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Unread 04-06-2013, 12:29 PM   #1
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Lightbulb How to Run a Panel or Photoshoot

Hey guys, I've been attending Anime North since 2010, but just last year i started to do good/official character cosplays (compared to just OC's) and get myself involved in the cosplay/event community.
I'm running 5 photoshoots this year, Friday Pokemon, Friday Hanasaku Iroha, Saturday SAO, Saturday K Project, and Sunday Ib,
This is my first time running photoshoots, last year was my first and only photoshoot that I ever attended!

Now- lets get to the point, do you any of you guys have any tips for inexperienced fans running photoshoots and/or panels? Please reply to this thread with anything that you'd like to share, please try not to clutter this thread with stuff like
"Oh, I can't wait for this photoshoot and/or panel, it's gonna be awesome!"
"Hey does anyone need help with running their photoshoot and/or panel, i only need one more event and i get a badge refund!"
I'd like to make this thread as clean and useful as possible, so people can click it and get the info that they came for without having to read a bunch of conversations. If you wish to ask someone more personal questions about the events they are running, if they need any help, etc, you can always send them a message.

Now, here's my contribution, I came across this guide on a few months ago, so hopefully it'll be some help to some people n_n
note: i take no credit for this guide, i did not make it. i'm just sharing it with fellow fans and attendees (:

Thanks in advance for all those who help make this thread an amazing info source for those who need tips and guidance in order to make their photoshoot or panel as popular, and successful as possible! Happy event running, guys! :D


Teahouse thread: http://teahousemaplemoon.proboards.c...y&thread= 388

Last edited by animefangirl522 : 04-06-2013 at 12:37 PM.
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Unread 04-06-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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Very good guide, thank you for posting.

I find often at photoshoots or events, that it's very important to get everyone involved, even those who are just happy to see it, or want to help. Always be prepared that things might go badly, or you'll get difficult people causing trouble. Don't feed the fire, so to speak, and stay level headed. Nothing ruins it more, than people bickering, and it just makes the rest feel awkward, and wasting their time. If there are problems, don't be afraid to ask them to step aside, or leave. These events are there to have fun, to leave a memory of people's hard work in their costumes too, and new people they met. Also, for leaders, keep an eye out for shy people and new comers, letting them know they are just as important, can mean the world to them.
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Unread 04-06-2013, 02:03 PM   #3
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Also I'm getting the indoor space to have a water table as like that thread says, cosplayers get hot!
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Unread 04-06-2013, 06:25 PM   #4
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Ok! I have never run a photoshoot but I have been to a lot and know what works.
I also did do an impromptu panel at Frost Con when the guru never showed up.

Photoshoot tips:

-Try to have someone with a big, loud voice who isn't shy calling the groups. OR have a megaphone.

-Try to arrive before the photoshoot starts to scout the area

-Try to pick a spot in the photoshoot area that will fit everyone

-Plan a list beforehand of what people might like. For instance, if it were a my little pony shoot:

Mane Ponies
Cutie mark crusaders and little ponies
Side Ponies
Background ponies
Other characters
And then go into specifics:
All pinkie pies
All twilights
All fluttershys

and then after that go into pairings that people might want to see like big macintosh x cheerilee.

Finish with a group picture!

-Try to be prompt with both calling people in and out of the shot

-Give maybe 30 seconds to pose for pictures with perhaps a pose change every 10 seconds or so.

-Give people about 10 seconds to leave the area before calling out the next group.

-Be open to ideas and be friendly while maintaining some level of control.

-Be welcoming to ALL FANS at the shoot, those posing and not!

Last edited by Rei-Azalia : 04-06-2013 at 06:28 PM.
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Unread 04-06-2013, 11:44 PM   #5
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Have people on crowd control, especially at larger photoshoots. Someone who isn't afraid to go up to others and tell them to calm down or relax for a bit or to stop fighting.

Don't block large pathways and don't get mad at people from other fandoms or total strangers who are trying to get through. Be mindful that it's a REALLY, REALLY busy area and that you can't take up 10km worth of space.
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Unread 04-07-2013, 01:17 PM   #6
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I ran the Madoka shoot last year and I found that the most helpful thing was that I wasn't in a Madoka costume. I stood back with the Photographers and called out the poses, did the countdown to finish the pose and what not. I found it useful because I could see when the cosplayers needed to be done with the pose, I was able to take requests from the Photographers and I wasn't going back and forth to pose.
- Know your series, have a list of poses prepared
- Do NOT make them do any poses that are uncomfortable for the cosplayer
- Do not hold the poses for too long.
- Make sure every cosplayer gets included in the shoot!

I also ran some Panels last year:
- Study up on your topic, you want to be knowledgeable
- Bring discussion questions, you want the audience to get involved so they don't feel like they are being lectured at.
- Let your fellow panelists speak, nothing is worse than getting cut off when you have some good points
- Keep an eye on the time, you want to make sure your content fits into the time you have
- Don't be afraid if your discussion goes off somewhere unplanned, as long as it is appropriate it could be a good topic you never thought of.
- If you are an audience member wait until you are asked to speak, this is so everyone gets their turn.
- As a panelist make sure that everyone gets a fair chance to speak in the audience, don't always let the person who knows everything answer every question.
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Unread 04-07-2013, 06:19 PM   #7
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I haven't run one before but I have attended a few

Do not hold the poses for too long (especially if you see the cosplayers' legs shaking to hold a pose)

This happened to me during a dot.hack// photoshoot - We held poses for SOOOO long I was dying!

Be organized and prepared as humanly possible.

Be loud and assertive (or know someone who is that can help you direct the shots)
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Unread 04-12-2013, 12:24 AM   #8
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From my own experience hosting and running photo shoots, I have a few tips of my own for a happy photo shoot experience for everyone:

Speak loudly and use broad arm motions if it's a big group. Please for the love of God don't use a megaphone, they often don't carry sound any better then yelling, are very impersonally, and can alienate your fellow cosplayers. (Though that might just be me. I really dislike them : P)

Use countdowns to break poses.
"Breaking pose in 5,4,3,2...1" This gives photographers notice to finish up, and provides structure which people can get into the swing of and keeps them focused.

Have structure, but be flexible. Some people like having lists of poses and pairings and so forth. Others find it easier just to be a bit more free flowing and work from the top of their heads. I've always loved the second kind better. Whichever way you're doing it, the structure I found works best is to first call characters ("All Narutos.. All Kakashis...") then related character groups ("Everyone in team 7!") then open it up to suggestions, poses and pairs.

Make sure that everyone that wants to be included is included.
When you are running a shoot, you want it to be as welcoming to everyone as possible. Make a point of looking around to see what characters are present. Anyone who is dressed from the series you're shooting should be called, but not forced, to be in a few photos. By that same token...

Make sure that it is a safe space. Have little friendly check ups on people who look a little bit overwhelmed "You okay?" "You need a break?". Preface more awkward poses or pairing poses by saying "If you're comfortable, would you like to try {THIS} pose?"

Have a photo shoot-running buddy. I was part of a twosome for a few years that ran big photo shoots. My friend would call out the poses, and people would naturally gravitate towards me while she was busy, and make suggestions for future poses, which I would relay to her. This was an awesome system.

Listen and work off other cosplayers. People will want to help and make suggestions, and you should accept those things as often as you can, while keeping a vague order to everything. You can really get a great flow with people when everyone is working off each other and feeling included.

Choose your location carefully. Don't have cameras facing into the sun, or everyone will be back lit and dark. Don't have a photo shoot in the middle of a heavily trafficked area. There are a few common locations for photo shoots in the area, but generally in front of a wall, or in a quieter area are a good choice.

Have fun with it! Be friendly, let people enjoy themselves. Use humour and bravado to get people to do what you want. It's just a photo shoot! There's no need to stress about it! If people are getting unruly or too loud or just getting you to a point where you can't handle it, pass the reins off to someone else. Sometimes things get out of hand, and it's not your fault.
Guns don't kill people, shinigami notebooks that fall from the sky kill people.

Last edited by Koi : 04-12-2013 at 12:32 AM.
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Unread 04-12-2013, 01:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Koi View Post
Please for the love of God don't use a megaphone, they often don't carry sound any better then yelling, are very impersonally, and can alienate your fellow cosplayers. (Though that might just be me. I really dislike them : P)
I had to use a megaphone last year because at one point I had to use my voice w/ being loud and I lost my voice at another photoshoot, which wasn't good. >_< I'll be doing the same again this year, because I found it worked last year.
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Unread 04-12-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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I am bringing a whistle and a megaphone to the shoot I am running. The whistle will be to start the photo sessions and end them while the megaphone will keep people under control.
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Unread 04-13-2013, 02:15 AM   #11
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Fair enough. It is probably just me, megaphones are not my friends. But I understand that people find them useful.
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Unread 04-13-2013, 03:32 PM   #12
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a few tips for panels as they're personal pet peeves of mine.

Don't overly use yourself as an example, yes it's easy to talk about you, but to be blunt, no one cares.
Use references that don't require long explanations, you end up wasting too much time talking in circles.
Please know what point you're trying to make, be concise.
Be flexible in your point of views as to not shut down discussions.
Realize quickly when the point being discussed starts running in circles and move on.

these pretty much all go back to not wasting time.
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