After hunting through the website I didn’t come up with much on the photo policies;
Can I take pictures of anything I want?
• Well…. Kind of. Some people may not want their picture taken, so be sure to ask first. Many of our Vendors in the Dealer’s Room don’t like to have people take pictures of their set ups, so be sure to ask first. And some of our guests charge for pics, so be sure to ask first! Basically, the answer is, Ask First! Remember, trying to take a pic of one of our guests from a distance may seem harmless to you, but they may not want you to do it. If you are caught taking a pic of someone without their permission, you will be warned once. Do it again, and you will be removed from the show.
• Also, when taking pictures of people in costume, or your friends, please be sure to angle yourselves to that you are not taking a picture across an aisle. When you do that, everyone has to stop and wait for you to take the picture. If you move so that you are both on the same side of the aisle and take the picture in the direction of traffic flow, then people can move past you and you don’t stop the flow of traffic.
• These same rules above apply to video cameras. Keep in mind that many of our panel rooms are now being filmed and broadcast live over the internet. You are allowed to videotape inside these rooms ONLY if the video you shoot is not intended for sale or distribution. When in doubt, put the camera away.
Can I get my picture taken with your guests?
• Again, that depends on the guest. Some will gladly do it for free, others charge a nominal fee (sometimes donated to charity), and others won’t do it at all. We don’t tell our guests what to do or how to do it when they get to the show. It’s their call on what to charge, how much to charge, or even if they will charge. Remember, when you step behind the table to take a picture with the guest, it holds up the line, and for a very popular guest, that can really cause delays for other fans.
• We have also signed a deal with Celebrity Photo Ops. So now you can have a professional photographer take a photo of you and many of your favorite Celebrity Guests! There is a charge for this, but after the picture is taken, it is printed out in a glossy 8×10 that you can take home with you, or even go and get signed! Note that some guests charge to sign photos of items you bring. Be sure to check the Autograph Tickets/Photo Ops page for more details.
What I found had nothing to do with what this sign says, “No cameras with detachable lenses are permitted on the show floor without written permission of Wizard World. Attendees not adhering to this policy may be escorted from the convention floor without refund.”
DHTG went to Wizard World themselves to get clarification on this, after all, what do they mean by detachable lenses? Even many cell phones have detachable lenses these days. And there are a lot of detachable lenses that are for various effects that people want to achieve.
This is the official response by Wizard World
“We encourage everyone to take many many pictures and share them with the world! The restriction is on the detachable lenses, which is common to events and venues. In special cases, we can give permission to fans or groups. Fans can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request permission.
In certain sections of the celebrity area, a no photography policy is in effect, indicated by the signage. In more than 95% of the show floor and panel rooms, fans are encouraged to take as many photos and videos as they like with their cell phones for personal use.”
Not the best response and still rather neutral in my opinion, so I went hunting for further answers and found a few. In May 2014 Carol Pinchefsky asked the same questions and was told by public relations manager Jerry Milan;
“There are certain areas where photography is restricted, such as the autograph areas, where we have professional photo ops that are part of our show.”
This also includes some panels. According to Milani what they are attempting to discourage are professional telephoto lenses that are not needed for a personal experience.
It seems that Wizard World’s intent is not to hamper the fans, but to prevent others from profiting off of them and their celebrities by ‘sniping’ photos. After all, many of these celebrities make a lot of money off of the paid photo and autograph sessions, and for some of them it is their primary income. The snipers are taking money from not only Wizard World’s pocket, but also the celebrities. It also isn’t really fair to the fans that pay a fortune for a photo op to find that someone else got the same shot for free.
They might have good intentions, but Wizard World really needs to do a better job explaining the reasoning behind their rules as the exclusion of detachable lenses actually does nothing except make them look ignorant of modern technology and photography. The distinction between detachable and non-detachable lenses no longer makes any sense, as there are plenty of cameras with zoom lenses which extend into the telephoto range without changing the lens. You do not need a detachable telephoto lens to get good distant shots, my simple point and shoot camera takes a great long distance photo. It is not a top of the line camera and I am not a fantastic photographer.