Just to give you a bit of background myself. I took up photography in 2012 and have been steadily improving over the years picking up tips and tricks along the way and also passing on what I know to others.
Lack of Watermark
During this time, things that didn’t matter or bother me much now do. An example, at the start I didn’t add a watermark on each photo until I found it on a site that didn’t credit me but there was no way to really prove it was my work (see photo below taken in 2012). So from that day, I started adding my watermark. Velma Cosplay by Gina B Cosplay.
Road to Learning
But over the last few months, what really has bothered me which caused that massive rant post you can see at the top of this post, is the number of people who edit my photos. Let me say this now, I DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO EDIT MY PHOTOS WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. There are only a few occasions where I have given permission. As I mentioned I am still learning my trade and need to know what I need to look out for to edit or improve a photo. I personally like to keep to the original look as possible but I do understand a bit of skin smoothing, taking out the bumps and slight tuck here gives the cosplayer/model a confidence boost. But I would like to be told of this so I can improve my skill or learn a new skill. I don’t like when I discover that the cosplayer has taken it upon themselves to edit the photo without telling me, even though I have said to them “Please let me know first if you want to edit the photo”.
I am not saying I’m great at editing everything correctly and I will admit I do miss things every so often, and this is why I appreciate people letting me know of areas they like editing, so I know for future reference.
For what I do, basic editing as I call it, I spend between 10-30 mins just colour correcting, cropping, and adding radical/gradient filters to the photos. For everything else, I have to put it through Photoshop. I know 10 minutes isn’t a long time but at a comic con weekend, I have to filter through over 2000 photos and then process each photo individually, which takes me a few days to get through them.
One of my edits
As you can see below, with a recent photoshoot with Squeakehb as Livewire, the image on the left is the finished photo and on the right is the original. This is the level of editing I am comfortable with, before going into major composite editing. It was great to see people like Sqeukahb sharing this photo as I presented it to her.
Instagram filters and anything similar
Instagram filter……again, I do not like it. It’s the same principle as changing the photographer’s original version of the photo. I really don’t think it’s that hard to ask the photographer if it’s okay to edit or add a filter on top before it goes out. But saying that, I think most photographers will like to have their work as it was presented to the cosplayer.
I hope this gives a bit of an insight into why I and other photographers get annoyed when their work gets edited without permission.