Updated: 15 Guidelines for the 2014 Photoshoots!

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed in this thread throughout the year, and please don't be afraid to ask if you have any questions!

1) Times.  The Subgroup photoshoots will be each day from 3:30-4:10 and the Large Group photoshoots will be each day from 4:15-5:00.  (The 5 minutes between the subgroup and large group photos will serve as a breather / water break for the attendees and give everyone time to gather at the largest set of steps.)

2) Location: Hilton Patio Steps


To increase our productivity and make the best use of our time, once again we’re going to be using all 5 sets of steps (on both sides of the patio) and the large “flat areas” for the sub-group shots, and we’ll have specific directors and photographers assigned to each sub-group too.  (Note: some sets of stairs are large enough to have a small sub-group on each side shooting at the same time.)  Also note: there is no back-up location in case of rain - these groups are simply too large for any other location at the Con to handle us.

3) Costumers may choose to be in whatever sub-group they wish.  Example: Batman costumers can choose either the Gotham sub-group or the JLA sub-group, etc.  If your subgroup is missing a character - go recruit one!

4) Volunteer sub-group directors and photographers are wanted! This entire endeavor is a massive team effort!  In addition to planning throughout the coming year, we will have a directors/photographers meeting at 3:15 each day prior to the shoots.  If you’d like to volunteer your time and talents and would like to be one of our sub-group directors or photographers on either day, please let me know!  

One other note: the sub-group directors and I will be working hard to make sure every costumer gets more time in front of the camera prior to the large shoot.  Our goal will be to give more attention to every individual – and get everyone more involved.  If you feel that something is being overlooked - Please Speak Up and make your voice heard!  We can't fix it if you don't tell us!

5) Individuals and Small Groups.  Concerned that you have a character that’s not really a part of a larger sub-group or have a custom character design?  No worries: during the sub-group photo time and after the large group photo time, we will have several individual photographers on hand to take individual & small group photos.  Two of our official photographers, Bill Watters & Mary Anne Butler, will be set up with a large professional black backdrop for individual picture taking!


6) Respect your fellow costumers and please be courteous to the volunteer photographers and directors.  We have a Zero Tolerance policy for harassment of any kind at these shoots.  If you see any behavior that is out of line, please report it to either myself or one of the volunteer directors and we will notify hotel & DC security to have the offending individual immediately removed from the premises (and potentially lose their D*C badge). 

7) Giant Props.  Respecting your fellow costumers allow may mean that we ask you not to bring or to put aside giant props during pictures.  If you'd like to bring a giant prop, please ask ahead of the shoot.

8) Photographers: we ask that you be courteous to our staff and to each other as well.  Any photographer(s) purposefully blocking other photographer's shots will be asked to leave.

9) NO HORSEPLAY ON THE STEPS.  I've seen pictures in the past of some costumers jumping or hanging themselves perilously off the sides of the steps - and this simply IS NOT ALLOWED.  While it may seem like fun at the time, actions such as these run the very real risk of the Hilton a) kicking all of us off the steps immediately, b) even worse - not allowing us to utilize this location in the future and c) someone might actually get hurt.  If you see this at the shoot, please bring it to my attention.  For general safety and to comply with hotel / convention rules, there are also no roller skates / skateboards / etc. allowed.  Per DragonCon Rules, ALL GUNS / SWORDS / KNIVES / OTHER APPLICABLE WEAPONS MUST BE PEACE BOUND.

10) No Live Animals are allowed in the pictures

11) Duplicates / All Versions of Costumes are Allowed.  Movie / Anime-style / Steampunk / Gender-Bent / etc. ARE allowed.  Please see #12, #13, #14 & #15 below for what is NOT allowed

12) Questions regarding whether your character/group is part of the “Universe.”  If you think there’s any question, ask!  Please don't make me ask you to leave in front of hundreds of people, because that's just not fun for anyone.  And please don’t nitpick on issues like this either, or try to make the argument that Marvel or DC made G.I. Joe / Transformers / whatever comics or that Disney owns Marvel, etc. 

Here are a few examples to help explain: a couple of years ago a Thulsa Doom / Conan group asked to come and while Marvel did at one time in the past have a great Conan comic I unfortunately had to turn them down.  Thulsa Doom isn’t a superhero or villain, and the Conan characters aren’t a part of what most people would typically consider the "Regular" Marvel Universe.  There have also been questions in the past regarding the characters from “Kick Ass,” and while Kick Ass is a Marvel Icons comic, those characters never interact with and seem to exist outside of the rest of the Marvel Universe.  Characters from the "Watchmen" also aren't imho part of the "regular" comic book universe.  Those are just a few examples, and please know that this isn’t meant to single anyone out or scare anyone off, so if you have any questions about you of your characters’ group, please feel free to ask!

13) Don't be a dick!  NEW: No Un-asked for "Photobombing" & No "Crossover" characters allowed.  Common sense dictates I apologize for even having to make this statement publicly. 

Example: Don't be like this Grifter (a character who is UNAMBIGUOUSLY a DC Comics character) who bombed and wasted the time of many at the Marvel Universe photoshoot and then proceeded to further waste the time of several hundred people by arguing about it with me in front of everyone:


By this logic, the JLA could appear at the Marvel Universe shoot since they fought the Avengers.  Many pictures of the rest of the group couldn't be used on Marvel.com since we had a DC character in it.  I think you'll agree:  What a JERK.  Don't be this person - it's not funny, and you'll only accomplish getting several hundred people instantly mad at you. 

If you see a costumer in one of these costumes at the shoot, please bring them to my attention. 

14) No store-bought "Rubies," "Halloween Express", "Legs Avenue," Etc. costumes are allowed.  Many of you may spends hundreds of dollars and many months working on your costume - and it's simply not fair imho to ask you to stand next to someone who spent 10 minutes and $20 on theirs.  If you see a costumer in one of these costumes at the shoot, please bring them to my attention. 

I'm sorry - but even if you're black t-shirt Superboy - if you are wearing ANY store-bought T-shirt, it is NOT allowed at the shoots.  I understand everyone wants to get in on the fun, but every year more and more people try to sneak in to these shoots with barely put-together "costumes."  Respecting the people who've put forth real effort, please know this is not the "drunkenly throw something together the night before the Con" or "let's just wear our late night walking-around / drinking outfits" shoot.  I'm not asking for much and honestly - my threshold is pretty low - but you've got to at least put some reasonable modicum of effort into making something. The following examples are not open for debate, so if you feel like arguing with me about it, please don't.  If you see a costumer in one of these costumes at the shoot, please bring them to my attention. 

Example:  The "Bored, Hipster Avengers" from 2013:


Another Example:


Jeans and a ripped flannel shirt held together with a safety pin does NOT constitute a costume. 

If you are wearing jeans or a store-bought t-shirt and feel like you should be excepted for some reason, please send me a message prior to the shoot or see me at the shoot before it begins.

Other notes

We're going to try and have water / cups / straws available for everyone at the shoots.  (Water fountains are always available right inside too.)
We're also going to be asking for volunteers after the shoots to help pick up any trash that might have accumulated during the shoots.
We'll have 2 large ladders and 2 megaphones for both sets of large steps!
We'll also have awesome posters (with the photoshoot rules and location diagrams) again!

Want to know what other Superhero-themed photoshoots will be going on at DragonCon?  Here’s a link to The SCF’s Master Photoshoot Spreadsheet (always a WIP, so keep checking back!).

Questions?  Comments?  Please let us know!  Thank you in advance to everyone for your participation and I look forward to seeing you all then!  I hope you're looking forward to it as much as I am!


Founder / Co-Administrator of The SCF

(*Note: The Deadpool pictured above appeared the DC Universe at my request.  This does not give others license to do the same thing.*)

"Costumes are fleeting.  Friends last a lifetime."

(Personalized Banner Courtesy of Gayle Walls)

Edited 4 times by loganallenwolf Sep 15 13 9:26 PM.