I'm getting to my Katsucon recap a bit late due to MAGFest directly following it (and the fact that I stupidly decided to start and finish a cosplay in between the two weekends).
Katsucon is my favorite convention; it's so full of amazing costumes and passionate fans and incredible locations, as well as all-day, all-night programming -- if you can find time to attend in between your booked photoshoots! I spent a lot of time gawking over the incredible cosplayers and giggling at the acrobatics of photographers trying to get the perfect shot, hanging out with some of my closest friends, and generally looking adorable/pretty/frightening, depending on the day.
I apologize in advance for this recap being pretty much "I hung out with friends, took some pictures, and did a bajillion photoshoots" but tbh that's exactly what happened. I made it into Artist Alley once and didn't make it into the dealer's room at all! And forget about panels... Next year I want to fix that.
Costume: Twilight Sparkle
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do three full days of Katsucon; I had responsibilities at home that ended at 2:00 PM. So at 2:30 PM, Queen Ally Cosplay and I hit the road, bravely fighting our way through Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC traffic to make it to the con around 6 PM.
After taking care of all the logistics of check-in, luggage transportation, parking, etc., we ran up to the room to get ready for the night! The makeup for Twilight usually takes me about 45 minutes, but my first shoot wasn't until 9 PM so there was very little time crunch. I got my makeup done far ahead of time and headed down to the con floor with Katie Christine Cosplay, Ally, Jonathan and my brand new Canon T5 Rebel. I played photographer for a while, and think I actually got some pretty decent shots! TAKE THAT, NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY.
Then it was time for my first photoshoot of the con with Journeyer Photography! For this shoot, I wanted to encapsulate the spirit of the Grand Galloping Gala and the excitement leading up to it. So a lot of the pictures are me showing off my dress (you know, plugging Rarity and her fashion line), looking generally excited and happy to spend time with the Princess... and then a few where I look severely disappointed after the realization that hanging out with royalty royally sucks.
This shoot was amazing. I felt really comfortable working with Julia; I was able to throw out ideas and random poses and she just rolled with it. I shot twice more with her over the course of the weekend, and each time was fantastic!
Afterwards, I wandered around a bit, complimenting costumes and chilling with a few friends. It was so refreshing to have a room in the Gaylord; last year, I was crashing at an out-of-the-way hotel whose shuttle only ran until 10 PM. This year, I was able to change into my pajamas and get my badge at one in the morning. Batman onesie + no line = most relaxing way to obtain pass EVER. The elevator lines suck, sure, but it's way better than
Costumes: Art Nouveau Megara and Twisted Disney Kida
Saturday was an incredible, and exhausting, day. My roommates and I woke up at 7 AM to begin our transformations for the day -- four girls trying to use the bathroom sink for makeup at once was difficult to coordinate! In the end, after all the corsets were laced, the beads re-sewn, and last-minute wig styling, we made our way out to the Atrium.
The first shoot of the day for me was with Sara Lynn Photography, who was recommended by Ely Renae. She worked really fast, but really effectively -- her style meshed really well with Meg and made me look super pretty :D
The next shoot of the day with Dancing Squirrel Photography gathered a couple wonderful Art Nouveau princesses -- me as Meg, Katie Christine Cosplay as Ariel, Human Sushi Cosplay as Snow White, Athena's Wink as Belle, and Beccabee as Tinkerbell. This was a precursor to our big group gathering later that day (which I'll go into later!)
Then, we saw the Lord Farquaad cosplayer. The maddest of props to them -- days were made and pictures were had!
Unfortunately, I had a couple of leaves break off of my belt, so I hastily returned to the hotel room to re-glue them before my shoot with Journeyer Photography at noon. Again, I had a wonderful time shooting with her, and the pictures came out phenomenal! I swear all I have to do in this costume is make my hands floaty and the pictures come out purdy. :D
Almost the instant we finished our shoot, the fire nation attacked. The now-infamous fire alarms of Katsucon blared through the halls and we were shuttled out into the cold, bitter wind, where my three layers of chiffon did very little for warmth (especially since they kept being blown up and away by the wind. So glad I was wearing dance tights and shape wear!!) We made a mad dash for the CVS and hunkered down next to the prescription glasses and Star Wars band-aids for about half an hour before being allowed back into the convention.
Post-re-admittance, I spend most of the early afternoon in the gazebo area, looking graceful as the wonderful girls in our Hannah Alexander group showed up one by one. It's kind of fun seeing the pictures from this time as we accumulate more and more girls...
Once we were all gathered (minus a few people who were running late) it was time for the official shoot! We started out with individual poses, moving on to serious group shots, silly group shots, and everything in between.
My final Megara shoot of the day was with Athel Rogers Productions -- in the gazebo. I had never done a shoot in the gazebo before, so it was quite exciting! In the future, though, I think I'll avoid the area for paid shoots unless it's really late or really early in the morning. Trying to justify the iconic location vs. people constantly in the shot... didn't really seem worth it to me.
Then... it was time to change into Kida. What a change of pace! The whole process took about 2 hours from start to finish (half of that was just wrapping up my arms and legs... ugh), but the end result was TOTALLY worth it.
Queen Ally Cosplay and my friend Robbie followed me around for most of the night with a blacklight flashlight, using it to light up the fluorescent body paint and make it look like my skin had light pouring out of its cracks. It looked freaking awesome -- I caused a couple of traffic jams near the fountain during my final shoot with Journeyer Photography! My friend Robbie also snapped a few pictures as well.
The last shoot of the day was with Sumiko.foto Photography at the stone wall by the escalator, which turned out AWESOME. I think they really captured the feel of the artwork that inspired this cosplay.
Other than that, I wandered around and snarled at people, glowing all the while. It was GREAT.
Sunday, as per usual, was a mad dash to get checked out of the hotel in time to resume the festivities of Katsucon. This was made doubly difficult by the fact that, again, Kida's wraps take for-flippin'-ever to apply. By the time all my stuff was packed and ready to go, it was 11:30 -- and our Twisted Disney group was supposed to meet at 12. Unfortunately, there was a huge line for the bag check in the lobby, so I opted to simply take my luggage with me.
As it turned out, most of our group was also running late, so I preoccupied my time by pulling cosplayers aside and taking pictures of them with my shiny new camera. This mostly consisted of a few friends and a couple random people who were milling around waiting for the Harry Potter meetup. As a lifelong Potterhead, of COURSE I needed photos!
Once the Twisted group was all in one place, we kind of hung out and glared menacingly at passers-by in between photographers. I had entirely too much fun hissing evilly at people. I think I need to do more scary cosplays...
After the group broke for a late lunch, Sunday was mostly just shuffling around like an actual zombie due to general exhaustion from the hecticness of Saturday. I handed out a few holographic Star Wars valentines and did a few short impromptu shoots with a few straggling photographers, but mostly I just stared off into space on the gazebo level... which, looking back, is actually pretty in character.
The last scheduled shoot of the con was with Eurobeat Kasumi Photography, who I had connected with via a Facebook group. He asked if I would be comfortable going outside in the cold, cold wind and snow -- although, to be fair, it was a *lot* warmer on Sunday than it was on Saturday.
I gritted my teeth, said "why not?!" and outside we went! I even posed on some of the frozen-over pond, which was a really neat effect. I'm really glad that he made me push my boundaries, and although my toes were cold, I survived!!
Finally, Ally and I left around 4:30 PM and sang Disney songs all the way home to keep ourselves awake.
It was, as always, an amazing con. Definitely crowded, but crowded with amazing costumes and wonderful people, and I've already started planning for next year! I probably won't be booking nearly as many shoots as I did this time -- I barely had any time to left over to actually enjoy the con -- and I'd love to make it in earlier than Friday night. Here's hoping my teaching schedule will allow for that!
Here I'll post tutorials, convention reviews, and any cosplay-related subjects I feel like talking about.