What is the event?

Wellington Cosplay Photo Fest (WCPF) is a multi-day collaborative cosplay photography event taking place in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. We aim to bring together cosplayers and photographers from around the country and abroad to create images together either in a studio setting or utilising some of the beautiful locations available in the city.

Where does the event take place?

The event will be held in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. This country is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and we’re fortunate to have a number of options in and around the city for cosplay photography – each shoot can take place wherever the participants feel is appropriate. There’s no shortage of easily accessible locations around the city (refer our Locations Map here for ideas) and each artist has the freedom to decide with their shoot partner where is best for each shoot.

What are the rules for the event?

You can view the full event rules and code of conduct here.

How can I participate in the event? 

If you’re a photographer or cosplayer interested in taking part in our event then we’re keen to have you! The goal of this event is to include as wide a range of experience levels, costuming genres and shooting styles as possible. While we do have some basic requirements (outlined in our application guide and event rules) that participants need to meet in order to take part, everyone is welcome.

An application must be filled out and sent back within timeframes stipulated by WCPF. Announcements for the next upcoming event are typically made on WCPF’s social media channels in August/September. Successful applicants will be informed by email as soon as possible to allow for travel plans to be made – however the bulk of the organizing will take place much sooner to the event.  

How do I know if my application was successful?

You will be notified by email to confirm whether or not your application was successful. If you have applied and have not received an email, check your junk folders and promotions folder if you use Gmail – sometimes our emails can be caught in spam filters. 

I missed out on filling out an application, what now? 

Unfortunately WCPF no longer operates a waitlist – in the event that a large number of participants withdraw before the event we may open a “second wave” of applicants however this is never guaranteed.

How many people can participate? 

WCPF has a capacity limit of 100 participants for the event. This is for the photographers and cosplayers only – it does not extend to assistants and chaperones. 

Do I have to live in Aotearoa New Zealand to participate? 

Absolutely not – we love our Aussie neighbours and any further afield international pals! However, please DO NOT make travel and/or accommodation bookings until you have been confirmed as accepted into the event. While WCPF endeavours to give its international participants as much notice as possible, this may still only be a couple of months in advance of the event.

How do I stay up to date on event info?

Specific information for each event will be outlined in the confirmation email that we send to successful applicants, listed on our website, and in private Facebook groups that are set up for participants to use for event communications. 

As per our event rules, an active Facebook account will be mandatory for all participants as this is by far the easiest way to communicate with everyone at once. 

How do I get shoots?

All participants are expected to contact each other in order to arrange their shoots for the event. There is no maximum number of shoots per participant, however we suggest a minimum of one shoot per day – and if you have been assigned a shoot, this must be completed. In the event that we (the organisers) arrange shoot assignments, you will be paired at random with another participant and provided their contact details. From there you are free to arrange the shoot as you wish, however please note that assigned shoots must be completed (as in, the shoot has taken place – editing obviously takes a bit longer) by 5pm on the first day of the event. WCPF encourages participants to make use of the private Facebook groups for initial contact (you can also view the portfolios of other participants here) and then use DMs for ironing out details. 

How many shoots can I do?

 As many as you like! Participants are encouraged to think carefully about logistics (e.g. transport, time management etc.) and their own health and safety. Wellington can be difficult to travel around in summer, so please take into account travel time when planning your shoots – it makes sense to try and coordinate multiple shoots in the same location to avoid too much to-and-fro.

It is up to participants, both photographers and cosplayers, to be proactive in making contact to arrange photoshoots. 

If a prospective shoot partner declines a particular photoshoot concept or location, don’t push for it – no means no. Not all participants at the event will be highly experienced either, so please treat everyone with respect and patience.

What is an assignment?

In order to mix things up and introduce new people to the event, WCPF draws random model/photographer pairings to work with each other during the event. These assigned shoots (or assignments, shoot assignments, etc) must be completed by the time specified in the event rules and must take priority over other shoots completed during the weekend.

What is HQ?

HQ is a central venue that we use as a base of operations during the event. We aim to have a range of backdrops and general resources available here for all participants to use. You can collect your event pass here, sit down for a break between shoots, socialize with other participants, touch up makeup or change outfit… The list goes on! The venue for HQ may change for each event, and exact details will be confirmed in the lead up to the event. 

How do I get around?

We very strongly recommend hiring a car if you are travelling to the event from out of town. Although public transport and ride share services are available in Wellington, and we specifically select HQ venues with easy access in mind, Wellington is a poorly laid out city and traffic is often an issue. Shoot locations may also be spread across the city, so careful planning is essential – you can use the locations map we have assembled to help plan your travel. Note that HQ venues are specifically chosen with “shootability” in mind, and serve as shoot locations in their own right. 

How do I get my badge? How do I get one for my assistant?

We mail out badges and registration packs in the lead up to the event. No badges will be issued for assistants.

Where should I shoot?

Different costumes or concepts will call for different locations – check out our locations map for some ideas, but it’s up to each shoot pairing to decide where they would like to shoot. 

I’m new to cosplay photography – what do I do?

First of all, welcome to the hobby! Secondly, shoots are generally tailored to each photographer and model – here are some handy resources to indicate what you can expect.

How to do a Cosplay Photoshoot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFMLUW2uUAY 

Shooting the Same Model in Different Ways https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6ZcxxMkuZw 

How to Feel Confident in Front of the Camera https://www.instagram.com/p/CbmAuZOrJuS/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA== 

Cosplay Photoshoot Etiquette (for models) https://youtu.be/Venu6a8r8rI

How much does it cost to participate? 

WCPF has a small registration fee, which goes towards website hosting and other costs associated with running this event, as well as the registration pack, and hire of any official locations. We are a not-for-profit event run by a small team of volunteers, so all registration fees go directly back into the running of the event.

It is up to participants to source their own camera equipment and/or cosplays for the event. 

Aside from this registration fee, the event is based on a trade-for-prints (TFP) model. What does that mean? For more information, Format has a handy article defining the principals of the TFP model https://www.format.com/magazine/resources/photography/tfp-shoot – in summary, no participants can charge for their time at the event within what has been agreed between both parties. For more information please refer to the event rules. 

What happens if I have to back out? Do I get a refund?

Unfortunately we’re unable to offer refunds if you need to withdraw from the event. If you need to withdraw, please email the organizers to advise, and let your shoot partners know – there are specific requirements in the event rules outlining this. 

Can I charge for my work?

No. WCPF is a strictly TFP/Time for Print event, and besides the registration fee you are not expected to pay anything in order to partake. 

All photographers taking part are expected to provide a minimum of 3 final images per shoot as part of the rules of the event. If you wish to hire a shoot location that is up to you and your shoot partner, and if you wish to charge for additional images BEYOND the 3 per shoot minimum, that is also up to you. Our only requirement here is that this is clearly communicated to your models ahead of time, preferably in writing to avoid any confusion. 

I’m a commercial photographer, what do I get out of this event?

Because WCPF is strictly TFP we understand that working professionals may not be able to take part without affecting their regular workload. WCPF is however a great opportunity to network and potentially reach a new client base, shoot new and interesting costumes, and beyond the minimum of 3 final TFP images per shoot there is the option of charging for additional edits or print products. Our only requirement here is that this is clearly communicated to your models ahead of time, preferably in writing to avoid any confusion. 

Can I bring a friend? 

If you want someone to assist you at a photoshoot, drive you around, or simply to be there as moral support; that is no problem. Participants are required to let their shoot partner know if a friend is coming along though – and please be sensible; don’t bring the whole family along without letting your shoot partner know. Please refer to the event rules for more details on who you can bring along to a shoot.

Can I shoot with other people (non-participants) during the weekend? 

We’re not the photography police and we can’t stop you. However, we do ask that participants commit to prioritizing the event and please confirm that anyone who approaches you for a shoot is actually registered to and participating in the event. 

We recognise that some participants are working professionals and may have paid commitments during the event’s duration. We don’t expect you to disrupt your livelihood, so long as it does not affect your ability to complete the minimum requirements for participation. Please refer to the event rules page for more information.

What’s the afterparty? Can I bring a plus one?

The afterparty is generally held on the Sunday evening of the event and is a chance for participants to mingle and enjoy some food and drink. The details of the afterparty will be confirmed in the lead up to the event, and you’re welcome to bring a plus one.

How do I make a complaint?

Please email us directly. Please DO NOT message the organizers privately, we’re a team and all information needs to come through event media so we are all able to respond. Please refer to the event rules for more specific details regarding the complaints process.

My shoot partner had to bail! What do I do now?

It happens, unfortunately! But, you’re now free to organize another shoot – if this happens during or very close to the event, and it often does, reach out to other participants to see if anyone is available. Everyone is in the event for the same thing, so don’t be afraid to send someone a message if you’d like to work with them. If your assigned shoot partner has to back out, please contact the organizers and we will do our best to assist.

My costume broke! What do I do?

If you’re near event HQ, pop in and see us – we will have a small repair station with basic supplies like hot glue, needles and thread, and other bits and pieces.