Photography Rights

Photography Rights is a subject people often talk about. However, it seems its never enough.
Models have their own opinion on it, cosplayers think its suddenly only their work since the photographer only pushes the button… But then photographers also have their opinion on it. Which shows its not only about pressing a button.

I am not the person to end all this, but I decided to heat up the fire and explain both sides, since I make my own costumes, making me a cosplayer… But also a photographer… .

This is from a conversation I had with an other cosplayer on facebook who said the photographer use their rights to own the photo’s and money they earn with it for themselves.
This is my reply: (You do NOT have to agree with me)

¬†“Not entirely true; At least, not the way I work. I work with models with a contract. Always, but this has nothing to do with all my rights and stuff. Photographers can be sued for about everything, while you dont hear it that often about cosplayers. When I let a model sign for something, I let them take the time to read it carefully and not wanting them to immediatly sign it.

The thing is, for a lot of people things are just ‘normal’ but its really not. The only thing a photographer has is the photo they made. When people decide to take it, cut things off, change the colors, change the borders, its NOT the photo what the photographer took on purpose (Unless you have some dork who has no idea why he does, what he does) Its a little like; he worked on something, coached the model, the cosplayer, making it his work. We as photographers dont cut off a piece of fabric of a cosplay because we dont like it this way. We work with what given and start something new. Then why should we allow people to cut things in our work? As a cosplayer you can show things of, as a photographer, the only way you can show things of, is by adding you are the dork who made the photo. But again, lot of people cut it of and so on.

Yes I have been mad even to friends who cut my name of the picture, it feels like they dont want to give you credit to something. Because ‘they are on it so its theirs’, which is false. What you make is yours, the photo you are on is not yours and if someone wants credits for it, you need to give it.

Again, there are also many photographers, who have completely other ideas with the copyright and shit. If you read everything carefully and sign it, you have agreed, and cant ever turn back. If there is something missing you’d like to add, you need to tell him, or if you work for someone else, make an own contract. This is also about the money issue. If you sign like: okay for 0% profits for a photo, but it becomes one of the biggest commercial spots ever and the photographer is becomming milionaire, you should have thought first. There are extremely mean photographers who really do not want to give a thing to the model. Dont ever agree with that. Always, always make a contract that both are happy with.

Think of everything, and everyone is happy.”


It’s a long reply, protecting both sides of it. Ofcourse there is a different sort of line between photographers and more famous people. This text is completely written in a context of photographers in combination with cosplayers.

I hope this will clear things up for many of you. I don’t want to say what you ‘should’ do, but think things over before you let people take photo’s of you. Ask for a card or anything so you can always contact the person if you want to sell his/her face on a photo or if you are the cosplayer you can always contact the photographer for information about what, when and why.

Thats my story for today.

Thank you for the attention.

Stay Original~
Maryonne Vlasblom

Cosplayer in these photo’s:
Rick Boer

Note: No one is allowed to use these photo’s without my, or Rick’s written permission!


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