Comikets and ComiCons continue to escalate the chance of you bumping into someone dressed like a slime from Dragon Quest gets bigger and bigger.  And hey, if you see someone dressed in shiny armor with a huge-ass sword or a half-naked goddess with her pet camel, you might just want to take a photo.

But hold your horses, Leibovitz: before you start snapping away at a bunch of guys dressed like dragon balls, there’s a code of conduct that you should adhere to. You wouldn’t want to tick her off at all by being all rude with your photography now would you?

This is a list of rules suggested and supported by the cosplay community as a whole.  That’s not to say there aren’t exceptions to the rules, but by following them you can ensure yourself a pleasant experience.

The following are the basics you should know before considering pointing a camera:

“You must take photos. No video!”

“Cosplayers aren’t professional models so taking photos of them is a whole other kettle of fish.”
They aren’t being paid like Mickey at Disneyland, they civilians too, so treat it like you would taking someone’s picture on the street.

“Usually you’ll need a permit to take pictures.”
Many events provide special permits that allow you to take photos, even if you’re only using a mobile phone camera.

“During events some areas don’t allow photos.”
Areas where photos aren’t allowed are usually marked off with signs, keep an eye open for them.

Okay, so you got your camera and your permit.  You spot a transvestite street fighter and approach him/her for a photo. Remember:

“You need their permission to take their photo.”
Remember, behind the Darth Nihilus mask they are just regular people, so ask for their photo like they were.

 “If they’re doing something or talking to someone, wait till they’re finished.”
They don’t go to where you work and knock the d… nevermind.

“Remember that permit you need? Keep it attached to your camera at all times.”

“If they say no, just let it be.”
Sometimes they just aren’t in the mood.  Don’t necessarily take it personally, unless you were being a dick.

Now, you got Chinese Mario with a machine gun to agree to a photo.  What do you need to know?

“Don’t take photos from behind.”
You might get mistaken for some pervert trying to catch some underwear shots.

“They don’t like to be bossed around or treated like a mannequin.”
It’s okay if you have a pose in mind, but keep it tasteful and ask politely.

“Don’t be a time burglar.”
They probably didn’t come to the event to spend all day with you.  Take too much time and other cosplayers or event staff may intervene on their behalf.

Finally you got the shot you wanted of assorted Final Fantasy characters together.  Finished?

“If you want to post those photos online, make sure you get their permission.”
Otherwise, you might get a call from a lawyer dressed as Majin Buu.

“If you think your photo’s really good, why not give them a copy?”
What a nice way to say “thanks for your time?”

So there you go.  If you followed these easy rules which basically amounts to treating them like people instead of your own personal playthings, then you’ll have no problems – unless you were actually taking a photo of a Colonel Sanders statue.  In that case you wasted your time.

Source: Naver (Japanese)