A-kon is the largest anime convention in Texas and takes place in Dallas annually. It has been recognized as the longest continuously running anime convention in North America. The venue for this con was back at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Dallas. We had about a six and a half hour drive leaving in the early hours of Friday morning to get at the con at a decent and early time.
I gave myself a bit of a break before I set myself right into doing my first shoot in the later part of the Friday afternoon.
Cosplayer – TwistofFate as Kilik from Soul Caliber 4
I had a good time exploring part of downtown Dallas with this shoot. A 5 minute walk in another direction can lead to much more better photographic opportunities. This cosplayer found a waterfall area the day before. I had spent a little bit of my days prior to the con studying the areas around the hotel for good potential shoot locations because The Cancer Plaza, which is located directly across the street from the Sheraton hotel, is the most popular spot for pictures but is really usually too overcrowded for my liking.
My next shoot was a Pokemon Gijinka of Umbreon. I usually almost always use my flash in a photoshoot, but when we got to the last half of our shoot in the parking garage I decided to try without it. It was around 5:30 P.M. and I just really loved how the light was naturally falling on her. The result ended up being my favorite photo from the shoot.
Cosplayer – Melodious Angel as Umbreon from Pokemon
I felt lucky with my next shoot. Not only did I have three awesome Mass Effect 3 cosplayers, but I felt lucky to shoot in front of the coolest looking building in the area diagonal from the Sheraton hotel. In the previous year, I’ve been shooed away by security guards from the same building. I was convinced to try again and we were able to have a great time shooting here.
Cosplayer – Eri & Shinka Studios as characters from Mass Effect 3
I got a short shoot in for my friend Mikey. I ended up taking these set of pictures in the convention halls in the Sheraton hotel . At 6’5” tall with a deadly looking blade and a full latex mask he was pretty convincing. ^^
Cosplayer – Mikey as Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal
My shoots ended prematurely Friday due to me getting a huge migraine, so I rested up Friday night and Saturday morning to start right back up again. My first photoshoot on Saturday was a co-shoot with Filmshooter. We had about a 5 minute walk to the Dallas Museum of Art where we both took photos of Holly Gloha at the outside part of it. It was a really nice landscaped shaded area.
Cosplayer – Holly Gloha as Rarity (Ballroom) from My Little Pony
As we walked more into the middle of the outside area, where visitors of the museum were around, this area caught my eye. The mix of the white and light purple flowers matched her dress really well. We were only able to stay at this spot for about two minutes before we asked to leave, but I was able to get some satisfying shots at least.
Next I had an awesome duo of Roxas and Axel. Neighboring the Sheraton hotel is the more than a century old Dallas High School building. The entrance was blocked off, but it proved to be a neat place to take pictures.
Cosplayers – Izaya & Koholint as Roxas & Axel from Kingdom Hearts 2
My biggest group to shoot at this con was a huge Tenchi Muyo group. We decide to take a short walk and have the shoot at the Cancer Plaza. It was a very fun shoot to see the many personalities of each cosplayer’s character. Though it mostly consisted of flirting with Tenchi. 😛
Cosplayers – Twinzik, Ayanami Lisa, Digital Blush, Kikala, Victoria Bane, Cat-chan, Shinka Studios, Chibi Chise & friends as various characters from Tenchi Muyo
I did a couple more shoots that day before the big cosplay contest. I ended up having to rest for a good while after getting really dehydrated. I learned a good lesson here about keeping myself rested and watered up. It surprised me because in the past I was able to do a lot more shoots back to back and be alright. The mid-90s hot Texas sunny weather, walking to shoot locations, and shooting outside for all but one of my shoots altogether really did a number on me. I absolutely did not want to miss shooting the cosplay contest. I like it a lot because of the amount of cosplayers in it and because of the lights on stage make it really interesting and fun to me to shoot.
I joined up with FilmShooter and Lemon-ikon Photography and got a front row seat to A-kon’s cosplay contest. Because of how close I was to the stage I decided on using my Canon 50mm f/1.4.
A cosplayer dressed as Strength from Black Rock Shooter at the Akon 2012 cosplay contest.
I had one last shoot planned after the contest. This shoot ended up being the highlight of the convention for me. I’m so used to shooting by myself, but I invited my photographer friends to join me on this shoot. We had a 5 minute walk to another hotel to meet them. They had already chosen a setting on the very top of the parking garage. We were up six stories high. I’m a small city girl, so the sight at night up high in downtown Dallas near midnight was a quite a sight. It made a nice background for our Mass Effect 3 cosplayers. We set up and were joined by Sayuri Photography also. We had four photographers to the two cosplayers. It made for a very merry group and I had so much fun with this one!
Cosplayers – Marika-San & GS Props as Female and Male Shepard from Mass Effect 3
I am ecstatic about A-kon’s next new location. Akon 24 will be located at The Hilton Anatole May 31 – June 2, 2013. The design of the inside of the hotel is so beautiful! I’ll be looking very forward to taking pics there next year!
Below is a gallery of my favorite photos of the convention. You can see the whole set of my A-kon 2012 photos on my website here!
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(Editor’s Note: To see her A-Kon gallery of cosplay photos on Nerd Caliber, click here!)