Cosplay photography has become a major hit amongst cosplayers in recent years. Nothing feels better than getting professional photos done of the cosplays you put blood, sweat, and tears into. You want to look your best, and these photographers know how to make you shine in front of the camera.
These photographers are willing to often spend countless hours at conventions and outside of conventions capturing a wide range of cosplayers to grow their own portfolio as well as to bring joy to their client. They capture the cosplayer in a single still image and bring it to life. Some use amazing real-life techniques from smoke machines to real fire. Others use the power of editing to whisk the cosplayer from a normal setting to a setting that fits perfectly to the characters aesthetic.
When the cosplayer receives the photos back, there are shouts of glee. They quickly post it to their pages, thanking the photographer for the amazing pictures. Letting others know that this is a photographer who they should work with, in the future.
However, some clients, but mostly large pages who repost these photos, do not always accurately credit the photographer.
This seemed to be a common trend with cosplayers several years ago. Photographers and even commissioners work went without notice. Sometimes the photographer's watermarks were removed so there was no hope in people finding the photographer that captured the perfect moment.
In recent years though, many cosplayers have gotten much better at crediting their photographers (and other artists like commissioners), but there are those who in a sense steal the photographer's work and repost it without any links or credit. These people still often go as far as cropping out the photographer's watermark. These watermarks often help those wanting to find the source material when no other links are found. Once that watermark has been removed, there is little to no chance of finding that photographer.
Some may think, "Oh well, that photographer is still getting exposure." But how can they get so-called "exposure" if a person cannot determine who took the picture and the watermark is removed? That photographer is not losing potential future clients and reach for their page. Even the cosplayer is losing social media traffic they would have had too. Social media already creates algorithms that work against those who refuse to pay for likes, but now pages are reposting pictures that tend to receive more traffic than the photographer's and the cosplayer's original post combined. The only person who normally benefits are those behind the page that essentially stole that photo.
It is not hard to credit a photographer or the cosplayer, or anyone that had a hand in it, it is pure laziness. It is as easy as putting "Photo credit: Momo Clicks Photography" at the end of your post. It took all of five seconds to credit the photographer who supplied the cover photo for this article. There should be no excuses for those people who continuously not credit the photographers who aided in the creation of a now-viral picture.
Cosplay photographers work extremely hard at their craft. They spend hours staring at a computer screen, going over each detail, just like cosplayer goes over the details of their costume before the big day. Credit each other, because let's face it, most social media algorithms are against us. Let 2019 be the year of giving credit where credit is due because nothing feels better than knowing that your work feels appreciated by others.