When: Feb 4-6 2023

Where: Wellington, New Zealand

Note! Our first priority is always the safety and well-being of our participants. Masks will be mandatory for photographers and all participants not being photographed at the time.

While we are unable to enforce vaccination status of our event participants, we strongly encourage anyone participating to ensure their Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters are up to date to protect themselves and others.

Please see below for further details about the event, and contact the organising committee with any questions here.

So what is the event about?

Wellington Cosplay Photo Fest is a multi-day collaborative cosplay photography event designed to bring together cosplayers and photographers of all skill levels for a weekend of photo shoots. Each participant is assigned a number of random pairings to ensure all participants have a minimum number of shoots booked, and to allow newcomers to work with more experienced artists. These assigned shoots are only a minimum – we encourage all participants to organise as many other shoots during the event as they wish to take advantage of the talent gathered in one place for the weekend!

We have a large cosplay community in NZ, and our goal is to include as wide a range of experience levels, costume genres and shooting styles as possible. From beginners to seasoned veterans, magical girls and those dedicated to enormous grimdark armour – everyone is welcome!

How Does this Work?

Each participant will be assigned a minimum number of shoots for the weekend – this is to ensure all participants start off on the same footing, and to encourage people to work with new artists.

These pairings are random and are intended to deliberately mix up skill levels and styles. These random assignments are mandatory, and must take priority over any other shoots booked throughout the event. If you cannot work with another participant for any reason, please let us know – we will accommodate this where possible.

How many people will be taking part?

The maximum number of participants is currently 100. 

Where will the event take place?

The event will be held in Wellington. There is a list of suggestions for locations around the city here, however it will be up to each participant to arrange their own transport to and from their chosen location and to organise with their shoot partners where they will be shooting.

How many shoots can I do?

As many as you like! The minimum number will be set based on the random assignments for the event however if you wish to shoot more there are no restrictions. We do suggest however that you think carefully about transport, location, logistics and time management in order to ensure that you do not over commit your time and energy. It is up to you to contact other participants and organise additional shoots, please use the participants Facebook group as a point of contact and directory.

How do I know someone will want to take my picture?

This is why we have random assignments! A certain number of shoots will be randomly assigned to each participant and must take priority over other shoots booked throughout the weekend – we aim to assign each photographer 2 random models and each cosplayer 1 random photographer, though this is subject to change depending how many people register in each category. All participants are of course welcome to organise additional shoots outside these assignments to take advantage of the concentration of talent in one place.

We understand that not every participants’ artistic style will appeal to everyone else, however with this system in place we hope to balance personal taste and style with a healthy dose of new experiences and opportunities for every participant. Even if your assignments are not to your personal taste style-wise, we expect these shoots to be conducted with professionalism and the same effort as would be applied to any other shoot.

If you are absolutely unable to work with a particular individual, please let the organisers know – we will take this into account wherever possible. We want people to work outside the box, not force anybody into a situation where they are unsafe or uncomfortable.

Please note that participants who neglect their assigned shoots will not be invited to participate in future events.

Do I have to pay anything to attend the event?

Yes. The 2023 event will have a registration fee – this covers event badge and info pack, postage, etc. We are a non profit event, and all fees go directly into the running of the event.

If you would like to make a koha to help cover ongoing fees such as website hosting, this is appreciated but absolutely not compulsory.

Can I charge for my photography during the event?

No. WCPF is a free collaborative event, and we absolutely do not support any pay-to-play system; every event participant should have the same opportunity as any other to work with other artists taking part.

Can I bring a friend?

Not as a model or photographer, unless they have already signed on as such. If you would like a chaperone or need someone to help with transport, this is no problem – if they would like their own event badge and info pack they will be able to register for the event and pay a reduced fee.

Can I shoot people during the event who are not registered to take part?

We’re not the photography police, and we can’t stop you – however we ask that you please focus on the event and its participants during the weekend. This keeps it fair to people who have registered on time and followed due process for the event. It also means that we know exactly who is taking part, and can identify anybody who is not meant to be there.

I don’t live in New Zealand! Can I still take part?

Absolutely! NZ’s borders are open again, and we’d love to have you – please register as normal for the event, but bear in mind you may not have much notice. Please DO NOT book travel until we have confirmed your acceptance into the event, while we try to give as much advance notice as possible this may still be only a couple of months.

I missed registration for the next event! Is there a waitlist?

There is a waitlist, please contact the organisers to be added. Note that this is no guarantee of inclusion! Although there are often people who need to drop out of the event, we can’t predict when or if this will happen – and it may be very last minute! 

Who’s organising this gig?

The central organising committee is half cosplayer, half photographer: Lance Davey/Luminarchy Photography, and Sylvie Kirkman/Little-Noise Photography/Static Cosplay. Contact the committee here.

Cosplay Photo Fest branding by Jess Woodward – thanks Jess!