On Friday, February 14th I went to an anime convention for the first time in my life. Now a little disclosure, this was my husband’s idea (he is the one who watches anime, I’m usually in the room working on photos so only half pay attention to the episodes) as a way for me to expand my photography portfolio. I have to say it was a unique experience.
We showed up at the convention center in the late afternoon of the first full day, and were thankful we got the VIP tickets. We just walked in, picked up our badge and were on our way. This meant we skipped the hour long wait in line for our badge. From there we wandered around a bit, in the merchant’s hall, outside and in the atrium area before our first event/experience the “Maid Café”. Yes, we ate at the Maid Café for our special Valentine’s Day dinner. It was a fun experience we had a crossplay maid (guy playing a girl) who was very entertaining, the food was pretty good too. Then from there it was off to opening ceremonies which was not that interesting, which resulted in us leaving that a bit early. We did some more wandering around till our last session of the day, “History of Martial Arts in Japan” which was interesting and excellent session. After that we headed home since we were up at 5:00 AM since we did have to work that day.
Our next day at the con started with a 9:00 AM session, “Cosplay and Photography.” I was expecting a little more out of this session since I am a photographer. I was not impressed with the speakers and was expecting someone who has been doing cosplay and cosplay photography longer than a year to be speaking. From there it was some more wandering till my next session which was “Japanese Folk Dance.” I was expecting a lecture; not interactive session. So I got my aerobic workout for the day learning a traditional dance used to wish the fisherman luck. From there it was off to lunch, then a lecture on Bonsai. That was an interesting lecture and I might get a bonsai at some point and not kill it. After that we wandered around a bit and took pictures. We left around 3:00 mostly because my husband was tired and there was just too much time between the next sessions we had any interest in. Overall it was a pretty good day.
I used the style of street photographer to photograph the con, and tried to be unobtrusive. During the con I took over 300 pictures which include just random scene of the convention area and portraits of cosplayers. I enjoyed wandering and taking pictures at the convention and loved interacting with many of the cosplayers. I’m not a picky photographer so I photographed people in simple costumes to very elaborate costumes. I started out shooting with an ISO of 400 but ended up switching to ISO 800 an ISO 1600 due to the low light in the convention center after the sun sets. For most of the convention I shot using aperture priority since it allowed me to capture the scene quickly without a lot of adjustment and not take up too much of a person’s time. I would love to do a photo shoots outside of crowded convention with all of the people I took direct photos at the convention.
Overall the convention was a great experience. I met a lot of interesting people, got some excellent pictures. Though, if we go to the con next year I will get a hotel room at the convention center; so we can go to more of the sessions and the late night dances.
You can see my photos from Katuscon 20 here: http://munchkinphotos.smugmug.com/Events/Katsucon-20. I will be editing many of the portraits I took further to add nicer backgrounds and will be posting those with in the next week or so.