black and white

Salute to Supernatural Burbank 2014

The last convention of the SPN con circuit is BurCon, in Burbank California. This was my second time at BurCon, and I have a real fondness for it. It’s one of the smallest cons, it’s at the end of the year and the guys and the fans attending all seem more relaxed. It’s bittersweet too – between one year and another I never know what conventions I’ll be photographing next, if any. I am so fortunate to have been able to photograph and document the ones I have attended, but I’m also aware that next year is The Big Con Year and I am desperate to be a part of it. But that is getting ahead of myself! BurCon 2014 was such a fun, positive experience in so many ways. Cons are strange in that they can feel all at once completely familiar and yet completely different.

Timothy Omundson, Karaoke

Timothy Omundson, Karaoke

 

Osric Chau and Gil McKinney, Saturday Panel

Osric Chau and Gil McKinney, Saturday Panel

 

Richard Speight Jr, Rob Benedict and Matt Cohen, Saturday Panel

Richard Speight Jr, Rob Benedict and Matt Cohen, Saturday Panel

 

Misha Collins, Saturday Panel

Misha Collins, Saturday Panel

 

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, Sunday Gold Panel

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, Sunday Gold Panel

 

The Saturday Cabaret has especially become a big favourite of mine. There is something different about photographing the guys there – their interactions with the audience and each other are so different to during a panel. There’s a certain heightened sense of emotion and vulnerability, because this is so new and it’s gathering steam quickly. It’s almost like they are learning it in front of us and I think that’s really exciting!

BurCon14-0688

Rob Benedict, Cabaret

 

Osric Chau, Cabaret

Osric Chau, Cabaret

 

Stephen Norton, Billy Moran, Richard Speight Jr, Mike Borja and Rob Benedict, Cabaret

Stephen Norton, Billy Moran, Richard Speight Jr, Mike Borja and Rob Benedict, Cabaret

 

Gil McKinney, Cabaret

Gil McKinney, Cabaret

 

Since this is the last convention of the year, I want to thank everyone for the absolutely incredible year (years!) I’ve had since I’ve started going to these cons. This is going to get soppy, because I’m in that kind of mood!

All of the incredible friends who I have met through this and have given me love and encouragement, I am so grateful. To everyone who reads this blog and these convention posts and somehow makes sense of it, I love you! To my friends from highschool who put up with my weird fandom stuff, you’re amazing.

Thank you to my family, who saw me in the darkness for so long and are now watching me learn to paint with the light through my camera.

Thank you to the men (and women!) of SPN that I have the pleasure of photographing. It seems strange but you photograph people over and over and you start to develop a genuine affection for them. I know I absolutely have. Thank you most especially Misha Collins, Osric Chau, Richard Speight Jr and Rob Benedict, who have always been so, so kind to me and pushed me to keep taking photos when I wanted to stop. You’ll never know it but you’ve helped me changed my life.

And thank you to Christopher Schmelke, who is the most amazing mentor a girl could have. He has been doing this most of his life, he is such a professional, and yet he has never spoken down to me or made me feel inferior. He sees people beautifully and that’s why he takes such amazing photos. He’s my big brother and I’ll always be in his debt.

 

I am aware this sounds like an Oscar’s speech. I’m sorry for that. But I truly am grateful, and I don’t ever want anyone to think I take it for granted.

 

Here’s to Salute to Supernatural 2015!

 

180/365

180/365

180/365

I went back and found old photos from my sister’s wedding a couple of years ago. I have only done two weddings, and they were both stressful and I don’t think I’m cut out for weddings! But my sister’s wedding was beautiful, and I distinctly remember taking this photo. My niece had just had her makeup and hair done for her job as flower girl, and she was secretly checking herself out in the bedroom of the hotel suite.

I wanted to see if my editing had changed since back then. In some ways I wish I could go back and re-do all of them, with the knowledge that I have now. I guess that’s what happens when you’re learning, and you just have to keep moving forward.

AHBL 5 // Sydney and Melbourne 2014

This time last weekend All Hell Breaks Loose 5 (AHBL), the annual Supernatural convention here in Australia, was over for another year.

This convention is run very differently to the overseas cons, in that it is held in two states over two days. Saturday is Sydney, and Sunday is Melbourne’s turn.

This year, a friend and I were going to both – flying up early Saturday morning to Sydney and flying back later that night to be in Melbourne for Sunday. Which was pretty gruelling and gave a small insight into what the actors go through.

These cons aren’t held in traditional sort of venues either – they were both held in University lecture halls, which posed unique challenges for photography. The hall in Sydney was lit quite well, but the seating was all flat so that if you were farther away (as we were) it was harder to get good shoots. In comparison, the Melbourne venue was tiered seating (like how you would imagine an actual lecture theatre) but the lighting was garish and harsh.

The con venue in Sydney

The con venue in Sydney

It’s frustrating at the time but looking back on it, it’s actually helpful to keep having tests like this thrown at you; different environments, different lighting conditions. The trick is to not panic and instead to adapt.

AHBL  5 Sydney, 2014

Misha Collins, Richard Speight Jr and Matt Cohen, AHBL 5 Sydney, 2014

The photos that I got – especially in Sydney – are definitely not my strongest but they are a record of my experience. And they are proof that I could stick at it even when things were really hard.

Matt Cohen, AHBL 5 Sydney 2014

Matt Cohen, AHBL 5 Sydney 2014

Melbourne was a bit easier, but again it wasn’t ideal. The lighting was the great obstacle there. I’m having a real love affair with black and white at the moment, and I decided to use that for Melbourne’s photos. I know it’s a mistake to rely on black and white conversions to cover you when your exposures are less than stellar, and I have been guilty of that before. But there was something in a lot of these photos that suited black and white. Because I didn’t use flash and my lens isn’t technically “fast” (the aperture at it’s widest is f/4, which isn’t as ideal for inside work) I had my ISO pushed way up which resulted in lots of noise. But this sort of married with the black and white and produced an almost film-like quality.

AHBL 5, Melbourne 2014

Mark Sheppard, AHBL 5, Melbourne 2014

AHBL 5, Melbourne 2014

Richard Speight Jr, AHBL 5, Melbourne 2014

They still took a lot of cleaning up in Lightroom and Photoshop, and I was pretty ruthless when I was culling them and so ended up with not very many images. But I did stick it out, so I can be proud about that!

Misha Collins, AHBL 5 Melbourne 2014

Misha Collins, AHBL 5 Melbourne 2014

 

If you would like to see more images from both Sydney and Melbourne, please see the gallery here