There was some “drama” today over cosplay photos being sold by a cosplayer (apparently) without the photographer’s permission. So I am adding an additional tip to help prevent situations like this in the future.
Before a photoshoot, talk with your photographer! I suggest talking to the photographer about:
Will there be a cost for the shoot itself, will there be a cost for non-watermarked images or printed copies?
- The shooting
How long will you be shooting for, how many photos can you expect to get out of it, how many poses will you be shooting. If you are paying for the shoot you may want to get a certain number of photos out of it for what you’re paying - if it’s a free shoot you may still want to know how long the shoot might be!
- What can you (the cosplayer) do with the photos
Can you post them to your personal site or blog? Can you sell prints of the photos? Will you be provided large versions or non-watermarked versions for sale? If you plan to profit off it in some way, make sure your photographer is okay with it since it’s their artwork too.
- What can they (the photographer) do with the photos
Can they post this image to their facebook page? Can they use it as promotional material for their services or use it in their portfolio? If it’s a free shoot then they are probably going to post it publicly or in their portfolio as part of the exchange, but if it’s a paid shoot and you want the photos to be private then talk to them about it!
Will they be using photoshop in the photos, and can you use photoshop on the photos. If you check out a photographer’s portfolio you can get a rough idea of the amount of changes they make - while most photographers make minimal changes (such as lighting) some may make major changes to the background or add special effects (such as fire/lightning/etc).
Free photoshoots are most likely going to include a watermark, you can look at a photographer’s work before committing to a shoot to see the size and placement of their watermark. If you want copies of the photos without the watermark, ask the photographer if this is possible. You may need to pay for copies of the photos without the watermark, but that will depend on the photographer!
Remember: even though you are the subject of the photo and put a lot of time, money and effort into your hobby the photographer also put a lot of time, money and effort into their hobby or career. You are both working together to create the photo! So remember to thank your photographer, and credit them when possible :)
Any photogs or cosplayers want to add to this list? Feel free to answer this post!
Edit: It’s also good to write a contract (or agreement, doesn’t necessarily have to be formal) that outlines what you can and can’t do with the photo. Especially if you plan to sell the image or use it in promotions! That way you both agreed on how the image can be used, and have proof of that agreement in case a situation occurs.
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- dovahsebrom said: This is so important! As a former model it’s even better if you can get a HARD PAPER COPY of the agreement between you and your photographer about the usage of the images.
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