When Convention Photoshoots go Wrong

Since starting CelebHeights I've probably attended 120 conventions. I have a lot to thank for their existence - namely, in 2007 I met Jenny at one of these events and we've been together ever since. Also, I've had the opportunity to meet a considerable amount of celebrities, which has helped the site immensely.

The primary reason I go to conventions is to get content for the site. By meeting actors and getting a photo with them, hopefully this gives visitors an idea of how tall they can look.

Unfortunately, not all photos are going to turn out great. Not everybody is going to be standing like Vin Diesel. Even if a photo doesn't turn out as we'd hope, I've still had the opportunity to see them up close and give an estimate of how tall they looked.

Taking The Stool

I want celebrities to stand as best they can. A photo of myself and an actor sitting together is pretty useless for a site called CelebHeights.com. I also have no desire to 'show off' photos with celebrities for social likes or to 'impress' friends. Having a photo with a celebrity can be a fleeting experience, which may only last 5-10 seconds. Sadly, 99% of the fans that an actor takes a photo with, won't ever be remembered by said celebrity. I'm sure celebs have visited this site and been surprised to find they had taken a photo with me! There may be a few reasons for celebrities sitting down. Firstly, a celebrity may be entering the twilight of their careers and simply find the prospect of standing for a lengthy period of time to be a daunting experience.

William Shatner
William Shatner and Rob @ LFCC

Patrick Stewart
Patrick Stewart and Rob @ Collectormania
Instead of Height, you now know his Head Size!

Ernest Borgnine
Ernest Borgnine (RIP) and Rob @ Autographica

Secondly, an organiser might actually offer them a seat, in order to get through a certain amount of photos in a set time. Usually if an organiser has oversold tickets, they might decide to plonk an actor on a chair so there's minimal interaction and the pictures can be taken quicker (at the expense of the fans, whose encounter feels even more rushed than normal). There have been events I've attended in which I've witnessed stewards literally shoving people towards the celebrity to speed things up.

Elijah Wood
Elijah Wood @ LFCC 2006

In this photosession with Elijah, the photographer actually went up and offered him a stool (he took it, whereas when the photographer asked Nathan Fillion if he wanted one, Nathan laughed at the idea of sitting on a stool).

With Jared Padalecki, I believe it was more a case of trying to get through 600 photos in 1 hour which resulted in him sitting down. We were told to be quick, don't speak or even touch him! With 600 photos to take, even an extra 2 seconds per person adds up to 20 minutes!

Jared Padalecki
Jared, 5ft 6 on a stool

With Charles Dance - attending his first convention - he was standing at first, but an Alien cosplayer (in a rubber suit) seemed to spook him a bit, and for the rest of the photos he was sitting on a stool.

Charles Dance
Charles @ LFCC on stool / Standing at Collectormania

I've mentioned before on this site about Peter Mayhew. There were only 5 of us in this session. For a tall girl in front of me, Peter of his own accord sprang up like a spring chicken from his chair to take a photo with her. When I asked him if he might stand for the rest (all 4 of us sub Six Footers), he politely refused.

Peter Mayhew
Peter Mayhew @ Collectormania
Chair Height: 4ft 9 inches

Thirdly, they could be fatigued, ill or simply don't want to interact much with fans.

Elisabeth Sladen
Elisabeth Sladen (RIP) in July 2010. Passed away in April 2011 (Pancreatic cancer)

Nelsan Ellis
Nelsan Ellis (RIP) at Showmasters event. Jet lagged.

Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox @ LFCC

Famke Janssen
Famke Janssen @ LFCC

Rutger Hauer
Rutger Hauer @ LFCC

Billy Dee Williams
Billy sitting @ 2009 Collectormania / Standing @ 2013 Collectormania

Sometimes, there's no obvious reason. Sean Young was friendly enough, looked fit and healthy walking about the event hall, yet still asked for a seat anyway.

Sean Young
Sean @ LFCC 2010

Lastly, like mentioned with Charles Dance, sometimes an actor might be standing, but something happens and they decide to sit for the remainder of the session. In this photo Jenny got with James Marsters, some of the fans were being a bit too 'huggy' it seems, and he went from standing to asking for a stool.

James Marsters
James on stool @ Collectormania

A Poor Stance

Gladly for this site, of the celebrities I have photos with, 95% have been standing. But even if upright, that's no guarantee of a usable photo. Usually in a photosession, you can form an idea of how well a person is standing by watching attendees in front of you taking their pictures. If I feel I could get a better photo, I may ask them to do a pose. However, sometimes doing a pose might not help, as shown below:

Clive Russell Collectormania
6ft 5 Clive Russell @ Collectormania, Losing several inches

Andrew Brooke
6ft 4 Andrew Brooke losing 4 inches

Patrick Brennan
6ft 6 Patrick Brennan slouching badly

Of course, celebrities sometimes mix it up during a photosession. I've watched people in front of me in a queue get great photos with the celeb standing perfectly...then comes my turn and at the last second they have adjusted their posture and lost height. Whilst I can sometimes adjust my own stance quick enough to try to lose some height too, sometimes it's impossible - like here with Michael Cudlitz, at the last second he dropped a few inches - standing tall he looked 6ft 1 range.

Michael Cudlitz
Michael @ Walker Stalker Con

Kim Coates really is nearly 6ft in person, but he sure dropped over 2 inches in height with me at the last moment!

Michael Cudlitz
Kim Coates @ LFCC

With Grant O'Rourke, he was standing ok, then just as the photo was getting taken, he went from looking 5ft 10.5 to 5ft 7.5

Patrick Brennan
5ft 10.5 Grant O'Rourke...well he was, 2 seconds prior to this photo being snapped!

Sometimes I might have got a photo with a celebrity that wasn't particularly good, but at a later date managed to get another one, which turned out more useful for the site. For instance, I met Rupert Young at Collectormania, but he dropped a few more inches than myself. A year or so later I met him again, and between Jenny and myself, he stood more upright and as a result it's a more useful photo to show how tall he is.

Rupert Young
Rupert Young @ Collectormania / MCM Comic Con

Even I can screw up. It's rare, but it happens ;) For instance, here I was meeting Shawnee Smith at MCM Expo. I forget for a moment I'm supposed to be taking a photo for CelebHeights and slouched down. The next day I forked out another 20 quid to get the one on the right. I remembered to stand properly this time, but in doing so, seemed to lose my ability to forge a proper smile :)

Shawnee Smith
Shawnee Smith and Rob @ MCM Comic Con 2008

Add a Comment11 comments

abraham said on 7/Sep/19
hi rob i have a petition for you, thank to you i know a lot of height of famous peaple i really want to know 4 peaple height one is paco de lucia, the other is tomatito the other is diego cigala and the last one is niño miguel the uncle of tomatito please i really want to knowww
Matt J said on 25/Jun/19
That's a very interesting article, Rob. Thanks for writing it! I was wondering which celebrities you had the best experience with, in terms of personal attention and laughs and whatnot? Also: has any celebrity clocked you from the website? :)
Editor Rob
I am sure some celebrities may have noticed my face, though I'd say a small percentage as the site is not huge or anything.

I think generally the vast majority of guests I've met have been pleasant, some talkative, others a bit quiet or nervous. At the hotel events, sometimes you got to spend more time at autographs or meet and greets.
Littlelee5ft6 said on 3/May/19
It's funny though in the photo with Elijah even though he's sat on a stool you still look about 3 inches taller than him 4 max meaning he's not any taller when stood up than when sat on the stool
TheBat said on 15/Apr/19
That must've been so annoying when Jared didn't stand up for the photo lol.
Editor Rob
Well he actually started the session standing but after a few photo ops they got that stool.
Bradley said on 6/Jun/18
Michael J Fox did a show? Wow. He'd be mobbed in L.A.....name your graph price too.
MJKoP said on 30/Mar/18
Wow...for a guy who claims to be a full inch taller than he actually is, Grant O'Rourke doesn't seem to be too keen on perpetuating that myth! :P
MJKoP said on 5/Mar/18
Rob: Ever considered just being bluntly honest? 'I run the Internet's leading website devoted to ascertaining the heights of all famous people, and you standing up properly for three seconds helps me put bread on my table'

These new articles rock, btw. :)
Editor Rob
Believe me, I wouldn't be surprised if an actor engaged tip-toe mode if I said such a thing!
Andrea said on 19/Feb/18
Yeah, Rob, great article! 👍
It's really a shame that some of these celebrities never properly stood up for the photoshoot, but again you still managed to see them in person and give a good estimate about their height, which is the most important thing. After all, even those celebrities that you take good photos with end up (most of the time) looking shorter than what you thought they looked in person...
Editor Rob
Yeah, I mean even someone like Famke, just 5-10 seconds before this she is standing there in front of me. Kim, well at worst he's about 182cm, even the others I've seen walking about events.
Blake said on 18/Feb/18
Rob, do you think you will attend the mcm expo this year?
Editor Rob
Sadly there is little chance as Expo bumped on another 20% for vat on tables (I was thinking about a stall), but it's so expensive that I think it's just not affordable.
josh b said on 18/Feb/18
Great article :) personally I like the photos even if they're useless for the site. I know mine are really not much help as there's too many variables for my pics to be accurate, but I like them nonetheless. Sadly as of this date Showmasters prices continue to rise exponentially so I'll be getting them whilst I still can.
Editor Rob
Yeah, as a fan you get to meet people and probably wouldn't mind either way - the fact is you get a photo with your idol. There's another photo I meant to add with jenny and ming na, as you'll probably remember Ming had a cruciate ligament injury and obviously couldn't stand much at all. Jenny didn't care, she liked Agents of Shield and getting a free photo with Ming Na was an unexpected bonus.

Last year I had a good run of no photos sitting, although I was very tempted with John Cleese! If I'd bought a diamond pass I'd have got him standing, but if I'd bought a normal shoot, he sat for 70% of the other photos. In the end, I was pretty broke from that event :)
Crest said on 17/Feb/18
If I was a fan I don't think it would bother me that much because I'm still getting to meet my idols and have the memory and photo of a meet 'n' greet with them. But obviously if you were meeting people for this site I can see how it might be frustrating.
Editor Rob
There's probably another 15 photos I have which were like the sitting/stool examples here....so out of nearly 1160 photos, there's not a big amount, so overall not so bad.

Heights are barefeet estimates, derived from quotations, official websites, agency resumes, in person encounters with actors at conventions and pictures/films.

Other vital statistics like weight or shoe size measurements have been sourced from newspapers, books, resumes or social media.

Celebrity Fan Photos and Agency Pictures of stars are © to their respective owners.