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Etiquette and Protocol


Photo Etiquette - Guests/Actors


  • Certain guests may have policies wherein they charge for snapshots or have exclusive deals with professional photographers at the con. Don't be offended if they refuse to take a snapshot with you, or ask for cash first.
  • Some Guests may not want to take pictures in off-hours after they've been in photoshoots and sitting at the Walk of Fame all day. Don't be offended if they refuse to take a picture with you.


Photo Etiquette - Con Attendees

Portions taken from Dementia's "Everything you wanted to know about Dragon*Con" post.


  • Costumers LIKE to be photographed and complimented on their costume; don't be shy, but do be considerate.
  • Ask before taking photos of costumers, it's only polite and there may be people at con who aren't interested in having their photos taken and plastered all over the Internet (it's true!) Don't be offended if they say no. Or they may just be wanting to get to the bathroom ASAP.
  • If you're taking posed shots and plan on posting them in a public gallery, offer your link or contact information to those you took pictures of. Many costumers don't get many pictures of themselves (they're the ones wearing the costume after all), and hunt for pictures of themselves online afterward, or post to forums asking "Did anyone get a picture of me on (day) wearing (costume)?" Make it easy for them, and get more hits on your site!
  • Never touch a costume or the person wearing it without permission. Costumes may be fragile, and it is just rude. This includes if you are taking a picture with them. Just cause they may touch you does not mean you can touch them back (i.e. hugging poses). Yes this includes men/women in skimpy outfits. And just because they may give your permission, doesn't mean they're in love with you.
  • Costumers range from the skill level of poor amateurs to people with professional costuming experience in the movies. Don't be an ass and ridicule a "bad" costume, especially if it is just a kid.
  • Be mindful of other photographers.
  • Take your picture or pictures (if you have a motor driven camera or one messed up) and step aside.
  • There are designated "NO PHOTOGRAPHY" areas. They are there for a reason. Security may tell you to move. Don't get angry with them, they're just trying to keep everyone safe.
  • When the bumpers on DragonCon TV or the host of a panel says NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY, they are not out to ruin your fun.  They're very serious when they say there are medical reasons.  Flash photography can cause seizures.  Please follow the instructions.  


Showing Off Your Photos

What good are Dragon*Con photos if you're not going to show them off? And how are people going to find them?


Your best bet is to carefully tag your photos and put them in an online gallery. There are several gallery sites that are both free and popular amongst DC attendees.

  • Flickr.com offers easy tagging and organizing, but the free account only allows 100mb of upload a month. A Pro account is unlimited in that regard.
  • Photobucket.com is a little less helpful with the organizing, but the free accounts aren't as restrictive and it allows for better video uploading.
  • Picasa is a Google application that allows for uploading to their web galleries.
  • etc


Also, consider taking part in the Dragon*Con Photo Hunt, a photo scavenger hunt.



If you intend for you photos to be shared, be sure you tag them with the common 'dragoncon' tag. On the major web gallery sites this means your pictures can be searched by that tag so plenty of other people will be able to view your shutterbuggery. It's also recommended that you included the year as a separate tag, and you also might want to include the day and a subject tag, IE. celebrity or costume or another_dude_having_his_ass_kicked_by_ray_park.


Official Photo Galleries (D*C Website):


Official photo galleries can be found here: http://photos.dragoncon.org/main.php 


Fan Galleries:


For fan photo galleries, please visit the Fan Photo Galleries page or visit the dragoncon_photo LiveJournal community.


Simple Tips for Better Pictures

Spending a fortune on a huge new DSLR and a load of kit is all well and good, but that's money you don't get to spend at the convention. If you want to get the most out of your little point and shoot camera (or, if need be, your cell phone's camera), there are a few things to do to get the most out of it.


Regarding Flashing

On a smaller camera you'll usually have a flash. Because the camera is small, the flash is located very close to the lens. This isn't automatically a bad thing, but... well yeah, it can be a bad thing. A flash close to the lens can result in some uglier pictures. The light will reflect back closer to said lens, which will cause weird highlights (bright, shiny noses), redeye, or uneven exposures. But there is a painfully simple, inexpensive way to compensate for it. You just need to know one word: diffuser.


A diffuser, in photography terms, is a small translucent thingy you use to cover the flash. It prevents the flash from being too harsh and it spreads the light out a lot, which will give you much more even lighting in most situations. And the best part is, you don't necessarily need to spend money on it. If your flash physically pops up from the camera body at all, one of the best options is to use an old clear plastic film container. Cut a hole in it, put it over your flash, and voila! Instant diffuser. If even that is too expensive, get a bit of cheap toilet paper (unused of course) and cover the flash. Works like a charm! Be sure to take the time to play around with it before the convention. It will lower the amount of light a flash puts out a little bit. Usually it's not noticable, but you might need to learn to tweak your camera a bit to make up for the slightly lower light (like a slower shutter speed).


Shooting in RAW

This one's a tad more technical, and definitely more time-intensive, and means you'll be able to take fewer pictures... but in the end it will give you more creative control of the pictures, even if they didn't turn out great.


Not all cameras have the option, but many of the more expensive point and shoot cameras will have an option in the settings to shoot in a format called RAW. If you use one of the other settings (S, M, or L are the common ones it seems), once you've taken the picture the camera will do some automatic editing for you, and in the end you'll have a .jpg image that looks all well and good. It's pre-processed. Shooting in RAW means it will not process it for you: the image file that you get is exactly what your digital sensor saw, and nothing else. When you go to download the picture to your computer you can then take it into an editing program and have a LOT more flexibility in the post processing. If the picture was too dark you can (to an extent) increase the exposure without making it look weird and overly bright. You can adjust color tones more readily, or other things.


There are a lot of downsides to this, as was mentioned. Going through all your pictures and editing them can take a lot longer, plus you'll need the software to do so... though most cameras come with a CD containing such software anyway. The learning curve can also be a little steep, though such software will have easy-to-use options a lot of the time. RAW files are also just uncompressed dumps of data, which are really very large compared to your pre-processed and compressed pictures.

Regardless, if you're feeling serious about photography it's a good habit to be in, and they're important skills to have.



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