I am considering this AnimeUSA 2015 a success. I had ten photo shoots scheduled but only did eight due to cancellations. Overall, I thought most of the shoots went well, however the construction going on at the venue limited some photo opportunities outside in the garden area. I found that early Sunday morning is the best time to shoot in the “fancy” area of the venue including the long brick hallway. Because the area was empty, I was able to get some nice reflection shots using the mirrored walls in that area of the venue. Also the other area that I enjoyed shooting in was in the upper levels of the venue near the elevator bays, were they have a sitting area with curved couches.
|Aurora by Cassimonee Cosplay|
|Daiya by Lina Lin Cosplay|
Now every year I have some lessons learned, and this year is no exception. Again, pre-shoot questionnaire really helped with the shoots, allowing me to plan the shoot, select locations, and get a better understanding of the character. I also determined ten shoots is about right for this convention, and I prefer if possible to shoot in the early morning and in the evening when there are fewer photographers jockeying for locations. Next year I may consider moving off site a bit for some of the shoots if the cosplayer is willing. The other thing I will be doing is instituting a cancellation policy, due to people showing up late for shoots. I understand being stuck in elevators or getting out of session late, but 15-minutes late is too late for a 45-minute shoot. Thus, next year I will be instituting a 5-minute rule. In addition, I think I may be limiting people to two sessions during the convention.
Now for the photo breakdown. I was using a Cannon 70D with an 18-200 mm lens and 430EX II external flash unit. (While this convention allows you to use tripods and light stands, I did not use any.) I took a little over 900 pictures and kept 598, which is approximately 66-percent. Based on the analysis of the photo meta data (I love analyzing data) my shutter speed ranged from 1/400 to 2 seconds with the most common speed being 1/250 seconds. My aperture ranged from 3.5f to 9f with the most common aperture being 4.5f. The focal length statics I found most interesting, my focal length ranged from 28mm to 147mm with my most common focal length being 28mm.