We are always on the lookout for good contributors, including photographers, writers, reviewers and videographers. But, like every publication, we have requirements and restrictions. Below you can find them, to help you decide if you want to contribute, and know how if you do.
However, the most important thing to know is that we don’t take unsolicited submissions. If you want to cover a convention or write an article or review, you need to submit that idea to both Rodney at editor @ nerdcaliber.com and Emmanuel at producer @ nerdcaliber.com in advance. Unsolicited submissions will be sent to the Negative Zone or the Phantom Zone (depending on which email client we are using).
Photography Rules and Submission Guidelines
1) If a photographer receives a press pass, they are not required to only shoot content for Nerd Caliber, but it must be the majority of the content shot.
2) You must submit your work to us within a week’s time, and ahead of any content you shoot that is not intended for Nerd Caliber. If there are issues, please let the editor in chief and the producer know ASAP.
3) Although a few select photos from the gallery can be used for social media promotion, the majority of photos must not be released anywhere for two weeks after the gallery is online on nerdcaliber.com.
4) If there are two or more photographers at a convention, please spread out and avoid taking the same picture of the same cosplayer.
5) If you are at a con and didn’t get a press pass, but still offer to shoot for Nerd Caliber, you still must adhere to all other rules.
6) All photos taken at a con for use by Nerd Caliber with a Nerd Caliber press badge must have our watermark in all the photos. Especially those used for social media.
7) Any photographer working for Nerd Caliber at a convention may not charge for photos anywhere on convention facility grounds during the hours of con operation, whether or not you have received a press pass from us. What you do in a private hotel room or off the venue grounds is your own business, but if we get a complaint from the convention about a Nerd Caliber photographer charging at the con (even if they abide by the rule above) we will ask all Nerd Caliber photographers to completely refrain from charging during that convention going forward. We have already had this problem with Otakon, and anticipate it getting to be more widespread.
8) The editor in chief and the founder and producer each have the right to refuse a press pass to anyone, even if accepted originally, for any reason.
If shooting halls shots, submit no more than 2-3 shots of the same cosplay. Adding a new character to a small group resets the count.
If shooting hall shots, a minimum of, on average, 50 photos on any given day is required. Otherwise it isn’t a con worth covering with a cosplay gallery. Other coverage may be possible using the shots, however.
If the number of photos for a single day exceeds 150, split it into two posts (like “Day 1, Part 1” “Day 1, Part 2”).
If shooting pictures to accompany a video, shoot enough to get at least 4 good shots, up to a dozen.
If shooting a cosplayer spotlight set, shoot enough to get at least 6 quality shots.
Do not submit any shots in which the cosplayer is looking at some other photographer. If the cosplayer or group is worth shooting, figure out a way to get their attention.
Shots must be 1000 pixels in the longest dimension.
All shots must be the same in both dimensions (for example, if your shots are mostly 1000v by 667h pixels, all vertical shots need to be that same size). Otherwise the batch actions I have for watermark placement won’t work.
If you wish to do your own placement of the watermark, the above doesn’t apply, but only in that situation.
When you are ready to submit your photos, email Rodney at editor @ nerdcaliber.com and you will be given a link to a Google Drive folder into which you can upload them.
Writing Rules and Guidelines
All topics must be cleared in advance by the editor in chief before being accepted.
Minimum length is 400 words. A good target for a maximum is 800 words, but longer pieces can be published if warranted.
Any accompanying artwork must be sent or uploaded separately, not embedded in a document. Minimum size for art submissions are 640 pixels in the longest dimension.
Final edits will be done by the editor in chief, and many (or even all) may be done without checking with the author. However, any edit that significantly changes the meaning or tone of a sentence, paragraph or theme will be checked with the author to make sure it is appropriate.
Approval of a topic is no guarantee that the article will ever run. The editor in chief and the founder and producer each have the right to refuse to run anything, and to pull anything from the site if they wish.
A plain text file is best for submissions, but Google Docs and even Word Docs are OK. Please keep the formatting to a bare minimum if using Word.
When you are ready to submit your article, email Rodney at editor @ nerdcaliber.com and you will be given a link to a Google Drive folder into which you can upload it.
All video must be shot in HD.
Any video profile of a cosplayer must include some B roll of the cosplayer’s costume and the cosplayer in action, in addition to the static interview footage.
If using an interviewer, a handheld mic is the best solution for audio. A shotgun mic mounted on the camcorder or DSLR is OK, but only if it is a quality mic. If using a DSLR without audio out, we recommend using a Creative SoundBlaster E1 or E3 audio splitter device so you can monitor the sound live during the interview.
The videos are edited, so if you flub a question, please redo it. Also, if either the interviewer or videographer thinks of a question not asked, just ask it and it will be edited in if it was done well and is a valid question.
When covering a convention, in addition to cosplayer interviews, shoot general convention B roll to be used for intros and outros for videos from that con.
You must talk to Emmanuel at producer @ nerdcaliber.com beforehand about how you plan to send video (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.).