By Ricardo Landaverde

We’ve seen it. The pictures shared on websites and social media pages from cons, where an awesome cosplayer and their talented cosplay are shown for everyone to see. The only problem is that you want to see more of their work and follow them on whatever social media pages they have. However since the picture has been shared so many times its hard to find the original source, and whatever watermark the photographer had is nowhere to be seen. What then?

In this day and age, where information is easily accessible, citing and giving credit to both cosplayer and photographer shouldn’t be an issue, yet there has been numerous times where they aren’t being given credit. It isn’t a matter of giving attention to both cosplayer and photographer either, nor should we “be glad” that our work is even being shown online in the first place. To people in our line of work, we work hard to make each person look as amazing as they can, just as each cosplayer tries to work with each photographer as best they can.

I had asked a couple of people who have been in front and behind the camera on their input on how to approach a situation in which they come across properly uncredited photos being shared.

One of my favorite bits of input was from sweetheart Sorairo-Days (you should follow her work, she’s amazing!) who’s biggest pet peeve is not recognizing nor crediting works:

“I think there’s no excuse not to give credit, whether you’re the original poster or not. People put a lot of hard work into the content they share online and deserve a link back to their account! If people come across something that is missing credit they should take the time to figure out the original source so a poorly sourced post doesn’t continue to make its rounds. Cosplay in all facets is a very collaborative hobby & community and I think people lose sight of that when it’s in an area of the hobby they’re not particularly active or good at”

That actually stuck out to me because of how true that is. It genuinely isn’t difficult to search for the source, however we give credit as recognition.
If you simply ask us if you can share our work, honestly 9 times out of 10 we’ll say YES enthusiastically! When we get word that someone is sharing our works and ignoring the sourcing and heaven forbid, editing the watermarks out of pictures we uploaded, it not only upsets us, it genuinely is an insult to what we do.
So sometimes a direct share from our social media pages, or simply asking for the source, can go a long way to making us feel like our work is worth it.