As I'm sure everyone knows the point of this group... and DA groups in general, is to promote and showcase the creativity of its members. As an artist myself, I would never want to stifle that creativity and pride in others. However, I think there needs to be a little chat about submissions and clarification of submission policies.
I haven't really felt the need to write them out before, but with the group growing so quickly (which is wonderful) and with so many submissions to both Featured and to the Gallery Folders I think it is necessary.
I realize not everyone has access to high quality cameras and/or expensive editing software, but this is not an excuse for low quality submissions. Likewise I know not everyone can sew the most amazing costumes and style wigs better than a pro hair dresser. But again, this isn't an excuse for low quality submissions. Allow me to explain why...
Anonymity and You:
When you put a piece in your personal DA gallery, it means on a small scale, you're putting it out for the world to see. For better or worse, unless you're already a popular cosplayer or photographer, only a small slice of the world is going to see your submission. If this is a good submission it is a shame, if it is of low quality then at least you have the protection of anonymity.
When you submit your work to one or more groups, you expand the slice of the population which is going to see what you've posted, giving yourself a LOT more views and comments. This also means if you took a blurry, poorly lit shot in the bathroom with a cell phone (Which most of us- myself included are GUILTY of doing) then that means that people are going to see that you did exactly that... got dressed up, went into your bathroom, and took a crappy shot of the mirror. This is a reflection of you as an artist and a cosplayer.
Is that REALLY what you want people to see? Because now we aren't just seeing you; we know what sort of hair dryer you use, what color your toothbrush is, and if you bother to wipe the water splashes off your mirror on a regular basis. I know I don't want to see these things and while your friends are probably SUPER excited about your latest make-up test, the group probably isn't.
Wait wait... so no WIPs?
No, WIPS and Make-up tests are not taboo. Poor image quality is. If you worked 2 hours on that face, don't you want to see how its REALLY going to photograph? The group may want to know about your techniques with eye shadow or brows... maybe how you contoured everything. For me, people ask about my Grell teeth and wigs. But if the image quality is too poor to really tell what was done... WHY is it posted to a group?
Spit and Polish:
WIPs aside, we need to talk about costumes as well. I don't care if you bought it, I don't are if you hand sewed it, and I don't are if you pray to the Hot Glue Gun God for your every fabric holding need. I don't even care if it is CANON, but for the love of ramen... DON'T BE SLOPPY.
Allow me to explain. If you're wearing a wig and I can see your hair... you're being sloppy.
If your character is clean cut and well dressed... but your white dress shirt is wrinkled and/or (this is usually an "and" case) hanging out of your pants... you're being sloppy.
If your costume is falling apart... you're obviously being sloppy.
If you are doing these or other things... and thus being sloppy... and you post pictures of yourself in such an unpolished state. You're being REALLY sloppy. Going beyond this and posting such pictures is your own personal choice- but submitting them to one or more groups is just telling more people "I don't know how to dress myself for a shoot" or "I don't care about my appearance".
Are you getting the idea? If you like being sloppy, save it for your personal galleries. It really is in your best interest.
Isn't cosplay supposed to be about fun and having a good time?
Yes, it certainly is. But the minute you post to something other than your personal gallery, you have voluntarily taken your fun and games to a public arena. This means new responsibilities like discretion in choosing what to submit and the understanding that just because its "all you could do" doesn't mean it belongs in a showcase.
I will be weeding through the galleries and thinning submissions as I go. If there seems to be confusion about what a good submission looks like... check the featured gallery.
The following Blog will have an outline of submission guidelines.