Convention Etiquette: Approaching Cosplayers at Conventions
Banner photo from: COSPLAY & CONVENTIONS: DO’S & DON’TS Video by ThatGuyYouKnowww
Conventions are a wild and crazy ride filled with panels, dealer room swag, cosplayers, and so much more. One of my personal favorite things to do while at a convention is costume watch and take photos of some of my favorite costumes that I find over the weekend, as well as dress up in the costumes that I’ve worked so hard on all year. As a cosplayer, here are some things that I would like to share to help both new and seasoned convention attendees when it comes to approaching cosplayers at a convention. This article is inspired by Axceleration Cosplay and her video “Dos & Don’ts to Approaching Cosplayers at Conventions” so please be sure to check out both her video and cosplay page which will be linked at the end!
Do: Come up and say hi!
It’s always a huge compliment when someone approaches me and tells me they like my costume. This is something I’ve worked hard to complete and getting positive feedback always encourages me to work even harder on the next one and gives me a pretty great feeling for the rest of the convention!
Don’t: Touch without my permisson.
Many cosplayers tend to be very particular about their costumes, props, and especially themselves. Do not ever just walk up and touch a prop, costume, or cosplayer without their permission.
Do: Ask for a photo!
Cosplayers work really hard on their costumes and are usually happy to pose for any photos when asked. We love to show off so please feel free to ask for a photo!
Don’t: Try to snap photos from far away.
You’re not sneaky, we see you and we will confront you. If you want a photo, please come up and ask! If you try and hide in the back and take unposed photos or upskirt photos, please believe you will be caught. Just ask before you snap.
Do: Have your camera ready to take a photo!
When a cosplayer is asked to take a photo, we will immediately pose for you. Be sure to have your camera or phone ready to snap a shot when you ask! Holding a certain pose for a while gets tiring after a while, so please try and be considerate to the cosplayer and be ready to go when you ask for a picture.
Don’t: Get in the way of other photographers.
Be courteous to others around you and try not to step in the way of others taking photos. If a lot of people are trying to take photos of the same cosplayer at once, don’t just dive in front and block out other people!
Do: Compliment my costume!
Hopefully this goes for most, if not all, cosplayers, but please feel free to compliment a costume you like! We work hard and love hearing good things about our hard work.
Don’t: Compliment my body.
Just don’t. If you like my costume, that’s wonderful and compliments are appreciated, but no one wants to hear about how much you like their booty in an outfit. It’s creepy and will likely get you in some serious trouble with con security.
Do: Feel free to walk up and talk about my costume or props while I’m sitting down or eating!
Appreciation is always welcome, and I am probably more likely to talk a bit more about my costume or props when I’m relaxing and not stressed out on the convention floor. So please feel free to come say hi and ask me more about something you’re interested in!
Don’t: Snap photos when I’m sitting down, taking a break, eating, or not fully in costume.
Do. Not. Ever. Do. It. If a cosplayer is in the middle of eating a burger and you snap an unposed, unwanted photo of them and post it on the internet, chances are you will not get any form of positive feedback- especially once said cosplayer finds out. If someone is clearly not in their full costume and resting or eating, snapping unaware photos is a huge no-no. Cosplayers don’t work for months upon months to have unattractive, partially out of costume, mid-bite photos of them posted on the internet. Just don’t.
Do: Ask if I bought something.
Chances are, most cosplayers will be willing to talk about their cosplay if you ask them about it. If you like a giant prop that someone is carrying around, ask them about it! If you like the light-up aspect of a costume, walk up and tell them!
Don’t: Ask if I bought something.
Asking if a cosplayer bought something usually has a negative connotation attached to it. Either you think they’re not good enough to have made whatever it is, or you think it looks really cheap and crappy. Not everyone has the skills of Yaya Han or Kamui Cosplay (and that’s okay!), so sometimes cosplayers will buy costumes or props. Never try and make a cosplayer feel bad if they had to (or made the decision to) buy a part of their cosplay.
Do: Ask questions about the costruction of my costume!
I personally love talking about the materials and little odds and ends that I use to make my costumes and props. A lot of the things I use are what I have lying around such as paper towel rolls, cardboard boxes, and old clothes that I never wear. I like to utilize new techniques with each costume I create and will gladly share my process or ideas with anyone if they ask. If you’re impressed with a part of my costume, feel free to ask what it’s made of!
Don’t: Give a critique or tell someone they should have done something differently on their costume.
The only person who knows what they did and why they did it with their costume is the cosplayer. Walking up to someone and telling them they should have used a different material, wig, etc. with their costume is rude and unnecessary. I have personally had someone walk up and beat on my Officer Vi gauntlets and tell me I needed to make them out of a sturdier material and walk off. You don’t know what someone has gone through to get to where they are, so please don’t offer your unsolicited “advice.”
Do: Remember to have fun!
We are all at the convention to have fun. Just remember your manners and have respect for everyone, whether they are a cosplayer, regular attendee, or convention staff member!
Huge thanks to Axceleration Cosplay for making the video that inspired this article. Please be sure to check her out at the links below!
Instagram – @axcelerationcosplay
Twitter : @AxCosplay
Keep Calm and iCosplay On!