REVIEW (Part 1): BALTIMORE COMIC CON - An EPICALLY Bad Photo Op Experience
* This will be Part 1 of my review (as an attendee) of Baltimore Comic Con.
This is the first thing you should know about Epic Photo Ops - a company hired by Baltimore Comic Con to handle taking celebrity photos over the Con's weekend - is that they charge $10 for a jpeg of the photo you already bought to be sent to you. Let that sink in: $10.
Epic Photos has billed themselves as 'An Experience;' however, for myself and about 40 other people at Baltimore Comic Con on Sunday (the Con's last day) they were a bad one. Before I get to that though, some quick background info.
For those unfamiliar, Epic Photos is essentially a sub contractor used by many conventions to run photo ops so that it becomes one less thing for Con organizers to worry about. However, in using sub-contractors, an event can sometimes run the risk of having folks who don't seem to care about the impression they leave on their customers.
With that said, on Sunday, Zachary Levi was scheduled to do a photo op organized by Epic Photos at 2:20 - after his Con talk. As mentioned before, I was one of maybe 40 people who left the talk and went to the assigned photo area to get their photo. Unfortunately, it was at this moment the Con experience for all of the people involved (including myself) took a turn for the worse.
About 30 of us from the group were asked for our respective receipts; afterwards, we were asked how many people would be in the picture and then processed into a tiny area that was a concrete floor with cloth partitions on all 4 sides. It was here that we were left waiting for about 10 minutes, before a representative from Epic Photos came in and told us that Zachary had left for lunch.
For me - like many others - I had planned to have my photo op and then grab lunch; however, me and many others were all stuck in a small confined space - not knowing what was going on. As a result, none of us knew whether we could leave. At one point I stepped beyond the cloth partition to discover that the same Epic representative had left to get lunch themselves.
An hour and a half after the photo op was supposed to happen, photos commenced with Zachary. So, you might be asking if Epic Photos took this moment to apologize for having everyone wait for 90 minutes? No, they inexplicably began to play the Pharell Williams song ‘Happy’, and pushed everyone through the photo line as if nothing had happened.
This situation should never have happened. Here is where there were systemic failures:
First, Epic Photos could have simply told everyone they had processed to return in an hour. There was no need to keep us all in a confined space for 90 minutes. Clearly they knew Mr. Levi would need to take a lunch break since their representative left and got lunch for themselves.
Second, Epic Photos tried to sweep this under the table. That is not acceptable. Those of us who were waiting to get their photo should have been offered an apology and Epic should have admitted their role in the miscommunication given to attendees. Additionally, attendees should have at the very least been offered removal of the $10 fee for a Jpeg as an apology as well.
And the cherry on top of all of this? The photo was not that good. Whether this was due to the printers themselves or the lighting when rushing to take the pictures, it showed another level of poor service by Epic Photos.
In the end, I will no longer use Epic Photos. That is revenue the Con will loose. It will be selfies at the guest table from here on out for me. Epic Photos epically failed me once, but it will not do it twice. The second part of my review of Baltimore Comic Con will appear tomorrow.