varjohaltia: (Fitengli)
[personal profile] varjohaltia
Years and years ago I went frequently to science fiction and fantasy conventions with my friends, and had a good time. This was during a time when digital SLRs were uncommon, and being at a convention with a good camera, not sucking at taking photos, and sharing them online was nice because not too many people were doing it. You got instant street cred just for having a nice camera.

Years went by, my circle of friends changed, everyone and their cousin got impressive cameras and bigger flashes, and started to aggressively take photos of people in costumes at conventions. Trying to compete of a costumer's attention, and taking duplicate shots of the same costumes really weren't something that brought me a lot of enjoyment. Since both of my main reasons for going to conventions had gone away, I largely quit.

Fast forward half a decade, and I was successfully tempted to visit another local convention, MegaCon. I had made some acquaintances at wonderful local interactive theater events, and many of them were at the convention. Even if I wasn't in their social circles per se, I had been asked to take some photos, so I again had a reason to go.

Many things changed over the last half decade. Anime conventions have exploded in popularity, and with all the superhero movies conventions and costuming have become mainstream. Even my coworkers who have no interest in these kinds of things now have children who do. Facebook, despite its tragic image quality, has transformed the way people share and interact with photos. Getting comments, feedback, having people set a shot as their profile picture is rather nice for a photographer's ego. Being able to easily share, comment and tag people on a platform the majority of people use has made pictures more accessible again, and greatly increased the likelihood that the costumers will find the images I've taken of them.

Instead of the three or four conventions of a decade ago, the Southeast, and Central Florida in particular, nowadays has an amazingly vibrant con-scene, and many of the specific anime or gaming conventions have become more welcoming of other costumes and fandoms.

There's a definite energy at conventions; people displaying their skill and passions and being social, bonding over common interests. I'm still waffling between the utility of being just one more person taking photos of people in hallways and the joy of photography and the enjoyment people get out of them, and the occasional chance to grab better shots.

For now, I printed some cards, I've packed my bags for DragonCon, and I will see what comes.
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