We had a great time at Comiket this weekend and saw enough to fill a few photo books! Of course, it’s impossible to talk about everything, but one of the more eye-catching things we noticed were the cosplay photography rules. There’s a good chance you remember this little tweet from this past summer, showing a cosplayer surrounded and photographed at low angles. And probably not for better lighting…
Well, it turns out, that kind of photography probably isn’t within Comiket rules!
Every event has its own set of standards and rules, usually to address their unique situations. Of course, Comiket is no different–if you’re expecting the wild, wild west of cosplay, you have another thing coming! Unless you’re dressed as John Wayne, we suppose.
All three of the three cosplay areas have the signs below posted, laying out the rules for both photographers and cosplayers.
▼”Don’t be a nuisance to your photography subjects or others when taking pictures!
Please follow the rules and show good manners when shooting.”
The list for photographers include such things as avoiding taking photos of the same person for too long–which might seem strange at first, but we’re betting that things cross over into the creepy “stalkerish” territory pretty quickly. Another rule that would apply to the tweet from this summer are number two and number four, which say that people should avoid crowding around a cosplayer and avoid taking extremely low angle photos, respectively. The rules also forbid demanding certain poses, taking close-ups of cosplayers’ private areas, being pushy about asking for contact information, or posting/printing photos without permission. Yes, that means we showed our press badges to the cosplayers and told them who we were with before taking their photos.
However, the rules weren’t just for photographers–there were a few for cosplayers as well! First, they were asked to avoid posing in ways that would leave themselves exposed or anything else that might be illegal. There were also reminders that cosplayers could refuse any photos and if they were having trouble, they could always ask a staff member for help.
Phew! That was a lot of rules! Though probably nothing as difficult as trying to finish Dark Souls. So, how effective were they? Well…
As you can see, it didn’t stop people from crowding around and surrounding certain cosplayers (look in the area towards the top left corner for example). That said, we didn’t see too many of the “extreme low angle” photographers–though we weren’t really looking for them either.
Just for good measure, here’s another sign from the cosplay areas, emphasizing the need to get cosplayers’ permission before taking their photos. Also, we just really liked the illustrations–they’re almost like Microsoft Word clipart made just for Comiket!
There was also one thing that really struck us on the train to Comiket–even though it was fairly obvious that everyone on the train was going to the convention, you’d never be able to tell just by looking. While Halloween sees Tokyo turn into one giant cosplay event with people happily riding the trains in their craziest get-ups, not a single cosplayer could be found on the train.
And now we know why! There was one more rule that cosplayers had to follow:
▼No leaving Comiket in costume!
There were a few other important guidelines that didn’t make it on the posters–for example, you’re discouraged from taking photos of people in costume when they’re not in the cosplay areas. If you’re wondering why, just imagine trying to get anywhere in Big Sight if people filled the halls taking pictures! And if you want to do some cosplay yourself, you’ll need to register and a pay a fee of 800 yen (about US$6.63) per day.
So, if you’re going to Comiket this week or planning to go in the future and you want to photograph your favorite cosplayers, be sure to follow the rules! They’re mostly just common decency, but they make everyone’s life a lot better.
All images © RocketNews24