Monday, February 20, 2012

Katsucon 2012 in review

Katsucon 2012 is now over and I have mixed feelings about it. All the disappointing things are completely my fault and have very little to do with the convention. The problems range from the simply stupid mistakes I made to more serious things such as who I am and what I am doing.

Let me focus on the positive first. A great number of people came in costume from anime, video games, comic books and movies.As always, it was great to see so many costumes. The work people put into these outfits is simply amazing. People who cosplay were generous and allowed photos to be taken of them all weekend (photos will be posted soon).

An example of the cosplay spirit happened on an escalator Saturday. I was going down and there was a woman in a long white dress near the bottom. The dress got stuck and so the escalator stopped. She pulled it free (there was no apparent damage) and said "Sorry about that" to all of us who were stopped behind her. One person shouted back "Is the dress okay?". The cosplayers were more concerned about the dress than being stopped.

A good portion of my weekend was spent working at a booth in the merchant's room so I did not get to walk around and attend panels as much as I would have liked to but that was something I knew would happen going in. I did get to attend one panel moderated by Meagan Marie about how to get into the gaming industry and it was full of information. It probably should have been longer than 1 hour.

Here is one place where you can share interests with strangers face to face. I engaged in short talks with complete strangers about "Supernatural" and "Final Fantasy". Someone came dressed as Castiel and we discussed recent events on that show.

I saw Allen Ryde again this weekend. I was amazed he remembered me as we met briefly at Otakon last year. We chatted briefly and then parted ways to do things at the con. We will probably run in to each other again at Otakon (even though it is a much bigger con).At least I know one person recognized me (see more about this later in the blog)
One good thing for me was being able to escape without spending much money (this could also be in the negative column as I did not find anything I really wanted to buy). Maybe this is a sign that the economy is doing better but people were spending a lot of money at this show which was a good thing. Manga book sales did well.

I would probably attend this convention next year but I would want to change a few things about myself which I am going to cover in the next part of this blog.

The simple mistakes are easy to list.

I forgot my business cards and things like that. It makes it hard to give out cards when you didn't bring any with you. Plus, cosplayers are reluctant to give you their name so you can give them credit for the picture when they have no idea who you are. Without a card indicating I have a web page I am just some guy taking pictures and asking for names.

My photography leaves something to be desired. I am not a professional and have two digital cameras. The cameras are no excuse since there are those who can do more with less. I need to learn how to take better shots and (perhaps) get better equipment. Many photographers brought a lot of equipment with them and they knew what they were doing.

Both of these are superficial, simple fixes. Bring the business cards and learn how to take better shots. They are external and my intrinsic faults are more serious.

It has to do with who I am and what can be perceived as wrong with me. The blame for all of the following lies with me.

I started out for the convention with the idea of photographing several cosplayers but after agreeing to do shoots they did not communicate with me any further as to a time or location. I think I wanted it too much and while I do not think I went overboard it may be that I did. There was no response to my message telling them where I would be located part of the con and so I did not get to shoot with them.

This carries on to when I was shooting a famous cosplay model at the convention and she told me Friday night that I had enough photos. I ceased shooting and, as not to bother her, I did not try to see her or take any other photos of the differing costumes she wore during the weekend. At the end of the show, she returned to her booth across from the one I worked at and I thanked her for the photos she allowed me to take on Friday.

One person I met at two conventions had no idea who I am. It would not be surprising but for the fact that we have met, talked and she was interviewed on this very site. It makes me wonder about how memorable I am (even though I made an opposing comment earlier).

It makes me realize that people are uncomfortable around me. Other things that deepen this is that I was not invited to any of the late night events (which I heard people talking about but I was not directly invited so I did not go). I thought people I thought people who knew me from previous shows would invite me but that did not happen.

Once again I feel like I was bothering them and that is not something I want to do. Somehow I need to improve myself. I do not expect to be the life of the party but I would like to know it is not bothersome to deal with me. As I said, this is my behavior that is causing the problem and I do not want to be that guy. All of the above makes me feel that I should stop wanting or asking for things, that I should scale back and do less. Anyway, this convention has given me a lot to think about and to see where to go from here.

As always, comments always welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! You took my picture as a lolita on Friday, I believe. I'm sorry if I was apprehensive; I didn't think my lolita outfit was very good and was surprised people wanted to take pictures of it. I think I got maybe 5 photos of it that day and it surprised me every time. It's more like normal clothing to me, in cosplay I expect people to want photos and am really confident about that but in lolita it's not really on my mind. Last year I think I only got 1 photo taken also.
    I didn't think you came off weird. You seemed really nice and you're clearly not some kind of con creeper. You were memorable to me, that's why I am at this site; I got a lot of business cards from photographers and most of the time I don't bother checking them, but you seemed genuinely interested in the cosplayers and in making friends, and your blog name stuck out to me too lol. I wonder if a lot of people are like me and are just on guard and apprehensive in general? Also, I know for a fact it is so much easier to make friends when you're in costume.. I don't really know how it is for photographers but a lot of them seem to blend in for me. I forget people's names. And when I go in plainclothes I never really make connections with people either. People don't invite me to events and stuff. It's being an introvert and not very assertive, I suppose.
    Also, I hate to say it but camera equipment does make a difference, at least to me. When I see someone with a big camera and maybe even a backpack with other equipment I think that person is really serious, even though it's not always the case.
    Anyway sorry for rambling.. hope I could help somewhat. I know what it's like to feel this way, but it's not just you, it happens to a lot of people. & I look forward to seeing your con photos ^_^