Cosplayer | Photographer | Artist | Gamer | Gentleman | Misunderstood
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I finally wrapped up all my photography work for Otakon 2013, the albums for the hall photography of various cosplayers is up as well as my cosplay photoshoot album:
Overall it was a good con, I didn't get to enjoy most of it with my friends due to my busy schedule. But I did run into a number of my friends and got to talk for a while as well as work with my friends on their photoshoots. I had scheduled 8 shoots for the convention, out of which 6 was done. Two had to be involuntarily canceled due to snaffus.
My flight left out of Boston in the afternoon, while waiting for my flight I had the pleasure of meeting one of my friends and chatted for a while. It's pretty cool how many cosplayers I meet at the airport waiting to get on their flight, sometime I even find out they're from my area too to my surprise. I arrived in the middle of the afternoon in Baltimore and got a cab to my hotel by the convention center. After cooling off, I ran off to line up to get my badge in the pre-registration line, it was surprisingly shorter than expected and was inside the building. It turns out to be a good idea because heavy rain and thunderstorms hit the area suddenly with a massive downpour. After getting my badge, I ran into some friends in my hotel and chatted for a short bit then I went about to see if I can find a nearby store that sells umbrellas. I needed to get my photography gear to my first scheduled shoot but couldn't do so in so much rain. Fortunately the rain stopped and I grabbed my gear from my hotel and headed over a hotel a few blocks away where the cosplay models were waiting. After cutting half way through the convention center I was told by the staff that I couldn't do that and was directed all the way back to the entrance which then I took the long way about to get the shoot location. Fortunately I made it with enough time to take some shots. To my surprise a photographer friend, Ken, was the other photographer taking photos. His photo, from my understanding, had gone viral from the shoot!
Photo of Sunsetdragon in her Rainbow Dash Galla cosplay from the shoot.
I was unable to finish the shoot as the hotel staff asked us to stop oddly enough. So we wrapped it up (I was told that the next day the hotel didn't had a problem with any other photoshoots). I ran into more friends as I head to my next shoot and briefly greeted and chatted with them. Unfortunately due to scheduling snaffus my next shoot was not able to make it. So I got something to eat and prepared for the start of the convention the next day.
I woke up and got my photography equipment ready, I had the opportunity to do a shoot with 2 cosplayers I admire greatly, Yuuri-C & Yuuri-K. They were cosplaying as Irisviel and Saber from Fate / Zero, one of my favorite anime (I plan to Sir Lancelot sometime in 2014). They were a joy to photograph and joke around with and are highly photogenic. It did turn out another photographer (actually 2) had already used the location I was using so I had to change my original plan and use different backdrops and lighting styles to make sure our photos are distinct and different. Quite a number came out well, although I think next I'll try a few new ideas as well. I look forward to working with the two beautiful sisters again.
In the afternoon I got into my Naraku cosplay I had been working on for about a month. Everything went well until I put on the back bone structure and moved around the hotel room. Needless to say there was much smacking things and not fitting through the door and halls easily. A couple things broke as a result so I unmounted the back bone structure and just went with just the armor. I had not 100% completed the cosplay and rushed through a few pieces, but I hope to get all of it done for AUSA.
Random hall shot of me in my Naraku with some Pepsi
I walked around the convention space meeting up with friends and chatting with them for awhile and also getting photos of me taken. In the evening I went back to my room to have some dinner then prepped my photography equipment, which is just cleaning lenses and recharging batteries. I had a night shoot scheduled with my friend DanielleBeaulieu
in her female Taric cosplay, from League of Legends. I enjoy nightshoots and lowlight photoshoots because of the control I have over the lighting, there was a lighting style I had in mind for a few months that I wanted to do with Danielle but never had the opportunity to do til now. It was quite hot out but fortunately she was willing to bear with it for the shoot. Quite a number of the photos came out spectacularly. I can only imagine how many people will now try to copy this style for their cosplay photography
That ended the night and I retired to my room, recharged the batteries for tomorrow's busy shoot schedule. I didn't get any hall photos from Friday as being in armored cosplay makes holding a camera and light units difficult and potentially damaging to my cosplay. Also wearing makeup tends to get it smeared onto my camera.
Originally I was going to wear my Prince Dimande cosplay I brought but after considering how busy my shoot schedule was and how hot it was outside, I decided to hold off on that.
My first shoot was with my friend AkabaraYashiki
as Mikasa from Attack on Titan. It was an outdoor shoot, the lighting was diffused from the clouds and I didn't bring any screens or reflectors to the convention to modify the lighting. The photos came out alright, I wasn't satisfied with them but little could be done about the circumstances.
My next shoot unfortunately didn't make it due to miscommunication. So my Saturday morning started quite poorly and was putting me in a negative mood. I almost wanted to just stop and just chill out for a while but needed to stick with the schedule I agreed upon with everyone and do my best to honor that agreement. I know I would regret it later if I broke an agreement.
The afternoon shoot I had ran into a bit of a delay and I was starting to think my Saturday was just going to be terrible with everything going wrong, but fortunately things worked out and I was able to do a one hour shoot with NintendoFanGirl
I played around with painting the scene with lighting some more in this shoot and the results were quite pleasing. This shoot came out quite good and I was happy with the results as well as the cosplayer.
Afterward I had to rush to my next shoot as I was about 10 minutes late. My cosplay model was Spectra Cosplay
fortunately he was able to wait and we did a shoot on the balcony area of a hotel to get a cityscape background in the shots. It was pretty good experience, I did't do many cityscape shots before and learned abit about editing skyline and cloudscapes. It's something that I will be interested in exploring to add to my photography skills and techniques.
With my photoshoots finished up and feeling better about my Saturday, I went back to my room and rested. Completely exhausted! The Masquerade was going to start soon so I grabbed my camera, flash unit, and telephoto lens and headed out. Surprisingly the masquerade crowd was probably half the size it was last year. There had been talk about how the Otakon skits had been dropping in quality, I wonder if that was the reason why there were fewer people going this year. I sat out about 100m from the stage and configured my unit to use the infrare beam to assist focus. There were probably more dance skits at Otakon than any previous years, the one that blew everyone out of the water is likely the Voltron dance skit where all sorts of break dancing was being performed. There was also some cosplayers who were spinners as well including a levi-wand and a hula-hoop performance. I left after the skits were done to get some hallshots of cosplayers at the convention hall.
Sunday was pretty much dedicated to hall photography and chatting with my friends before they leave.
Notable cosplays :
Chocalina from Final Fantasy XIII-2. I had never seen anyone do this cosplay!
Not sure who the character is but he was with a Fire Emblem group so I'm assuming its from that series. His armor work looked flawless, he informed me that it was all made from foam too.
There was an AMAZING Songbird from Bioshock Infinite on Friday that I unfortunately didn't get to photograph.
All in all another good Otakon with good all around cosplays. Fortunately this year it wasn't over 100 degrees Fahrenheit as it had been in the past but it did get cloudy and wet quite a bit. I did wish I get to hang out with more of my friends though.
Current AnimeUSA plan is to cosplay Naraku after I redo some of the armor and back structure, and do a Knights of the Blood group cosplay from Sword Art Online with some friends. I'll see you guys at AUSA for those that are attending!
End Journal Entry
PAX East 2014
Sakura Matsuri (NYC) 2014
New York Comic Con 2014
Another Anime Con 2014 (Maybe)
AnimeUSA 2014 (Maybe)
If you are uncertain on identifying me at a con, I usually am armed with my Red Pentax DSLR camera and a pair of glasses.