Chicago Comic Con 2012

Earlier this month I went to Wizard World Chicago Comic Con as a media organization under my photography centric website,  The main benefit there is that I have less chance of having issues while I take photos, which is always nice.

You can see my coverage of the event here:

If you have only been to Anime conventions, you might want to check out a comic focused convention in the future.  The attendees usually span a larger age range, which can be a good thing.  Although, as someone who photographs cosplayers and costumers, I sometimes have difficulty getting time with them because people seem to want photographs with the costumers much more often than at Anime conventions.  The biggest benefit is that you don't usually get the age related immaturity problems that sometimes happen at Anime conventions.  The overall focus of comic conventions is more commercial, which is somewhat of a negative depending on your reason for going there.  They often have a large swath of famous people you can meet for a price as well as large dealers rooms with a multitude of things you can buy.  If you are interested in original works of art or lesser know home grown comics, there are usually a large number of artists on site.

Here are a few highlight photos from the event:

Cantigny Gardens Cosplay Meetup Photos

Before Chicago Comic Con, I attended a small meetup at Cantigny Gardens in Wheaton Illinois. It is a large park with a lot of green space, flowering gardens, buildings, a tank park (yes, military tanks), and other various structures.

You can also see my first article on Photography Banzai where I talk a bit about the equipment I was using.

Here are a few photos from the event, enjoy! (entire gallery here)

Link leading the charge... on a tank.
These kids were yelling "OMG, it's Zelda!!!" over and over.

Ellicott City Photoshoot Sampler

Hello everyone!

I'm Sai and one of the Trifecta that is CVFTA! The convention scene isn't new to me but I have only begun taking photos since April last year when I invested in my first DSLR camera. I've learned and defied much from the teachings of Scott W. but it's been a fun ride so far.

The number of backlogged photos to edit just seems to grow with each week that passes. Here's a small sample of a shoot I was invited to that happened in Ellicott City near Washington D.C..


Video Interviews: Anime World Chicago 2012

I completed editing and uploading our first video collaboration.  Mixed Visuals and I worked together to interview 13 people at Anime World Chicago.

You can see my thoughts on the technical photography side of things in my article here.

The interview video consists of mostly cosplayers who made their own costumes as well as one popular Midwest photographer and a person who makes his own costumes and does a large amount of commissioned work.

The interview contents (in order, my best guess on what they said for attribution):
- Black Butler cosplay.
- Len Kagamine from Vocaloid and a second Vocaloid cosplayer.
- A large cosplay from Studio Ghibli, most likely Spirited Away.
- Crossplay Thor and Loki from the Avengers comics and movie.
- Xena Warrior Princess cosplay
- Original outfit design based on Chii from Chobits made from chiffon fabric.
-- I didn't write down her FB page, but it sounds like "Dog Rose" possibly.
- SoulCrash Ron the Midwest convention photographer.
- Deadmau5 (dead mouse) prop construction and cosplay
- Mami Tomoe from Puella Magi Madoka Magica
- Jesus cosplay
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann cosplay.
- Christopher "Knives" Farabaugh the cosplayer and commission artist.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd (internet famous video game reviewer) cosplay
-- E-books such as "I Am Become Death" by Rocco Ryg

Overall, doing interviews at conventions is a fun and rewarding experience.  I'm able to talk with and learn about the people I photograph, which adds another layer to the overall convention experience.  While it took a lot of internal motivation to get the ball rolling, I eventually overcame that and got into the swing of things pretty quickly.  There is always room for improvement, but I think the video turned out pretty nice.  I hope you enjoy it!

Anime World Chicago From A Noob's Perspective

   Since this is my first post to the Conventure Fire Team Alpha and "The Adventures And Ramblings Of A Mixed Guy" blog, might as well introduce myself.  My name's Erik, I'm one of the contributors to the site!  I'm more of a beginner compared to the other members of the team, so they help me out with my photography a lot!  I'm pretty pumped to have these guys helping me out, and I'll be learning as I go!  I'm also new to the "con" scene, and can't wait to go to more of these!!

   Heading up to Anime World Chicago this past weekend, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect for a couple reasons.  First, this was my first "Con" that I had been to, and while a few of my friends go to these quite regularly and post photos from them, I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy it.  Second, some close friends and I started up a project called "Con-Venture Fire Team Alpha"(yes I know the name is amazing), in which we basically go to conventions(of any kind really, gotta have some variety right?) and just document it via photos, videos, and interviews with attendees.  My reservation about this second point dealt with the interviews part.  I'm terrible at talking with people that I haven't hung around before, but I was determined to get over this "phobia" of mine and get some content for our groups' site and youtube channel.

   Walking into the convention I was a little awestruck at all the people and their cosplays.  You have to really give these people props, were I to design/make some of these outfits 1 of 3 things would probably happen, either a)the outfit would look terrible, b) there would be a wardrobe malfunction or two throughout the course of the day, or c) it would look terrible and there would also be the wardrobe malfunctions haha.  Now Initially I just followed my buddy around and observing how he went about asking people to take their photographs, and just basically taking everything in.  After a little bit I went around and took some of my own photos(which are pretty poor compared to the photos the other members of CVFTA take), but after that I started to relax a bit and really enjoyed myself.
Can't go wrong w/ a deadpool cosplay

Deadpool has hops!

JESUS!!!! I got to interview him! haha cool guy!

Samurai Dan!

The Man, the myth, the legend, Ron Ladao!

Scott from the alpha team!  

  Surprisingly I even did a few interviews, and they actually turned out to be my favorite part of going to the convention!  Everyone I talked to was really laid back and easy to talk to.  It was cool listening to them tell a little bit about the process of making their cosplay, or what cons they had been to, and plan to go to in the future.  I can definitely see myself doing more interviews in the upcoming conventions that the Alpha-Team goes to! 

   One last thing, before I sum things up, one area I feel like I have to mention, is the artists alley.  Let it be known, that I am on a quest to have a sweet ass painting/drawing of a samurai commissioned for me!  Now If anyone who reads this has any advice, or opinions on the subject feel free to let me know, but I wandered the artist alley and saw a bunch of people selling prints, but only a couple that had signs saying they took commissions.  Now I have to admit this is a little of what I had expected, but at the same time makes me think that I could be searching for quite a bit to find the right artist if I only look at the cons for possible candidates to do the work.  So I think I'll update fairly regularly on my quest to find a con artist...errrmmmm, that doesn't really sound right haha, I mean a convention artist to do the piece for me.  Also this will give a chance to whoever reads this to shoot any input my direction to help me out!  

   So I would declare this first convention experience a success!  Between meeting new people, perusing the artists alley, and just experiencing new stuff all day, I don't think things could have gone any better! I'm definitely looking forward to what the Con-Venture Fire Team Alpha has in store for the future, and so should everyone else!

Anime World Chicago 2012 Photos & Talk

Hey, this is Scott of Photography Banzai.  I'm one of the contributors to this new media team known most simply as CVFTA (Conventure Fireteam  Alpha).  I'll be posting articles about various events we attend, but one of our main staples will be conventions.  We attended Anime World Chicago on Saturday August 4th to take photos of cosplay as well as some clips for a few different videos.  I recently finished processing my photos, enjoy!

All of the photos:
My Gallery Site
Facebook Gallery (you can tag yourself after you like the FB page)

You can also read more about how I took the photos in my photography site article.

Here are a few highlight photos:

The convention was fun. Size wise, it was probably one of the smallest ones I have been too in a while, but that's a good thing in some respects.  It's a bit strange to see the location that Anime Central uses be so much less active.  Along with AWC, there were a few other events happening at the Hyatt hotel such as a wedding and some type of business meeting.  The negative there is that they were casually limiting access to large sections of the hotel, so some of the better shooting locations like the dome were not available.

The one event I went to was one of Samurai Dan's panels.  His panels are always interesting and fun, so that was a nice diversion from taking photos and walking the small convention footprint.  Looking at the schedule, the lineup looked solid, so I'm sure that general attendees had a good time in that respect. 

Only attending a single day is good and bad.  It costs significantly less than attending multiple days considering the large cost of having a hotel room.  However, being able to take a good relaxing break is difficult, so I often don't manage a full start-to-finish convention day.  The convention started at 9am, but we decided to get there around 11am.  We left around 7pm, so only around 6 hours.  I'll have to try harder in the future to get more time in on photos when attending for a single day.
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