|Of the 200 or so cosplay shoots I have done to date, |
this Gentleman Alliance Cross shoot is one of the my favorite photoshoots.
I left my house early because I held a gender bending panel on Saturday at 10am. Arriving at around 8:55am, it was very difficult to get a parking spot. The parking lot was full, and after circling around the parking lot for a while, I decided to drop the car off in Valet parking. As I walked in the hobby, I remembered the layout of the hotel used for Pacific Media Expo. The LAX Hilton has a nice, elegant layout that actually is quite easy to maneuver from location to location. It was very easy to pick up an industry badge for PMX, it took me about 2 minutes to pick up the badge. I proceeded to walk around a bit to get a feel for the hotel before the crowds arrived.
The Gender Bending panel was supposed to start at 10am, but due to the parking situation my panel partner Bryan Yang arrived a little late. As the panel moderator, I was introducing myself and doing a quick question and answer session with the audience before the panel started. Aside from the delay in starting, the panel went off without a hitch. The crowd loved the panel, it was easy to see that we got a passionate crowd who loved the genre. The only issue was that we couldn't see what slide we were on, so I had to rely on my powerpoint printout. It helped watching the audience reaction to determine the slide we were on. For our third panel I think that it went really well. Personally, it would be nicer to have a larger crowd, but I know many people couldn't make it because we had such an early panel. Beggars can't be choosers, especially since we sent in our panel submission very late in the game.
hallway shots, there is a Pokemon "gotta catch em all" mentality when doing it. It is actually quite addicting trying to get as many photos of different cosplayers as possible. The hallway shot is limited by where you find the cosplayer. Unfortunately, the lighting within PMX has a very strong yellow tint, and it really shows in the pictures. It will take multiple external flashes to drown out the bad lighting. The lighting was much better on the third floor, where you had access to 4 outdoor areas for photoshoots.
|Christine was spot on with her|
depiction of Ushio
In between the many photoshoots and hallway shots I did in PMX, I also spent much of that time socializing. I started getting more involved with the cosplay community as a direct result of a cosplayer back in Anime Expo 2010 wanting to know where I post my pictures and if I do personal photoshoots. Since then I have gotten heavily involved in cosplay community, becoming close friends with many of them and hanging out with them during anime cons. I also got more involved in the community of cosplay photographers, since I want to know their styles, how to get the best shots and many other things. It was awesome to see some of my favorite photographers in action like Mike Rollerson, Dale Oshima, Jerry and Fremen. Part of the appeal of going to these cons is the social aspect, which has been steadily increasing in prominence over the years.
The layout of the convention was very similar to how it was in PMX 2007, so it was easy to get used to the convention layout. The dealer hall had a nice variety of products from Japanese fashion to anime and manga. PMX has a stronger fashion focus compared to most cons, so it was really awesome seeing a wide variety of Japanese fashion represented at PMX. Due to the strong emphasis on Japanese fashion I was at a loss trying to determine whether to take a picture or not of people since I didn't want to come off as rude. I also noticed that there was a strong gender bending theme among cosplayers at this year's PMX, there were a lot of crossplayers and genderbent characters. Had my panel been done at a later time there would be no doubt in my mind that it would have been insanely popular.
Overall, PMX 2011 was a great con. Parking issues and hotel lighting aside, the convention was a great experience. It was great seeing so many of my friends from the cosplay and photography community, I will definitely attend PMX again next year.