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Unread 01-09-2013, 11:06 AM   #24
Victor Voyeur Photography
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Originally Posted by sonikku10 View Post
You misunderstand the point of why a lot of us do cosplay photography. It is not a business for us. It is good, clean fun for photographers and cosplayers alike. I do it because I want to. My $20 fee is only to cover travel expenses (and even then, I often end up in the red), and every now and then, I'll offer free shoots to some close cosplayer friends of mine.
Right. I have a real photography business with corporate clients. If I'm doing product shots and business headshots, it's almost always the same old tried-and-true (AND BORING) techniques. I shoot cosplayers and performers for fun, and to experiment with new gear and techniques in a low-pressure environment.

I'll sometimes charge cosplayers a little fee just to put toward my own travel expenses, or more importantly to make sure I'm booking people who are serious about their craft and serious about having some top-notch photos done. It helps weed out the "lookers," the people who just slap on a pair of cat ears and a clip-on tail and just want some free snapshots. I'll waive the fee if I think I'll get content that really shines in my portfolio, or if I'm experimenting with new tricks and not sure if the results will be up to my usual standards.

Originally Posted by sonikku10 View Post
And guess what -- I'm not some creepy old guy who uses my photos to degrade women. I have a name and reputation to uphold. I am NOT going to ruin it.
I'm an old guy - well, older than most on this board anyway - but I try not to be creepy?
I'm not in it just for the cute girls in revealing costumes; I've gotten just about as many great photos from guy performers and costumers as from girls.

However, it's naive to argue that there aren't creepers with cameras out there. In the professional photography community, they're referred to as GWCs (Guy With Camera); usually implying that they're using their Best Buy DSLR and some free business cards from Vistaprint to create a false air of legitimacy, just to try to get a look at the pink bits. Unfortunately, these guys bring down the photography trade as a whole.

Originally Posted by sonikku10 View Post
And why am I not charging $150? Because I know what goes into a cosplay. The amount of time, money, blood, sweat, and tears that go into them. Not to mention the con-related expenses... Let's face it: without cosplayers, there would be no cosplay photography. I feel that we, as cosplay photographers, owe them great photos for minimal (or no) cost.
I disagree a bit here; I don't feel that I OWE anyone anything. I've put just about as much time and sweat into my photography craft as anyone has into their cosplay craft; and I'd say that I've put more money into it than just about any cosplayer.

OUTSIDE of the cosplay photography community, this sort of attitude is very really frowned upon by the pros. You simply can't stay in business doing free shoots, or $20 shoots, or even $100 shoots. If you think you can, it's because you haven't done a proper assessment of your true costs of doing business; or at best you're supporting your photography business with another job. (or someone else is paying your rent and utilities).

Doing it for free/cheap because I enjoy it, not because I expect to make any money at it.
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