Ever wanted to meet your favorite cosplayer but were too shy? All That’s Cosplay’s Kris Kittie will guide you through the process. Cosplayers are people too and most of them are very nice and love meeting people like you! Here are some tips also on when the best times are to photograph them and how to avoid catching someone in costume when they’re busy. Basic etiquette when talking to cosplayers is also touched upon as well as the importance of spreading positivity in a convention environment.
How to Meet and Take Photos of Cosplayers
Hey, everybody. Hope you’re well. It’s Kris Kittie again with my second video for the All That’s Cosplay channel. Today, I wanted to give you a little primer on interacting and dealing with cosplayers at conventions.
Now, I have a couple of hard and fast rules for this. My most important role is: Don’t catch a cosplayer when they’re indisposed. By indisposed, I mean rushing somewhere, about to go in the bathroom, or eating. Eating is probably the worst because nobody wants a picture of you when you’re eating. Imagine if someone tried to take a picture of you when you’re eating. It’s really rude and it’s very invasive – and what you really want is a nice photo, right? So how are you going to get a nice photo if the person isn’t fully focused, or if they’re distracted or irritable?
So, basically, just catch a cosplayer when they’re ready. Like when they have a bunch of people around them and there are people snapping pictures left and right. Just squeak right in there and take some pictures of your own. That is a surefire way to always get a good shot because you’ll know the person is ready. They’re obviously posing for pictures, they have their game face on, and they have all of their cosplay pieces on. A lot of people will take pieces of their costume off when they’re eating because it’s uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. Why would you want a partial cosplay photo when you can have a whole cosplay photo? Just sayin’.
Segueing along into my next point, always ask. Asking is the Golden Rule. By asking for things, I mean ask for hugs, ask for autographs, always ask for pictures. It’s just nice and you’ll always make sure to get a good picture that way.
When you meet a cosplayer, always be yourself. Even if they’re a “big name” – still be friendly, be yourself. I know it may be a little scary, but most of these people are really nice. They’re literally just like you. They may have some notoriety in the cosplay world but they’re really just people. And they’re great people, so don’t be afraid. These people love meeting their fans, they love meeting people who admire them and they will probably pose for pictures and sign autographs, etc. But please always ask beforehand as I said in my previous rule. Approach them and say, “Hi, I really like your work….” Pick something specific as a talking point so you aren’t just gushing aimlessly. It will also make you more memorable if you bring up something specific that you like about their work.
There is another really big thing that I stand behind 100% and that is the whole “Cosplay is Not Consent” movement. Please keep your hands to yourself at all times during a convention. Do not touch, do not bump, do not brush. If you want to hold a prop, ask first, don’t just grab it out of their hands. If the person says no, please respect that. Cosplayers spend a lot of time making their props. The prop might be expensive or fragile. There are a lot of reasons why they might not let you hold their prop and it’s really nothing personal. Be nice. Be courteous. Treat people how you would want to be treated and keep language appropriate – no lewd, crude or crass comments. Regardless of how the person is dressed, that is not an invitation for you to touch them. You don’t want to be known as “that person” and knowledge about your bad behavior does get around. Bad behavior is also just not right, and you should never do it.
Another thing that rustles my jimmies a little bit is when people compare cosplayers to other cosplayers and they say, “Wow, you look so much better than this cosplayer. I think you did a better job than they did”. I just think that’s rude. Honestly, I know you’re trying to be complimentary, but if you’re pitting one person against another it’s not really complimentary at all. It’s quite rude, actually, because you’re disrespecting someone’s work in order to lift somebody else up. Just say that you like their work instead of playing the comparison game because nobody likes to be compared. People have different ways of interpreting cosplays and they will always vary. That’s what I love about cosplay – no two cosplays are completely alike.
Another thing, if you see a cosplayer that is at a lower skill level, do not say anything mean. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. There’s nothing that can ruin a Con faster than someone insulting a cosplayer. If someone insulted my cosplay, I’d be sad the entire day. It’s offensive and it’s not cool. That person worked their butt off on their cosplay. They might not be Jessica Nigri or Yaya Han or in that echelon of cosplay, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t try and that they aren’t gifted in their own way. People grow and learn through cosplay. Cosplay is millions of trials and millions of errors. There is a lot of the cosplay process you don’t see. You only see the finished product. You don’t see the stress, the late nights, the bouts of caffeine, etc. – all those things that people undergo to take the path to success. Success is not a smooth road and you would do well to remember that. If you see a cosplayer that is just starting out, make sure to compliment them. Make them smile. Tell them something nice. Encourage them to keep cosplaying and keep getting better. Inspire them to continue the hobby.
Honestly, sometimes the cosplay community is not a very nice place and I would like it to be the nicest place on Earth but that’s an ideal dream. That doesn’t stop people from working towards it every day. Replace insults with compliments. Spread love instead of hate. I think that’s one of the most useful things we can do as both fans and cosplayers.