F A Q

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions I get while doing the Convention Tango.

1. How do I contact you?

You can contact me via my e-mail: kuragiman-at-otakuhigh-dot-com

Alternately, you can contact me on Cosplay.com or on DeviantART.  I use my Kuragiman photographer name at both locations.  I check my messages regularly and should get back to shortly with whatever your question/request/comment is.

2. Do you do private shoots at conventions?

Yes.  In fact I prefer it to just snapping random photos of cosplayers.  There are several reasons for this.  It let’s me have better control of the shoot environment to have a planned shoot.  I don’t feel rushed (and when I don’t feel rushed you get better picture results).  The cosplayer has time to get to know me so they can feel comfortable in front of the camera.  Comfortable cosplayers equals better pictures.  I don’t mind if you bring friends/family along on your shoot either.  But I might put them to work as an assistant to me so be warned.   :)

3. How do I get a private shoot with you at a convention?

Easy.  You ask.  About 30 days before a convention starts I usually will post here, on Cosplay.com and on DeviantART that my shoot schedule is now open for private shoot scheduling.  Get in there fast and secure a slot.  I typically will have room for only 6-8 photoshoots a day, each lasting about an hour.  I like to leave time to eat and see my own friends too you know?  :)

4. Can I get a private photoshoot even when there is no convention?

Yes.  If you are a Dallas-Fort Worth local and would like a photoshoot just contact me.  We’ll work out the details of when and where then.   If you are outside of the DFW area but still in the local Texas cluster (San Antonio, Austin and Houston areas as well as outlying cities around DFW) I will do a shoot still if A) It is material I want to shoot or B) You pay me for the drive time and expenses.    I will do out of state private cosplay only on very special circumstances.   Inquire if you are a serious and talented cosplayer looking for professional photos and you live outside of Texas.

5. Do you charge for your photoshoots?

Yes and no.  I don’t usually charge for people I already have a working relationship with.   People that I don’t know who are working with me for the first time will more than likely get tagged with a fee.   I charge $20/hr with a minimum fee of one hour.    There are plenty of others who will do it for free but you may not get the kind of photos or service you are expecting.   I have been at this for over eight years but the cost of con hopping and just travel in general has gone up greatly since 2008.    I am offering a service that would normally cost you hundreds of dollars in a studio setting.   I don’t think $20 is much to ask.

6. Which conventions do you go to?

  • ACEN
  • AnimeFest
  • A-Kon
  • MechaCon
  • Onicon
  • Ikkicon
  • Atsuicon
  • Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA)

7. Will you come to my con?

If I can afford it and it looks interesting enough to me I may attend.  If I won the lottery I’d probably go to every con I could on a yearly basis.  Unfortunately, I am not rich and have to pick and choose where I go.  Now if someone wanted to pay my way there and expenses at the con I wouldn’t complain!  :)

8. How long does it take to complete and post all the photos you took at a convention?

Typically, about two full weeks. I shoot close to 3000 shots a convention on average and I have to go through each of them to determine which ones to use and which ones to burn with fire.  I edit photos in the order I shot them as well so if you shot with me on Sunday expect to wait a couple weeks to see your photos.

9. You took my picture. How do I get my photos?

You come here to Otakuhigh.com and go the Cosplay Photography galleries.  Locate your convention from the menu and look for your shoot.  I name photoshoots by the character’s name you are portraying and not your cosplayer name/nickname.  If I shot a random passing shot of you then you will be either in the Male or Female characters folder under your character’s name.  They are listed in alphabetical order.

10. What format do your photos come in?

I use nearly lossless JPEG format at a resolution that will allow you to make up to 8×12 prints of your photos. You can get away with 11×17′s but you’ll lose some sharpness around the edges.

11. Can I get physical prints from you of my cosplay photos?

Yes.   If you want your photos turned into a picture book or you just want a stack of prints I can handle this for a fee.   I’ll issue you a quote once you tell me what exactly you are wanting printed and what format you want it in.

12. Can I post my cosplay photos you took of me on other sites?

Yes, with restrictions. You may not alter the picture’s properties in any way with the exception of re-sizing it for the website you are posting too.  Do not adjust colors, white balance, brightness or contrast or any feature in the photo.  When you do this you have tampered with my work and it no longer represents me.  Under no circumstance are you allowed to remove the OtakuHigh watermark logo UNLESS you plan to use the image as an avatar. Please ask permission before you do this so I know.  Please credit me back for the work on whatever website you post the photos to.

13. Your work is beautiful. Do you plan to sell prints?

Yes.  I sell prints.   You can wander in to my eCommerce store here on Otakuhigh and and snag a print I have listed.   Don’t see the picture you want?   I can do a custom print for you at a slightly higher fee.

14. Do you have a booth at conventions where you take pictures?

No.  I do not like to shoot in a restrictive single location like some photographers do.  I like to roam the convention and find natural backdrops to shoot against instead of curtains and sheets.  I view my photos as more than just a photograph.  I try to make my shots artistic and full of life and try to mimic the character you are portraying through photos.   I can’t achieve that by sitting in a photo booth all day in my opinion.

15.  What are your photoshop practices?

I retouch every photo in Photoshop, some a little, some a lot.   When a cosplayer elects to shoot with me they will receive a confirmation letter telling them their chosen time slot and what to expect from the shoot.   They are also informed at that time of my Photoshop practices and may elect to have all, some or none of them applied to their photo sets.   If they do not speak up they will get the full works.   Some people may not like what I like in a final product so it is the cosplayer’s responsibility to inform me what they want.   I can do as little as just contrast and balance corrections to full blown digital makeovers that include alteration of skin color, eye colors, etc.    I do not do any of these things without first informing the cosplayer about it.    If you DON’T WANT IT then speak up or you are going to get it.    I cannot stress this enough.   They are your photos as much as mine.  Don’t be afraid to ask.

16.   What is a Model Release Form and do I need one to do a photoshoot with you?

A Model Release Form is designed to protect me against any, however unlikely, lawsuits that may arise from me taking your photo.   It also defines your rights to the photos in written format and lastly it allows me to publish the work professionally in an artbook, magazine or any other form of medium that may produce a profit gain for me off your image likeness.   Do you need one?  No.  Not technically.   By shooting with me at a public event you have already consented on some level to allow me to use your photos.   Some conventions I work for require me to have one in order to protect their own interests against law suits that may arise.   In these cases you are going to have to sign one before you can have a shoot with me.    For the most part you will not need one.   If I think your outfit is extra special and worthy of being used in my upcoming projects you may be asked to sign one voluntarily.

17.  You have a Cosplay BAN List?  What is this and why do you have it?

Yes.   I have initiated a cosplay ban list.   This is a list of series or characters I will no longer take scheduled shoots of.   The reasons are mostly personal.   Either I just hate the character or find it so utterly boring and uninteresting to shoot that I no longer want to waste my time on it.   This list is not permanent and will be evolving as I grow weary of shooting the same subject again and again.   Exceptions can be made but before I agree to a shoot I will need to see a shot of the costume.   It needs to be spot on perfect for me to consider it.  Below is a list of current banned series/characters:

  • Naruto – Overdone.   Tired of seeing it.   Of course exceptions are always made for the femmes of the show.  I’m not made of stone!   :)
  • Bleach – All Characters.   I dislike this series and everything is black and white.   I like color in my cosplay.
  • Full Metal Alchemist – Unless you Al in full Metal Armored suit and cute and adorable Winrey, I am typically not interested.   Exceptional craftsmanship for any character can override this.
  • Death Note – All characters but *GOOD* Ryuk’s and sexy Misa.
  • Kingdom Hearts – All character that are colorful can stay but no more Organzation 13.  I HATE shooting BLACK outfits.  It’s dull and lifeless for the most part.
  • D.Greman – This suffers from Bleach levels of Black and Whiteness.    I do not find the character or uniform designs interesting.
  • Hetalia – No more… please… for the love of God.   This series has been beat to death for me.
  • Closet cosplay.   Slapping on a pair of jeans and a white shirt is NOT cosplay photography worthy to me.   If in doubt, ask or show me a photo.

Please take note, that you can get around the ban by waving cash in my face.    I will shoot anything if I am getting paid for it.

18.  You have a Cosplay HELL YEAH List?   What is this and why do you have it?

Yes I do.   We all have our favorite shows and characters.   If you are cosplaying from anything in the list below, congratulations, you have my full attention.

  • All things Evangelion, especially things that start with Asuka and end with Asuka.
  • Most anything from The Old School ™ anime days;  Ranma, El Hazard, Bubblegum Crisis, Ah!My Goddess, etc.
  • Cowboy Bebop is LOVE.  Show me the LOVE!
  • Yoko from Gurren Lagann because DAAAAaaaaaaammmmnnnnnn   *drool*
  • Anything intricate and detailed such as fantasy armor, sci-fi armor, etc.
  • Soul Caliber goodness or any character from most fighting games like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Blazblue, etc.
  • Superheroes, be they DC, Marvel, Image or any of the dozens of comic houses.
  • Anything that can turn my head and make me go wow or drool on myself
  • Anime Related

  • Art Related

  • Camera Related

  • Conventions

  • Cosplay Related

  • Cosplayer Models

  • Model Release Form


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