The Creation Supernatural conventions have become such a huge production that in 2015 (and by the looks of things it will be the same in 2016 too) so many more dates had been added, often in places the cons have never been held before. In some instances, the conventions would run one weekend after another.
As was the case with the November conventions in Denver and Pasadena. I was going over for Pasadena (it replaced Burbank from 2013 and 2014) so I thought that as long as I was flying all the way over there, and would more than likely have a few days before the con in Pasadena anyway, I might as well bite the bullet and do DenverCon as well. It sounded like such a wise decision in my head. Perhaps not fiscally, and definitely not emotionally or energy-wise, but it made sense in some esoteric way to me.
This blog post will be about Denver, and the next will focus on Pasadena.
The conventions had never been held in Denver, so as well as the excitement for me personally going to a place I’d never been before, there was a palpable sense of excitement that finally the “traveling circus” (as Richard Speight Jr tends to call it) was visiting a new location. The Marriot Denver Tech Center where the convention was held was small; a lot smaller than any convention venue I have been in. There were lots of winding corridors where the actors had to navigate between the photo op room, the green room, the meet and greet rooms, and the room where the panel was held. The vendors were placed out in an open atrium in the middle of the hotel, surrounded and overlooked by balconies belonging to the hotel rooms. Fans got the ingenious idea to decorate their balconies to celebrate the con and the mythology of the show, which gave the whole place an awesome – and somewhat eerie – atmosphere. My roommate and I wanted to do a “Friday People” balcony (long story) but we didn’t have time.
Denver was probably the smallest convention I had done, and there’s something nice about doing the smaller cons. There will always be something exciting about the big flashy cons like Vegas, Chicago or Vancouver, but the smaller cons tend to be a bit more laid back. There’s an excitement, but not a suffocating you-may-not-last-the-weekend excitement (Vegas I’m looking at you).
One of the things I considered, but obviously not in too much detail, was how difficult it was not being able to put convention photos out after a con. I am by no means someone who gets their photos out quickly; it takes me time to travel home and go through and edit them. I don’t have a laptop, so I don’t have a way to work on them while I’m overseas. This time though, I would have to put aside a whole convention’s worth of photos on several compact flash cards to shoot a second con, then have two whole cons to edit at home.
That’s a lot of photos.
I tried to take little phone photos here and there, and upload them to Instagram whenever I found wi-fi, just as a shallow way of documenting what was going on. They weren’t great photos and I hate my phone so I felt embarrassed about doing it, but one photo of Matt Cohen at karaoke seemed to get a good reaction, so that made me happy!
I’ve come to realise this year that I will probably never love shooting anything as much as I love shooting the Louden Swain Saturday Night Special (and Pasadena truly cemented that for me, but I will talk about that in the next post). I actually feel physically drained coming out of it, like I’ve expended energy just trying to take everything in. It’s using so many skills and makes me fine tune the way I pay attention and look at things and work with the light given to me. It’s movement, stillness, emotion, volume. It’s stretching lots of different skill sets; even in the editing a big part of it is deciding what photos to keep to really show what happened, and what to leave behind and I’ve become quite ruthless about it. Maybe this just means I need to move into concert photography, I have no idea. But it is definitely my favourite thing to shoot at the moment.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy shooting the other parts of the convention, because I still do and I still find them challenging every time. Whether it’s the quality of the house lights, where I’m sitting in the room, how a particular panel is going (if the guest is in a good mood or not, if the audience is engaged etc) there’s always challenges and tests. I love it though, I feel alive doing it. That may seem strange, but it’s honest.
It may also seem strange that it’s still challenging shooting the same people, but it is. In the same way that you can hear a song more than once and have it mean something different to you each time, people change and grow and it all happens in front of and behind the camera. I’m growing as a photographer and a person, and I feel like as I do that my photography will improve. A big obstacle for me is my own self doubt but I’m challenging that little by little at each convention.
Of course there will be a time when I’ll have to do something different, and I am already doing different things a long the way. But this has made me a photographer. I call myself a photographer because of the things I’ve learned shooting these cons and how lucky I have been to find such an amazing support system there and as well as my family and friends at home.
Reblogged this on Ana Fraser Lallybroch Blog.
Great post, Meg! Your photos are beautiful and I love your concert shots!!
You would definitely do great with concert photography. I’ve been thinking about that when I was looking at your photos from Louden Swain concerts, they made me think how great would it be to see your photographs from my favourite band’s concerts :)