I attended Kollision Con 2012 on Saturday and Sunday (24th and 25th of November 2012). It is a convention in my general area, more specifically it is located in St. Charles Illinois at the Pheasant Run Resort.
Edit, here is a video I put together to go along with the articles:
Please view this article on photographybanzai.com for technical talk.
As you would probably expect, I spent most of my time doing cosplay photography, but I did attend a few panels, most of the Masquerade, walked in on a concert or two for a few songs, and played a some video games.
Props go out to Charles, Kersten, and their crew for hosting the "Posing tips for the Cosplayer" and "Photography advice for the cosplay photographer" panels. They did a good job touching on specific details and not just a slideshow of their past work like other panels I've seen over the years. I found both of them informative.
|Knowing is half the battle. Attend panels.|
I stopped by both The Pillowcases and V is for Villains concerts for a song or two, though my ability and desire to handle loud music has gone down a bit over the last number of conventions. Probably from the times I've been up close to powerful stage speakers as I'm taking photos. Maybe the next time I'm asked to do that, I'll bring a set of earplugs. I didn't even bother taking photos, because of the potential hassles that come with photographing concerts with no press/media badge. I don't think I know anyone running this convention, so it wasn't worth the trouble.
It had been a long while since I utilized the game room at a convention. In the case of Kollision Con, It wasn't too busy, so at one point, Erik of CVFTA and I spent some quality time dispatching zombies on the PS3. I also tried out the Wii U on Sunday for a few moments. The controller is novel and has functional benefits, but it won't shake my old school love for the NES and SNES controllers.
The convention, in general, seemed extremely laid back. Besides having badges checked at a few of the main events and to borrow a game controller, there wasn't much else people attending had to deal with in the form of security. I much prefer it this way. Of the few things I did attend, they were on time and well executed.
|Samurai Dan doing what he does best.|
|A friend from my hometown with his elaborate costume.|
|A photo taken between taking photos.|
I was even able to get a few choice photographing moments outside with one cosplayer on Sunday. The weather was quite warm for this time of the year, and I'm glad it worked out. Using completely manual settings on the camera with a manual flash presents special challenges outside. I won't go into details here (check my related article on photographybanzai.com for details once that is available), but I'll say it worked out well without too much hassle.
|I'm glad the weather allow for some shooting outside!|
One thing I noticed was that most of the photographers had a lot of camaraderie and teamwork at Kollision. Some of us helped each other with aspects like holding lights or if we needed something in general. We also took turns with cosplayers at times when it was more difficult to find someone to work with. Overall, it was a great demonstration of how Midwest cosplay photographers can work. I don't really know what other areas of the country are like, but I'll try to find out in the future.
|Three photographers, one lighting assistant, and one cosplayer working together.|
All things were not perfect. There was one unusual fellow bothering women by getting a bit too friendly and giving them autographed self-portraits of himself in drag. Also, a new friend of mine had an incoherent drunk quiz her about the convention scene among other things. I seem to remember hearing his statement about having a beer bottle collection at one point, which seems fitting. The person wasn't part of the convention, but a guest of the resort for holiday most likely. I guess bothering young women was on his drunken vacation to-do list. So that's about it for my report of Kollsion Con 2012. I'll leave you with the photo below for my rating of the convention.
Maybe I'll see you next year. My regards to Erik of CVFTA for the epic bi-level room at Pheasant Run Resort.