I just want to say straight off that this article isn’t aimed at anyone.
In a previous article I wrote, I explained why I’ve never gone professional with my photography, as I don’t think I’m good enough, don’t have a full skill set to do photography as both professional and full time but also mainly, this is a hobby for me, something to take my mind off my main paying job.
Every so often after the comic con, I’d get messages of, “where can I find those photos you took?” or “have you edited my photos yet?”, enquiries of that nature and at times I would get these messages practically straight after the event had finished. I will say this now, I know you’re excited to see your photos back but, messaging the photographer hours or even days after an event is not helpful. To photographers whom I chat to about this subject as well as myself, this adds stress to a workload which is ever-growing. I don’t know any photographer who doesn’t have a backlog of photos to edit but also this triggers an annoyance about being asked so soon after an event is finished.
I don’t know anyone who is a photographer on the cosplay scene who is doing photography full time. Also, there are photographers of varying skills and workloads. We all have different workloads. I know some photographers who just upload photos straight from the camera to the internet and distribute photos to the cosplayers. Still, there are some who want to go through the photo collections and pick photos which represent both the skills of the cosplayer as well the skills of the photographer from the edits they make.
Now you might be reading this and asking yourself “when is a good time to ask for my photos?”, and I say…well that depends on the photographer. There isn’t a right answer to that question, each photographer will have their own workload, workflow to go through photos and edit them and also when photographers can find time to edit photos between their main job, social life and any other engagements they are involved in. I would say a good rule of thumb is not to directly contact a photographer about your photos within the first 4-6 weeks of the end of the event. If you have to contact a photographer straight after an event, I would suggest saying something like this, “It was so nice to have worked with you, I can’t wait to see when you have edited those photos whenever you get a chance”. This way, you are not adding stress to the photographer who probably as much as everyone else after the comic con, needs a break from the event as well before they start going through their photos.
In recent years I’m finding it hard to balance having a paying job, social life, keeping up with conversations with friends and family as well as finding the time to edit photos. At times I have shut myself in my home and just tried to edit as many photos as I can and then go back to work on Monday. When it gets to that stage, it makes it hard to have a social life, as it makes me feel guilty to have time for myself like going to the cinema and seeing the latest film, going have a fun night with friends. And because of that guilt, I get into a vicious circle of feeling stressed to get photos completed as soon as possible. I’ve always said that photography is a hobby and not a job for me.
As much as what I have just said, happens to me from time to time and other photographers in the community, I will say this is only a handful of people who do this. A good majority of cosplayers are very good at just leaving it to the photographers to edit photos whenever they can. They are very understanding that the editing process can take the time or that other life events might have gotten in the way. I really appreciate those who give photographers time and space to edit photos taken at comic con.