After a big event one needs some time just relax and let it all sink in. Anime Expo 2011 was a great experience, and it ranks as one of my personal favorites in all my years of being at Anime Expo. Over the course of the convention I had so much to do that I had little time to catch my breath. Two weeks after Anime Expo I attended a cosplay picnic run by my friends over at Anime Los Angeles. It was a fun experience where I had a chance to meet up with many of my friends who cosplay or do cosplay photography.
The park was a great place to meet up, with a great lake in the middle. With a lot of green backgrounds and interesting shade, it was a great locale to do pictures. Unfortunately, the sun was out in full force, so doing shoots in the middle of the day was an exercise in frustration due to the overexposure in pictures and the unflattering shadows. As the sun started to go down, the shadows started shifting, and in turn the pictures started to look much better..
I love the cosplay community, and they had good representation in the ALA Orange County Picnic. I had a chance to meet up with old friends and share war stories from Anime Expo. I loved the honest feedback that they gave me about their experiences and they shot me some wonderful suggestions to make the convention better. There were some cosplayers I had the pleasure to talk to who had attended AM2. They gave me their viewpoints and their personal experiences over in that convention. We also talked future conventions, since many of them I will be seeing often for the Southern California convention circuit. I had a chance to hang out with my friend Joy, who I did an awesome Puella Magi Magica Madoka Photoshoot with during Anime Expo 2011. There are many cosplayers who follow me on my deviantArt, and they gave me feedback on my Anime Expo cosplay photos. The feedback of my cosplay photos were positive. I wanted to take more pictures, but I had so much fun just talking and socializing that I kind of forgot about doing photography in some instances.
Southern California is blessed in that it also has a wondeful cosplay photography community. In general, many cosplay photographers see themselves as rivals to get the best picture. It is that sense of rivaly that sometimes they may undermine each other and get each other's way. Southern California cosplay photographers are very different in that regard since they are actually closer to one big brotherhood. It was fun seeing so many familiar faces, Roy, Nick, and many others. We did lots of gear talk, gave ideas on improving our photography techniques and even shared our expensive photography equipment. I am so proud of being part of the SoCal Cosplay Photographer community since it is so cordial and friendly. We even talked about organizing studio shoots and carpooling to future anime cons. I have to really stress this, the cosplay photography community is awesome.
It was fun talking with my friends who run Anime Los Angeles. Chaz is always a joy to talk to, it is so refreshing seeing someone who loves the community for his convention. It was fun meeting many of the staff behind Anime LA. I actually had the pleasure of talking to many of the ALA staff that I otherwise would not be able to talk to since they are so busy during the convention. Tadao was fun like always, it is always great seeing him around, I wish I could talk with him more. Chaz has a great team behind his con.
The picnic was an overall amazing experiences, it was fun seeing all my friends from Anime Expo, whether they are Anime Expo staff, cosplayers, cosplay photographers, or ALA staffers. The next time there is another local cosplay picnic, I am definitely going to be there.