The Otafest Photographer Pass is required to sell photography services to Otafest attendees in and around Otafest. This pass is not admission to Otafest; submit the application at the bottom of this page and once approved, you will also need to purchase regular admission to the festival.

If you are just taking casual photos (i.e. not organized photo shoots), and you are not collecting payment in exchange for your photos, you do not need a photographer pass! Your regular pass to Otafest will suffice!

Photography Pass


  • Specially designed Photographer badge identifying you as an approved photographer.
  • The ability to officially provide and/or sell photo shoots and photography services to Otafest attendees.
  • Permission to make a post advertising for-sale photo shoots and photography services on one Otafest social media group/page.
  • Permission to utilize hand-held equipment and hand-held lighting for the purposes of commercial photography within the Telus Convention Centre during Otafest.

Photographer Pass Policies

  1. Access to Otafest and the Telus Convention Center is restricted to paid attendees only. Photographers offering for-sale services without registering for an Otafest Photographer Badge will be asked to pay the attendee admission price for an Otafest weekend pass. Failure or refusal to pay admission to Otafest will result in ban and/or blacklisting from the venue and future Otafest events.
  2. No free-standing equipment is permitted. No set up of lighting with light stands, ladders, backdrops, large props/signs on the floor, running cords/wires across the floor, etc. will be allowed within the convention space. Photography implements (e.g. reflectors, light boxes, etc.) must be 24 inches or smaller at its largest dimension.
  3. Use of unmanned aerial vehicles (e.g. drones) is not permitted.
  4. Photographers and their subjects (attendees in costume) must respect the hotel and convention center venue by not being disruptive or doing anything unsafe (i.e. standing on furniture, climbing into greenery, hanging props from signage, etc). Photographers and subjects are expected to abide by the policies of the Telus Convention Centre and the Marriott hotel.
  5. Photographers and/or equipment may not block any public area or impede the safe traffic flow of others. Photographers must relocate upon request of Otafest volunteers, Otafest staff, Telus Convention Centre staff, or Marriott Hotel staff.
  6. Photographers must abide by “no photography” signage at Otafest.
  7. Photographers may not advertise/solicit business at Otafest. Advertising/soliciting must be done off-site and/or online. Photographers are limited to one (1) post on Otafest social media spaces.
  8. Otafest Photographer Pass does not provide front of room access, backstage access, or any access beyond regular attendee access. Some events and panels may allow temporary aisle access to standing photographers if it does not impede visibility for attendees. Please inquire with the panel host for this access.
  9. Otafest Photographer Pass does not grant exclusive use of space inside the convention for a photo shoot, nor the authority to clear space, move attendees, or otherwise disturb normal convention practice for the sake of a photo shoot.
  10. Otafest is not liable or responsible for obtaining any permits or permission for photos to be taken on public or private property outside of the Telus Convention Center (e.g. private property, public landmarks, Olympic Plaza, Stephen Avenue). It is the responsibility of photographers wishing to shoot at these locations during Otafest to research and obtain requisite permissions and/or permits from local authorities or private owners, as needed.
  11. Otafest is not liable or responsible in any way for any dispute between a photographer and their clients, including but not limited to services not rendered. Photographers are responsible for obtaining photo releases and providing contracts as necessary for their services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the money from my Photographer Pass used for?
A: Otafest is a non-profit event with no paid staff – 100% of the funds from all photographer and attendee passes is put back into running Otafest for your enjoyment!

Q: I just want to take photos for my own use. Do I need a Photographer Pass?
A: Nope, if you’re just taking photos for yourself and not selling any photography services, you do not need a Photographer Pass! However, you do need a Photographer Pass if you wish to sell photography services.

Q: I’ve already purchased a weekend pass to Otafest. Can I upgrade it to a Photographer Pass?
A: Thank you for supporting Otafest! Yes! Simply fill the application form below for your Photographer Pass.

Q: Why are you asking for extra information for this pass?
A: In order to protect our community, Otafest verifies that approved photographers are offering legitimate photography services.

Q: I’m not selling my services, but I’d like to be able to advertise as a free cosplay photographer. Can I still apply for a Photographer Pass?
A: Yes! We will review all Photographer Pass applications to ensure photographers are offering legitimate photography services. If your Photographer Pass is not approved, you are welcome to purchase a regular attendee pass for Otafest and take photos for personal use.

Q: I’m attending Otafest, and the photographer I want to book with refuses to buy a pass. What should I do?
A: The Otafest Facebook community is a great way to connect with talented and legitimate photographers who support Otafest! Booking with registered photographers helps Otafest continue to provide the best experience to our attendees.

Q: I’m an accredited photographer with a news organization. Do you have a press pass available?
A: Information on our press passes can be found here.


Applications are closed.

At this time, we have made the very difficult decision to postpone Otafest until May 21-23, 2021. Please see our official announcement here.