Wow... let me just start off and say that, holy fuck, the new location is huge! It is almost labyrinthian! Just imagine any of the women drawn by the and that is how big the convention center was(love them drawings!). I actually got really nauseous on Friday just because I was trying to process the layout and all the twists and turns and ins-and-outs of the building. On top of the con center the Marriot hotel is also connected as well and that mean't a WHOLE 'nuther section to explore. Throughout the weekend I discovered some "secret" paths including a colorful spiral staircase inspired by Hogwarts that leads directly to the 1st floor. Place was insane!
Now as big as it was the D.C. location lacked a lot that the Baltimore location had. In Baltimore it seemed that there was always somewhere to shoot outdoors(the terrace, pier, fountain), no bag checks and most importantly the Ice Cold Water Guy. The bag check thing really sucked on Friday when it was taking nearly 40 minutes to get into the con but eventually it got a little faster and if you are smart then you can get by all of that super fast(I'll leave it at that). Although there weren't too many really interesting looking areas to shoot outside like at Baltimore the D.C. location had a decent amount of shoot locations indoors(basically the opposite of the Baltimore location as there was a severe lack of good places to shoot indoors there). This was nice when you were already inside of the air conditioned con and didn't want to go out into the heat just to do a 10 minute impromptu shoot. Not having the Ice Cold Water Guy may have been the biggest blow of to this location change but his megaphone-shouting legacy... kinda sorta.. lives on through the crazed ramblings of the double megaphone touting evangelist guy. Dude had me an another cosplayer rolling on the ground Friday night what with his quoting Jay-Z and other rappers, shouting about mustard seed and other random shit. Dude got really unhinged though on Sunday afternoon when he started a racially infused tirade, went up to a random con goer and started shouting at her as she was eating and then boasted that he would use his 10th Degree karate skills on some bullshit to kick a woman in the face. Eventually his crazy fucking ass got arrested... or something... by the cops. So yeah... pretty much that dude is obviously nothing like the awesomeriffic Ice Cold Water Guy but he was still a memorable part of the con for me.
Biggest regret was I didn't ask that damnably amazing Sigma cosplayer for a shoot! I was hunting with my camera out and my gear on my shoulder and then I saw him, the leader of the Mavericks! At that point you could've shown me a Chun-Li and Cammy cosplayer making out while wearing VKS sweaters and I would push them down just to get at a Sigma cosplayer! Just as I was about to ask I heard the familiar voice of an old youtube comrade by the name of XenonRT(changed to XenonZer0 years ago but has since rebranded under a new name of Juno something) so I was like "Hey dude!" and we talked for a bit. After I turned to ask the Sigma for a shoot and he was gone like any chance of a Megaman Legends 3! I was so sad.. I've missed opportunities like that many a time but I always knew there would be another Yoko or Ryu Hayabusa or Fiona Belli at another con but Sigma? That was probably my one and only chance .
As far as shoots I definitely did A LOT of those! I still don't remember exactly how many were done but when I finally start uploading photos from Otakon there will be nothing but shoots. Some sets are only a handful of photos and others range past the +40 range. I wanted to try something new and instead of mixing hallshots in with the shoots I would just do nothing but shoots instead. Pro is that people will be able to see more of that cosplayer and this, to me anyway, is a better way of developing partnerships with new cosplayers. Con ultimately is that if a particular cosplayer doesn't want to shoot with me or is too busy then well... no pictures of that cosplay obviously. Thankfully that only happened a few times and I was able to return home with well over +1500 photos(which is probably going to take me forever-in-a-half to edit. Sorry to anyone that I told I would finish editing sometime this or next month, it'll be much longer than that). Don't wanna give too much away but expect a short shoot from a recently popular(and slowly dying) trend as well as a few NieR: Automata shoots(which will totally make up for the scant amount of NieR shoots I've uploaded for the year).
All-in-all the con was fun and despite missing a lot of the aesthetics of the Baltimore location I have come to enjoy the perks of the D.C. location as well. Now to get back to editing!
P.S. Did anybody run into that skeleton dude in a suit jacket that was asking hot cosplayers for booty selfies? Ran into that dude twice with two different cosplayers I was shooting with!