VanCon 2016

Salute to Supernatural Vancouver 2016

By the time August rolls around it usually means three things; my birthday (ugh), lay-by now for Christmas (what?) and Salute to Supernatural Vancouver.

This was my fifth (what??) year going over to beautiful Vancouver, BC to attend Creation Entertainment’s convention at the mecca of Supernatural. While I haven’t done the normal touristy things that people do in Vancouver, the small downtown and harbour side places I’ve hung out are so, so beautiful and make it seem like it would be the coolest place to live. I could spend forever meandering along Robson St, or walking through the lush greenery of Stanley Park, or sitting on a park bench in Coal Harbour.

I was lucky this time, because my friend Chris actually took me out to see some of Stanley Park, so I did get to photograph something other than the inside of a hotel convention hall this time.

But for this weekend it was all about the con, and Supernatural.

The cons have become a well oiled machine by now, although this weekend was going to be different. Richard Speight Jr, who usually hosts the con weekend, was busy filming and couldn’t make the convention. Instead, we were going to be treated to Briana Buckmaster and Kim Rhodes as co-hosts, who promised Richard nothing except to totally throw his rule book out the window.

 

Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster, MC Queens, VanCon 2016

Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster, MC Queens, VanCon 2016

 

Filling in for Richard Speight Jr is a big task for anyone, but Kim and Briana more than rose to the challenge. They are so much fun and their attitudes to life and fandom are heady and infectious. They see fandom for all the good it does and can do. Their different personalities compliment each other in the way that those people with startling chemistry often do. It’s become one of the best parts of these cons for me; watching how these different friendship dynamics work and trying to capture that through photography.

 

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Richard had once joked that VanCon was Porncouver, and that was the only bit of advice Kim and Briana took and ran with. The whole weekend seemed like a chance for each of the cast to try to one-up each other in making it the best Porncouver it could possibly be. But most of all it was about having FUN. Kim and Briana had the same energy at the last panel on Sunday than they had very first thing on Friday.

 

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Kim Rhodes, Misha Collins, and Briana Buckmaster, Saturday, VanCon 2016

 

Kim Rhodes and Rob Benedict, Sunday, VanCon 2016

Kim Rhodes and Rob Benedict, Sunday, VanCon 2016

 

Even Jensen and Jared were a bit taken aback at Porncouver, Sunday, VanCon 2016

Even Jensen and Jared were a bit taken aback at Porncouver, Sunday, VanCon 2016

 

But they quickly got used to it. Sunday, VanCon 2016

But they quickly got used to it. Sunday, VanCon 2016

 

It was hard not having Richard there; without any of the core convention cast there it feels like there’s a hole there that can’t be replaced. He’s become the real heart of the whole thing, the glue that holds everyone together. But if he is the heart, then Kim and Briana definitely feel like representations of us. It was as if we were given the keys to car and we were all driving it headlong through the weekend.

Karaoke was the usual crazy affair, with some added weirdness with the (very) wrong lyrics being put up for a Justin Timberlake song. Matt Cohen was the King of the Con, with Rob Benedict as his Queen (?). Louden Swain came out to do a song, which is always fun (I love those guys).

 

Stephen Norton capturing the Karaoke audience, Friday, VanCon 2016

Stephen Norton capturing the Karaoke audience, Friday, VanCon 2016

 

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Matt Cohen, Karaoke, Friday VanCon 2016

 

The Louden Swain Saturday Night Special was a highlight, just like it always is. It has truly become one of my favourite things on earth, and the day I don’t get to see one anymore I think will crush me.

 

Rob Benedict, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

Rob Benedict, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

 

You can tell the cast put their all into it. I don’t think I’ve ever known a more talented, dedicated group of people, and the love and enjoyment they obviously get from doing this concert and watching it grow and evolve is so evident during every single moment. I am so, so honoured I’ve been able to photograph it as much as I have, and watch it change and become what it is now.

 

Kim Rhodes, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

Kim Rhodes, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

 

Jensen Ackles, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

Jensen Ackles, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

 

Osric Chau, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

Osric Chau, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

 

Rob Benedict, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

Rob Benedict, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

 

Briana Buckmaster, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

Briana Buckmaster, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

 

I could never accurately sum up how much I admire and love the band Louden Swain either. One day I may try, but until then I don’t think I have the words or the photographs to do it justice.

 

Billy Moran, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

Billy Moran, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

 

Mike Borja, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

Mike Borja, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

 

Stephen Norton, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

Stephen Norton, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

 

Rob Benedict, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

Rob Benedict, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special, VanCon 2016

Osric Chau // Vancouver 2016 Photoshoot

The photoshoot I did with Osric Chau in Vancouver was the 8th photoshoot that we’ve done, and true to form I had no idea it was going to happen until about an hour before it did.

Osric had been really, really busy over the Summer and had even missed a couple of conventions due to filming. When I went over for VanCon I didn’t even know if we were going to be doing a shoot; and even when I got there I was told he would be doing a shoot with Chris Schmelke.

On the Saturday (Osric’s last day at the con before he flew out of the country), Chris messaged me to tell me to meet him, and told me that I was doing the shoot. Osric had driven home to get a suit, and by the time he got back we had about half an hour until he had to eat and do sound check for the Louden Swain Saturday Night Special.

(This is all to illustrate how incredibly rushed things like this are; there’s barely any time to think or plan, but likewise there’s no time to overthink and worry.)

It was about 7PM, but as it was still Summer in Vancouver the light was only just starting to leave. It wasn’t quite golden hour, but close to it.

 

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Because Osric was dressed in a suit, and because of the location where we took the photos, they ended up having a completely different feel to any of the other shoots we’ve done. They looked a lot more mature, and I think it was a combination of things that framed the shoot that way.

It wasn’t cosplay, so it wasn’t necessarily a character. It came from a more personal place, and that felt a bit more grounded. To a certain degree it was still acting, but there was more of an emphasis on trying to capture something rooted in reality as opposed to a concept.

 

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It became more about me trying to find a way to show “him”, but it was a “him” that he was letting me see. I’m still learning direction, and being more proactive about what I want in shoots. I was so grateful my friend Kat was there to help, because she’s excellent at direction and knows Osric well.

 

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It’s probably the shoot I’m most proud of and was most surprised at how it turned out. Because I went into it not really knowing what we were going to do, we ended up just using the location as a guide and going from there. Ideas were bounced around, we tried different things and if something didn’t work we scrapped it and moved on. It was a lot of fun, and I was so happy with how it turned out.

I think it shows a lot how much we’ve both maybe grown, in front of and behind the camera?

Stanley Park / Coal Harbour Vancouver 2016

While I’m finishing my galleries of the Vancouver convention, I thought I’d share some photos that I took of Vancouver itself. I actually ventured outside and saw some of the beautiful landscape this time!

Chris Schmelke took me on a (long) walk on the Thursday before the con started, and showed me around Stanely Park. I didn’t take my camera, but I had my phone with me. He took his Leica, and it was fun watching him take photos, even if he kept making me hold his coffee while he did.

These were all just taken with my phone, that’s how stunning Vancouver is. It’s become one of my favourite places and I’m grateful Chris actually got me out to see some of the beautiful surroundings before a weekend locked in a convention hotel (nice hotel though).