Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018 Winter SacAnime Day Three

Author: Luke Cheng

Note: I'm changing the format of this blog (for now)! Due to Photobucket changing their policies last year, I am no longer going to be hosting photos with them. That may mean that all the photos on this blog will disappear. So far they haven't yet, but there's no guarantee. The blog will be more video focused for the time being. Full galleries of my con photos will still be available on the main Cosplay of Sacramento site. Go there for your pics!

The final day of a three day con is usually the most chill. After two days of going really hard, it's nice to just relax a bit on the last day. As expected, the huge crowds thinned out quite a bit and it became easier to navigate the convention complex. It felt good to really take my time and savor the experience - and I had to savor the time as I have to wait all the way until summer before SacAnime happens again.

Since I made my way through almost all the rooms on Saturday, I focused a lot of my efforts on getting photos of the cosplayers. Most of my photos were taken on the balcony and main room up the escalators as that is where a lot of the photographers and cosplayers mill about. I love this area because there is a constant flow of people in cosplay coming in. If you're a cosplayer and you want to get a picture taken then upstairs is definitely the place to plant yourself!

The one thing I didn't do yesterday was get into the autograph halls. They are in a separate section of the convention center. I didn't want to miss checking them out so I went today. There were so many people in line wanting to get autographs from the guests. I just saw line after line of people waiting. It was really incredible. This winter SacAnime's guest line-up was pretty impressive, so I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised at the lines I saw today.

I'm sad that SacAnime is over already. This con always seems to fly by so fast! It's a sign that I really like it. Good thing it comes twice a year! As always I have a full gallery of photos from today. CLICK HERE if you want to check them out!

See you at summer SacAnime 2018!!!

Monday, January 8, 2018

2018 Winter SacAnime Day Two

Author: Luke Cheng

Note: I'm changing the format of this blog (for now)! Due to Photobucket changing their policies last year, I am no longer going to be hosting photos with them. That may mean that all the photos on this blog will disappear. So far they haven't yet, but there's no guarantee. The blog will be more video focused for the time being. Full galleries of my con photos will still be available on the main Cosplay of Sacramento site. Go there for your pics!

Saturday is always the busiest day at a con. The crowds are large and people are packed into the convention center! I love that huge mass of humanity that is around me, but sometimes it makes it a bit hard to get around. That's just a minor complain though as more people means more cosplay to phpotograph!

I've learned to really relax and pace myself at SacAnime as it does no one any good to be tired by the second day. I tried scheduling photoshoots once, but that really made my time at the con really hectic. Now I just wander around and if people want to do a shoot I am more than happy to - and that's exactly what happened. Today I shot with quite a few of my awesome looking cosplay friends. They cosplayed a variety of fandoms from Spider-man to Disney, Sailor moon, and Scooby-Doo! Everyone looked amazing and I was so happy to shoot with them.You gotta check out the full pics in my day two gallery down below.

Besides taking photos, I really try and find my way around the various rooms on the second day. SacAnime provides a lot of entertainment for all who come. In the main convention center, fans of collectible card games (CCGs) and table top game could come together and face off. I personally love playing board games, so it's really tempting for me to just put down my camera and get into a game!

At the hotel, video game tournaments are held. One of my friends joined in on the Tekken tournament. He was able to get past the first round but fell in the round of eight. You know people are hardcore about it when they bring their massive arcade style controllers out. If tournaments aren't your thing, there were other games available to play as well as dance games - though the people who did those were SCARY good.

As a huge fan of the game Overwatch, I had to pop into the Overwatch voice actors panel for a bit. I guess I wasn't the only one interested... the panel completely filled one of the main halls to capacity. Thankfully I was able to get in and check it out. What a treat to see!

So far SacAnime has been really great. I had a great feeling about this con yesterday and it continued on today. CLICK HERE to check out my full gallery of photos from this second day of Winter SacAnime 2018.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

2018 Winter SacAnime Day One

Author: Luke Cheng

Note: I'm changing the format of this blog (for now)! Due to Photobucket changing their policies last year, I am no longer going to be hosting photos with them. That may mean that all the photos on this blog will disappear. So far they haven't yet, but there's no guarantee. The blog will be more video focused for the time being. Full galleries of my con photos will still be available on the main Cosplay of Sacramento site. Go there for your pics!

It seems like it's been a while since my last con. I've been very busy with my new baby boy, so he's been taking up a lot of my time. But I'm glad to be back and on the convention room floor of Sac Anime once again. Sac Anime is Sacramento's premier pop culture convention and it definitely draws in the multitudes. There was some rain on this first day, but that didn't stop anyone from getting to the con.

I arrived to Sac Anime to a long line of convention goers outside the Sheraton Hotel where badges could be purchased and picked up. I don't think I have ever recalled seeing such a long line before. It snaked around the block and made a couple of loops inside the hotel as well.

Things were lively inside the main convention center, but there was plenty of room to walk around and enjoy the booths. There were several things I wanted to pick up but I ended up holding off. I still have two more days of the con to decided if I really want to get them. Both of the things I want are of the stuffed variety. I saw this stuffed meat thing that looked like something you'd get more health from out of an 8-bit era video game. It was so cool! Also, my favorite Pokemon, Psyduck, was looking really cute as well. Will one of these items be mine by the end of the con? Only time will tell.

I was pretty free today to roam around and take photos. A few cosplayers I knew got a hold of me to do some short shoots. They were a ton of fun to do. Check out some of the footage in my video recap above.

I was really just trying to get reacquainted with the con experience today so that tomorrow I am ready to hit the ground running. I'm planning on checking out all the different panels and rooms that Sac Anime has to offer. I'm excited to get back to Sac Anime!

Wanna see my full gallery of photos from day one? CLICK HERE.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Cosplay Photoshoot - Halloween Skin Mercy (Overwatch) by Janthraxx 10.20.17

Author: Luke Cheng

If you're someone who enjoys playing Overwatch, I think you'll like this photoshoot I did this past week with Janthraxx (Instagram). She came dressed in a spectacular Halloween Mercy cosplay. One of the most fun things to do in Overwatch (besides the actual game, of course) is to get different outfits, in the form of skins, for your characters. This Halloween Mercy skin is only available during this time of year so Mercy players are all scrambling to try and get it before time runs out!

Janthraxx is relatively new to cosplay, she's known more for gaming, but as you can see her cosplay game is already off the charts! Everything about her Mercy cosplay was on point - from the sweet looking staff to her light up wings. She even had some extremely detailed shoes. Every detail of her work was meticulously put together, and it showed! She got many compliments during our time shooting that afternoon.

For this shoot I used Sony camera equipment exclusively. I've been trying to ween myself off Canon for a while now but it's been really difficult. It really helped that I just acquired a new 70-200mm 2.8 zoom lens though, I really put that lens to use on this shoot. We shot in both extremely bright situations and in some pretty dark spots. Having changing light conditions can be tough, but the new lens paired with my Sony a9 performed marvelously. Hopefully my switch over to Sony is complete!

All in all the shoot was very successful and I think the both of us had a great time shooting. After the shoot we got to spend some time talking about gaming, which is something else I love to do. We got to talk about the characters we like to main in the game, and she gave me some grief over my favorite character to use - Symmetra. It was all in good fun though! Now I really feel like turning on the PS4 and playing some Overwatch!

If you haven't seen Janthraxx's Instagram account, I definitely suggest you check it out! She has other amazing Overwatch cosplays for you to see there. If you're interested in seeing all the photos from this Mercy shoot, CLICK HERE for the gallery. As always, if you're interested in doing a shoot with me in the Sacramento area, please let me know. I'd love to work with you!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

2017 Sinister Creature Con

Author: Luke Cheng

It's October! What a perfect con to have right before we get to Halloween! Sinister Creature Con returns to Sacramento at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center for a spectacular two day event. Sadly, I was only able to attend the second day of the con this year due to scheduling conflicts on my end. I made the most of my day through and tried to capture everything that went on while I was there. As with Sinister Creature Con shows in the past, there was a lot to see and take in.These shows  are jam packed with awesome content.

The star of Sinister Creature Con is horror so naturally there were many horror items on sale in the main hall. Horror movies of all kinds were on display. There was everything from classic hits to extremely obscure films. You could really spend a lot of time lost in all the titles that people were selling. This really was a horror cinema fans dream con to go to.

Besides the movies there was plenty of horror memorabilia to buy as well. From posters to jewelry to horror toys, Sinister Creature Con had many items on sale. There were vendors located throughout the con, not just the main hall. Multiple rooms had vendors as well as the entrance and exit. Some of the most awesome items could be found in places you may not expect a vendor to be at. I particularly liked the full head masks that one vendor had near the exit doors. 

Another impressive element of Sinister Creature Con was the guest list. For a smaller con, this event certainly had many special/celebrity guests in attendance. It was really awesome to see the guests interacting with the con goers. I found that they were extremely nice and willing to spend a little more time with their fans. Some of the special guests also held panels in the panel room.

A really unique aspect of this con is the focus on special horror themed make-up. People had the opportunity to sit and have professional make-up done on them during the con hours. It was a ton of fun to see the delicate work of these special effects make-up artists being applied. There were quite a few vendors who did this in the main hall. This really makes Sinister Creature Con unique!

Unlike some cons where all the artists are grouped together, the artists at Sinister Creature Con were intermixed with the vendors on the main floor. Checking out artwork is one of my favorite things to do while walking around a con. Above is a photo capture of Poisin Dream Creations in action as she does some painting. Her work is really outstanding. Hopefully you said 'hi' to her today if you went!

Walking around the con you would run into all sorts of people looking awesome. So while I was looking to shoot photos of cosplayers, the people with sweet make-up on were also on my radar. It's not something that I usually shoot, so it's pretty exciting to be able to capture this work when I can.

Sunday didn't have a ton of cosplayers out. I heard that there were much more the previous day as the costume contest was being held then. Oh well, I still was able to find some people looking awesome in Cosplay. 

I was so glad to be able to catch at least a day of Sinister Creature Con this year. This is a special show and I think more people should come out to attend it when it rolls around again. CLICK HERE to see all the photos I took today at the con!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Cosplay Photoshoot - Archie's Betty & Veronica (Riverdale) 10.7.17

Author: Luke Cheng

Anyone here enjoy the CW show Riverdale? If you do, you'll love this shoot I did last week with @novembercosplay and @crystalnoel as Betty and Veronica. Both were wearing outfits from Hot Topic, and we set out to feature the outfits in the photos. We wanted to get a school vibe so we went to campus and took some photos near the bleachers. It was the perfect setting for our photoshoot!

Also featured in this shoot were nails done by @espionage_cosmetics. November was wearing them and they looked fabulous. I was really surprised at the intricate design on them. I've gotta tell you, I'm usually not one to notice nails - but these were truly outstanding. This particular set matched perfectly with the outfits being worn. November really knows how to put an outfit together!

What would a photoshoot be without props? November and Crystal brought some really fun cheer leading props to the location. We used the pom poms quite a bit and the shouting cone was great for some fun photos. I really love this shot of Veronica shouting at Betty. I think it captures this relationship very well. The expressions that November and Crystal have are also priceless! 

Turns out that Crystal used to dance competitively. Well... given that little bit of knowledge I asked her to do perform some moves to capture with the camera. After some stretching she really opened up and was able to do some impressive things! I guess dance is like riding a bike? You never forget! Crystal looked great doing the moves and I was so glad she was up for it!

The 'laying on the grass' shot never gets old, so we had to do a few of those. The campus had a huge field around us so we picked the best spot to get a shot from above. I particularly like the shots we got today because the colors work together so well. The yellows in particular stand out and make the picture pop.

As with other recent shoots I've done, I decided to shoot at golden hour to get the best natural light. I love shooting in natural light as it gives a beautiful soft look. Shooting towards the sun also gives some sweet looking flare effects. 

I had a blast doing this shoot with both November and Crystal. Check out their Instagrams using their handles mentioned at the beginning of this post. CLICK HERE if you'd like to see all the photos from this fun Betty and Veronica photoshoot.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

2017 Sac-Con

Author: Luke Cheng

Sac-Con is back this year with a change of venue. Rather than being held at the McClellan Air Base Conference Center, it was upgraded to the Sacramento Convention Center in downtown. This is the same location as SacAnime! The convention center is definitely a nicer, more modern venue, and it was cool to see Sac-Con being held here. Being a one-day event on a Sunday, street parking was FREE! How awesome is that?

The convention took up one of the large halls in the convention center. The dealer hall wasn't as large as the one at SacAnime, but it was definitely plenty big enough. There were many vendors selling merchandise. Being a comic convention, there were plenty of comics on sale. Back issues, variants, and limited editions... there were so many!

Sac-Con also had an impressive guest list this year. Jim Shooter was in attendance signing autographs and also holding a panel. Jim Shooter is one of the most well-known figures in the comic industry. He was right in the midst of the comic book explosion in the 90's. I remember seeing his face in comic book news all the time. It was so awesome to see him right there in person! Other guests included Irene Bedard, Kyra Schon, Chase Masterson, and Ron Lim.

Sac-Con is an event for all ages. It's certainly a family friendly environment that has something for everybody. While the adults are having fun geeking out over their favorite pop culture icons from the past, the kids could play games and check out the many things that would interest them. No matter what the age, there was always something to enjoy.

The artists alley at Sac-Con was full of great talent. Many artists had their own comic books and comic artwork for sale. I had a blast going down the rows checking out everyone's work. The artist alley is a definite 'must see' at any con. This is where the most unique and one-of-a-kind items are. If you haven't been to the artists alley before, make it a point to go at the next con!

In terms of cosplay, the cosplayers at Sac-Con were incredible. I was a little skeptical before arriving if there would be many cosplayers on the floor. I was pleasantly surprised to see many cosplayers in some stunning cosplays. Check out this totally sweet Ghost Rider cosplay! You can't see it in this particular image, but he was on his motorcycle at the con! This cosplay was above and beyond.

If you'd like to see the pics of the cosplays I took photos of, CLICK HERE. Enjoy the photos and hopefully I'll see you at the next convention soon! Also, watch my video of 2017 Sac-Con below!