Hate to rant but there is a trend going around where people come up with an idea to use cosplayer photos for a product and then start a kickstarter to get it paid for, with the intention of making money and only offering “exposure” as payment to all the people that did the work of creating the image.
What would happen if you tried to hire someone or buy something and told them you won’t pay them but you will tell people about them? People tend to put low value on creativity. “You’re an artist that loves to do art so it’s easy for you so why should I pay you.”
Or the brainstorm idea, “With all these popular cosplayers, if we can create something using their pics, all their fans will buy it and we’ll make tons of money.”
Awesome idea, what do we pay the cosplayers that made the costume, posed in the costume and the photographer that took the photo?
“Nothing. We offer these people that already have thousands of fans, exposure.”
How would you feel if you raised the money on kickstarter, had the product made, brought it all to a con and set up a booth and every customer came up and said “I won’t pay you for it but I’ll give you exposure.”
This doesn’t apply to everyone i’m sure but cosplayers work harder than you think. They can easily spend a few hundred making a costume, hours building it, then paying for a photographer to shoot the pics. The photographer can spend hours of their time as well adding effects and polishing up the image to get it right. This is a job we love but it’s still a job and it’s kind of insulting to say, “Give me your work for free so I can make money off it.”