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This year was the first time I've seen Animazement and Staff take a hard-line approach to photography. Or more precisely, photography prevention.
I'm curious as to what the intention was aimed towards. Was it to free up the walkways and keep them clear of photography clutter, such as light-stands, group clustering, and traffic hazards? Or was it something else?
What concerns me was the confusion in the information that was disseminated from the Higher-Ups into the lower fields of the Staff. At one point, we heard one stance regarding gear and what was and was not allowed into the convention, only to be told later on something completely different. It seemed as if the staff was just as confused as the photographers were in regards to what was allowed and not.
Now before the deluge of replies hit, I will say I support trimming down on what gear is allowed into the con. Someone bringing their entire studio of 8 light-stands and 8-foot soft-boxes and umbrellas is a bit overkill and should never be allowed in. I agree with this.
But what I heard as a general consensus - from Staff - during the weekend was "Photographers with more than one lens and ANY other gear [such as flash, light-stands, or the sort] were not allowed."
I'm curious as to the reasoning behind this. Turning away photographers who actually know their craft really only hurts the Cosplayers and the Cosplay Community. Cosplayers as a whole are driven largely by Ego to craft and come up with designs for themselves to wear. Photographers - those who know how to actually take good pictures, not camera-phone and soccer-mom point-and-shoot users - fulfill this Ego-driven need for them to see themselves and their crafts brought to fruition.
When you take out the one major export of their craft - getting photographed - you drive down their chances to get good-quality photos which showcase their dedication and craft. By doing this, you also drive down the desire to re-attend the Convention in the future, and by proxy drives down attendance which fuels the Dealer's Room and Artist Alley.
Photographers and Videographers attend conventions for one main purpose: to capture the love and dedication of the Cosplayers who enjoy their hobby and wish to share their love of it to the world. Cosplay is a hugely Ego-Driven hobby. Photographers fulfill that demand. When you drive one away, you run the high risk of losing the other.
I would hope you entertain the idea of a more lenient, yet strict, plan for next year's Animazement. Possibly along the lines of allowing Photographers with multiple lenses yet restricting lighting to one external source (singular light-stand) and even possibly limiting the size of that source (nothing greater than 4 feet in diameter), requiring an assistant to handle external light sources and help with the flow of traffic, and restrictions on where you can take them (nowhere in the immediate vicinity on the floor of Artist Alley, to include the small outlying "nooks", nowhere near/around stairwells/escalators, etc).
And with these rule-sets in place, a printed out document easily accessible on the website with regards to "Convention Photography" that any violations can result in prohibitions of that person's ability to photograph at the con/badge denial, with the expectations and rules clearly printed out, so there is no confusion with staff or photographers.
Doing this will go long ways to prevent - in the future - the horde of drama that's currently surrounding this convention which stemmed from the way the convention photographers were treated this year.
Edit: To clarify (cause I had to explain this a couple times already) "Ego" and "Ego-Driven" is about the pride one has in themselves, and the desire to showcase their accomplishments with others. It's not the often-deemed negative selfish value that comes with being egotistical or an egomaniac.
Last edited by salty on Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'd also like to inquire about the "DIY Photoshoot" room that was advertised on the printed schedules posted around the convention center.
I checked out the room, down around Artist Alley, and aside from the number on the door, it had no signage. The door was closed, and upon looking inside, it was dark, and of a size to accommodate only 1 or 2 photographers and subjects if they chose to share space.
If pro-photography is a space issue, then maybe in the future we can have more clearly marked, larger spaces dedicated to it? There's plenty of blank space in the dealer room for certain, especially in the area where the food vendors are. Some segmented black curtains usually used to divide vendor booths would certainly suffice for backdrops in that regard (at least for the photographers who don't bring their own). Prettier dedicated locations would be nice, but I understand their may be possible limitations on the rental.
Last edited by Xarathion on Tue May 28, 2013 4:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
7-year AZ veteran so far...
I'm not sure if I agree with the "ego-driven" nature of cosplay but I too don't understand the changes in policy. Free exposure and high-quality images of your event don't seem like a bad thing. I have many friends who are hobby or professional photographers that come simply to capture the spectacle on cameras. It doesn't seem like they should be punished for having higher quality cameras.
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I actually asked about this at the Feedback session in Ballroom AB on Sunday. It was supposed to be open the entire weekend after mentioning it to Bob he asked me to confirm it was locked. I did so and reported back to him, it was opened within the hour. Things just slipped through the cracks I suppose.
But yes the room was somewhat small, being the size of the Prop room where you had to stash your props before entering the dealer's room. I'd say that was it was big enough for two or three photos going at a time. Luckily I had it to myself Because I had no friends with me and had to sit the camera on the table in there use 10 second delay to get my shots of myself.
I believe this was a mis-communication between Elite and AZ Staff. It was fixed, but things were bad from that point on. Hopefully that will not happen again.
So we are now in February and there is no information regarding photography on the Animazement website. Obviously AZ wants to repeat the same drama as last year by ignoring the problem again... they need to update their policies and spell out what is allowed and not.
Again... wasn't an issue before last year. Will it be an issue again this year? Do you guys even care that a bunch of photographers, I know, are going to MomoCon instead now?
Looking around the website, haven't seen anything yet that's specific to photographers. I'm sure they'll be updating us on that soon!
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Yes, very soon.
That is so my life right now.
Alright, we'll keep an eye out.
I know there some rather well known regular attendees who film and photograph that have already expressed their hesitancy to attend AZ (over MomoCon) this year. Mainly due to the handling of photography issues in the past couple of years. Which is a shame, because these same people raise a lot of awareness of Animazement in various social media sources.
AZ 2014: Gambit (X-treme X-men), Kirito (Sword Art Online), Revolver Ocelot (Metal Gear Solid series), Hisao Nakai (Katawa Shoujo)
10 posts • Page 1 of 1
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