WCPF welcomes cosplayers and photographers of all levels, from newcomers to seasoned vets – however we do have an expectation that all participants will have at least some experience with formal cosplay/glamour/etc photoshoots (ie working with and directing a model).
When applying to WCPF, please keep two things in mind:
1 – we have a numbers cap. Although we do our best to accommodate as many people as we can, please do NOT make travel plans until your participation has been confirmed! If you’re traveling from outside NZ please email us, as the number of international participants grows we are working to increase the notice period for those who need to make travel plans.
2 – we require a portfolio to be submitted as part of your application. In the past we have just asked for a link to your instagram or facebook, however it’s much better if you’re able to assemble a separate portfolio of up to 10 images that you consider to be your best work, and provide a link to this. This means we see what YOU consider your best work. These images WILL be shared with other participants as part of the event, and may be posted to WCPF social media as artist spotlight posts in the lead up to the event.
At this time, we do not have our own hosted portfolio site – we recommend Dropbox, Google Drive, Behance, etc – we just need you to send us a link. This is especially important if you do not shoot mainly cosplay or portrait work! While we can appreciate the technical skill of a sports or wildlife photographer, we do need to know that you’ve got some experience working with other human beings. We will still ask you for a link to your social media as part of your registration; this is as a backup form of contact (we’ve had issues with our emails being flagged as spam in the past) and this is what we will provide to your shoot partners so they can get in touch with you directly.
If you do not yet have enough images from formal photoshoots, we very strongly recommend you reach out to local artists for Time For Print(TFP)/practice shoots and build a portfolio before you apply. The Cosplay New Zealand group on Facebook is an excellent resource for finding other artists, and there are directories available in the group to quickly look up photographers or cosplayers in your area.
For photographers: what we’re looking for is a good eye for composition/posing, some basic understanding of lighting (ambient or flash), a decent sized body of work, and evidence of working with a range of models (eg: please don’t send us 20 shots of the same model, or all from the same shoot). Please avoid submitting convention hall shots or candid shots.
If you are an established photographer but have not yet worked with the cosplay community, there are a few trends in terms of delivering work – notably that most cosplayers do not expect more than 5-10 final images per shoot, and it’s expected that models will be able to select their own final images from the set. If this is not your preferred working style, please communicate this to your model as soon as you arrange the shoot so that everybody’s on the same page – we don’t expect you to change your workflow for the event, but we do expect that everyone will make an effort to ensure there are no miscommunications or misplaced expectations.
For cosplayers: we’re looking for some basic posing experience, a decent number of costumes (though this is flexible, especially for newcomers), and some experience with private shoots (ie, not convention hall shots or selfies). High quality self-shot images are fine, and encouraged. You don’t have to necessarily provide images of the costumes you will be bringing to the event, but remember that you don’t have to have an all new wardrobe for the occasion. You do not need to make your own costumes from scratch – thrifted or pre-bought costumes are fine. This is not a construction competition!
Again we’d like to stress that we are deliberately looking for a wide range of skill levels to take part in the event, and this applies to both cosplayers and photographers. You don’t have to be a professional, we just want to see that you’re involved with the community and actively producing work. We will ALWAYS welcome newcomers and beginners, but due to how much work goes on during Photo Fest it’s not ideal as a very first photoshoot experience! We hope that all participants will be able to learn and grow from their experience at WCPF and continue to celebrate cosplay photography in NZ and abroad.