Originally Posted by SolarTempest
As a male photographer in the age bracket of their 20's, I find this thread is incredibly frustrating. Any time I take a picture of a girl cosplayer, does that mean I'm subject to automatic "creeper" suspicion?
Male + Camera + Girl Cosplayer = CREEPER
There's the magical formula.
And from many of the posts in this thread, it appears that having professional-grade equipment and asking for any female cosplayer for a photo in any pose of their choice still puts me/people like me into the category of creepers.
Makes me really want to stop doing hall cosplay shots and only do private shoots with my friends.
Seconded, and pretty much why I've long ago gone away from shoots that aren't arranged on the cosplayer's part or through friends. People want good photos, but apparently nobody can take them without being a creep. Sad but true, but photographers are always one misunderstood action away from being labeled a creep, and it's one of the reasons why I avoid hallway photos of strangers. Sorry, no photoshoots out of the blue, but Solartempest's equation as applied ruins it for everybody.
And yes, there are bad apples out there, some with cameras, some without. You can't stop people from being bad; you can try and mitigate things, and you can catch and deal with the people when they do cross the line.
-There's a place where you can wear your costume and guarantee to not be looked at by people you don't want looking at you: it's called home. This does not condone or excuse harassment, but when you're with other people, you have to deal with them, and if that means getting security, then you've gotta do it.
-Make a designated room for cosplayers only and then you'll only have the creeps in costume there. Put bouncers to make a judgment call over who looks "legit" enough and you have drama (or worse) just waiting to show up. If the same rules apply inside as outside (i.e. don't take photos without asking, don't be a creep) then the problem isn't the lack of the room, it's the lack of enforcement of the rules.
-Don't assume that just because the "creeper" is a stranger to you, they're a stranger to the other person they're behaving oddly toward. That person who glomped someone may be their best friend.
-On the flip side, just because that other person glomped someone doesn't mean you can too.
-A convention is a large social gathering. Believe it or not, people may attempt to be social and converse with you. This is not an immediate sign that they're stalking you. No means no, and by the same token hello means hello. If you're in a five hour line, you might as well get to know the people you're in line with; some of my oldest friends started as random people in line
-Everyone over 20 is not automatically evil. If everyone over 20 vanished from your favourite cons, so would your con.
-Humans, not possessing sonar, need to have their eyes open in order to not run into people/cars/walls. In a room full of hundreds or thousands of people, often in tight quarters, this means they will have to look at people. They will also look at people because they are wearing something interesting, like a costume, being at a convention to, you know, look at stuff.
-Report something if it should be reported. Crying wolf because someone you don't know said hello just drowns the real bad apples in a sea of false alarms. Illegal is illegal; get security. If they're behaving in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, inform them of such and ask them to stop; if the behaviour persists get security. We can't do anything at the venue if you don't report it, because we don't know whether or not you think this behaviour is appropriate (obvious violations excepted). Most often cons hear about bad behaviour long after the fact and with nothing to go on. This doesn't help. Tell us right there.
-I know that creeps are a part of the con thing, and it sucks. Plenty of people can attest to how protective I am of my friends at these cons of just this sort of thing. But, the way you deal with it is right there, right then, and giving people the benefit of the doubt and by telling them that you don't like that sort of behaviour directed at you.
-Play safe, play smart, have fun.
Sorry if I come across as blunt in the above points. I want the con to be fun for everyone who is respectful of others, and for those who don't, they can be shown the door.