monday Tomato Soup
Tuesday Chicken Alfredo and Peas
Wednesday MIL bring food
Thursday Sewing Summit!!!!
Friday Sewing Summit
Saturday Sewing Summit
And for those of you interested in a few of the PAX scenes here you go. I'll have some more of the awesome cosplay pictures I got while I was out here up soon but for now here's a PAX Prime sneak peek. Some of the fun games that caught my eye: The Wonderful 101, Tearaway, Strider, Plants & Zombies 2, Super Time Force, The Contraption Maker, Aztez, Apotheon, The Wolf Among Us. pax 2013 great #videogames #paxprime - Rae Gun Ramblings