I had an opportunity to do some Cosplay photography at Wizard World Philadelphia and literally had a blast. It is the rare show where all I have to do is run around and take pictures of the cosplayers, and generally get to have fun at the convention. I went as a private person, not affiliated with Wizard World in any way. Surprisingly I found that I didn’t post this set up, and I should have a while back.
Wizard World is one of the larger industrial comic book and pop culture conventions on the planet. They do multiple conventions but this was my first time there. The good part is that the show literally let me run around on the main floor taking all the pictures I wanted. I teamed up with the official photographer group for the Cosplay contest, and the Imperial Star Wars sets. The fun part was that as the show went along it was amazingly cool to run around and just take pictures of people on the floor, some candid’s, and otherwise get involved with the show in a way that was much more entertaining than a general person visiting the show.
The thing I was most impressed by was that the Cosplayers really just owned their own Cosplay. There was none of the snarky BS that I have seen at other shows where purity matters. No these people took the idea, and then made them theirs. From Black Superman all the way through the Doctor Who process, people were dressed up and ready to show off. There were some professional cosplayers there as well to help people feel more comfortable dressing up and showing off, and that made a huge difference in how the Cosplay kept on going throughout the three day show.
In all Wizard World Philly ended up being a really fun event to just go run around and take pictures of. If you are working on getting into Cosplay photography, take a 55-200MM lens with you, and you do want the UV Filter for bump protection along the way. Take a flash but use it as a fill rather than as a primary light source. Your white balance should be set to the incandescent lamps that are used all over convention centers. If you decide to take pictures outside, remember to set your white balance back to daylight full sun. You might also want to take something like an 18-105 lens as well for the larger group shots, as you can see in the pictures, when you get to the group shots of 100’s you want to have the widest angle possible to try to get everyone into the same shot.