Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tampa Bay Comic-Con 2014, Pt 1

Sorry this took so long, guys; I like editing cosplay pics so much that I saved it for when I was feeling better. And then, of course, there were a LOT more photos than I remember taking. o.0

So let's get to it!

Lilith from Borderlands 2 - which John is playing AGAIN. Heh.
[Click any pic to embiggen]

Tampa Bay Comic-Con is almost exactly like Mega Con here in Orlando: it's held in a massive, beautiful convention center, and I'd guess the attendance is also in the 60,000+ range. So, BIG, but also managed well enough that the crowds aren't too suffocating.

You may remember Hipster Elsa from my Super Con post - but this time Christie got her sister Robyn in on the act, too! (Yes, they're sisters - cosplaying sisters. LOVE.)

There's plenty of parking around the center, thank goodness, although we accidentally ended up parking a good 4 blocks away, just because we didn't know exactly where the building was. Heh. Tickets were only $20 each (yay!) and there was no line at ALL by the time we arrived late morning - and this was on Saturday! Can I get a "Awww yeeeeeah"??

Any Steam Powered Giraffe fans in the house? I got to see the band live for the first time last week, so I'm still jazzed.

One caveat to Tampa Bay's goodness: While we had no issues ourselves, I did notice a LOT of yelling and angry convention workers around, one even screaming at a woman in costume, "You wanna go to JAIL??" all because she tried to walk someplace they didn't want her to. o.0

The security seemed to think bellowing at us was helping, but I never could make out what they were saying, or where they wanted us to go. It made walking anywhere outside the vendor hall pretty tense, and seems indicative of the growing problem conventions are having with their hired security. Get it together, peeps!

Ok, think that's all you need to know about the con itself, so on with the cosplay!

YOU GUYS. Princess Jedis... and Belle is reading the Shakespearean Star Wars!! Ha!

Of course John - er, I mean Dreamfinder, had to get a photo with them:

John and I meet so many cool people at conventions that it's hard to tell which ones are readers, which like our costumes/t-shirts, and which are just being friendly. I've learned to never assume, and I don't ask unless the person calls us by name. Anyway, all that to say: Belle is a reader! Hi, Belle!

Now, check out the AMAZING leather pouch that she carved & painted herself!


This is actually a vendor:

... but sadly I don't think she was selling that adorable Soot Sprite headband. :)

Cinderella's evil step...brothers!
They're wearing bustles. YES. 

Just realized I don't think I've ever seen a gender-swapped Cinderella. Hmm - and how great would it be to see all the princesses 'swapped together? I'll have to hope for a Dragon Con group this year.

[Note: Some of you have pointed out my photo of the princess guys from DC, but I meant a more creative, re-imagined gender-swap like these two; not just guys wearing dresses. ;)]

 One my favorites of the day:

Do you recognize her? And how about that book?

Here, I'll help:

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!

One of the most beautiful Wonder Women I've seen:

And a fab Doctor trio:

It's always fun when a cosplayer surprises me, like this Sander Cohen, who really got into character for the shot:


And since I'm guessing a lot of you don't know the character:


If I had unlimited time I would start a cosplay blog with all side-by-side comparison shots of the characters. So many times you just can't appreciate the cosplayer's work without a reference!

Anytime I'm at a convention - but especially when John's in costume - I've learned to be hyper aware of cameras pointed in my direction. If I can't get out of the way, then I've learned to either turn my back or at least turn my face, so I'm not looking at the camera.


Because creepy photo bombs are creepy:

I get these a lot; people in the background innocently(?) looking our way as I'm taking a photo, and which are too difficult to photoshop out. (There's one behind the blue Beetlejuice girl, too.)

Obviously you can't always get out of the way - especially on a crowded convention floor -  but when possible, at least try to turn your head. Looking at the camera robs focus from the cosplayer - and could also majorly creep out the photographer when she's sorting through her pics later. :D

And for my fellow photogs: this is why you always take 2 or 3 photos!


Plus there's better light on her face in this shot, anyway. :)

I'll end with some adorableness from Cosplayers, The Next Generation:

When I asked for their photo these two immediately grabbed each other's hands... and then I melted from teh cute. D'awwwww.

LOTS more gorgeous cosplay coming up tomorrow, so be sure to check back!


  1. I really hate to disagree but it's pretty much your job as a photographer to wait until the person in the background is out of the way, not their job to scurry around avoiding the 10 million cameras on the floor...

    1. Oh, definitely agree; as a photographer I never expect anyone to get out of my way! I was just saying to avoid looking directly at the camera when you're in the background, when possible. I mean, if you're *looking* at it, then obviously you're aware it's there; whereas the photog is focusing (literally) on the cosplayer.

  2. I'm curious, since you use your photos on your blog, do you ask for permission? Or is it pretty much just assumed that your picture may be used on the internet when you attend a convention in costume? I love reading these posts, both here and other places, but I've always wondered if the cosplayers were asked. I've never been able to attend a convention like this, so I'm never sure of the details.

    1. I always ask for permission to *take* the photo, but yes, every cosplayer at a convention knows their photos will be posted all over. I believe all cons even have it in the fine print when you buy a ticket, that as an attendee - costumed or not - you recognize you can and will be photographed and/ or filmed. Of course, that's true of just being in public these days, but at least at a con everyone's more aware - and of course the cosplayers actually WANT to photographed - provided you ask & do so professionally - so there's that, too.

      Many cosplayers see my camera & eagerly ask if I have a card, because they're hoping to see their photo online somewhere big. (I've been asked so often that I've finally ordered some cards for DC!)

    2. If it's in a public place or newsworthy, you don't generally need permission. If you're going to monetarily benefit from the pictures it's the law to get written consent from the model(s); and often pay a fee. There are legal forms for this that (professional) photographers should carry with them so they are prepared. Otherwise, you're putting yourself at risk of being sued.

  3. Ha, yes, I think those guys were at DC 2 years in a row - here's my own pic of 'em:

  4. Great pics! Great fun!
    Love Steam Powered Giraffe! Glad you got to see them! So Jealous!!!!

    --Piper P

  5. it uber geeky for me to notice and point out that I think that Hipster Elsa/Christie is holding her snowflake like I would imagine X-men's Gambit would hold a playing card?

  6. I LOVE the evil stepbrothers! I crossplayed Dumbledore and I don't think anyone knew who I was :(

  7. Yay! Con pics!!

    I love it when you post photos of the characters who inspired the cosplayers because I almost never know who any of them are since I don't watch TV shows or play video games. You're absolutely right that having a reference makes me appreciate the cosplayer's work even more.

    I can't figure out why I enjoy photos of cosplaying so much when I never recognize the characters though. Maybe just because it's fun to see so much creativity and happiness, heh.

    Glad you're feeling better, Jen.


    1. I feel the same way! I really only play MarioKart and Okami, I've read LOTR, love Battlestar Galactica, and have seen the new Star Trek movie. Other than that, I have no clue sometimes who cosplayers are supposed to be. The reference is very useful - I would love to see more of it!

      And yes, I get excited about people dressing up and nerding out...even though I may not know what they're nerding out about! ;)

  8. I'm still trying to work out if Lilith is a person or a statue. If a person, oh my goodness that makeup is AMAZING. I have literally stared at the picture trying to figure out how they pulled it off.

  9. Out of curiosity, do you tell the organizers of these cons about the problems? Are they responsive?

  10. Belle's bag is incredible. I am in awe. Also, that last pic is ADORABLE.

  11. Thanks for taking pictures so we don't have to!

    On an unrelated note, this reminded me of you.

  12. Thanks for posting con pictures; it always brightens my days (which are dark now). I especially love the hipster Anna and Elsa since I work in a co-operative grocery store (some of my customers look like that, and of course, their obsessions with organic, GMO"s, and so-called gluten intolerance aren't sarcastic in nature!). Hands down, though, the Beetlejuice lady is the best!

    P.S. Let me clarify that there are many legitimate cases of gluten intolerance, but I never approve of fad diets or lifestyles. Then again, it's none of my business what other people choose to do with their lives. However, I'd appreciate it if they kept their nonsense to themselves (no preaching, please).

  13. If you find some magic way to extend the day to 30 hours, please do start a cosplay blog like that. Like others here I really enjoy looking at the pictures, but often miss the reference.

  14. I always try to be aware of people taking photos at cons (and apparently I'm the only one of my friends, because I'm always the one stopping them from walking into a shot), but yeah, it's kind of impossible to miss them all.

    LOVE the Jedi princesses. That bag! The LIGHTSABERS! And the gender-swapped step brothers, so awesome!

  15. I think it best to make the most of a photobomb opportunity. Put on your most epic pose. ;)

    I'm so glad you got to see Steam Powered Giraffe, Jen.

  16. I'm not sure if you were just being funny or what, but I'm pretty sure you have seen a group of gender-swapped princesses. you posted a picture of them in your Dragon Con 2013 Cosplay Part 3 post, Link: Dragon con '13: The Best Cosplay, Part 3

    1. I'm pretty sure she means serious gender-swap versions, not just guys in dresses. Like these redesigns

      by TT of Let There Be Doodles -

    2. Heh, yes, I linked that photo myself in the 2nd comment - but I don't consider those "gender-swapped" so much as cross-dressing, since they're just guys wearing regular princess costumes, and obviously intended to be a joke.

      I meant the kind of cosplay where a character is re-imagined as the opposite gender - so the "princesses" might wear pants & vests and such, have shorter hair, facial hair, etc, etc. The terminology gets really confusing, though; I think we need some kind of official cosplay dictionary. :/

  17. The security at TBCC was horrifying. :( There was actual fisticuffs in a main hallway not 15 ft from me and my kids between a patron and a guard that my husband ran and got police to get taken outside. Turns out it was all because the patron had accidentally walked in an "out" door that was unmarked!

  18. Here's a Jedi princess I found by artist Brianna Garcia.

  19. Aiieee, I know things! The Daenarys on your left (the tall one) is urulokid on Tumblr, and she's such a wonderful person! She was confused by a bunch of kids and their parents as Elsa from Frozen, and she played along, instead of trying to explain Game of Thrones to a bunch of little kids. She spent several hours taking pictures and signing autographs as Elsa, because it made the kids and their parents happy.

    1. Yes, hi, on HER left. The tall one in the picture on OUR RIGHT. Goodness. Stupid.

    2. Hi! I'm, Carrie, the tall Daenerys, and yes, I did in fact attend Metrocon a few weeks ago as Dany (same exact outfit) and was mistaken in HUGE numbers by A LOT of people for Elsa. (As in, we blocked up the entire second floor on Sunday. Whoops.) Had an Anna braid my wig and we rolled with it. Didn't sign any autographs but I did get to sing "Let it Go" on request for a very sweet group of six-year-old girls.

      When it go to the point where moms were asking me if I did birthday parties/had a card, I finally said "I'm so sorry but I'm not even cosplaying as Elsa" and they all thought it was fantastic that I'd stayed in character and everything. So yeah! Might do Elsa in the future!

  20. I kind of thought the photobomber behind Beetlejuice was good looking and wished he wasn't so out of focus. But you're probably right...he could be totally creepy, and his very fuzziness may save me from thinking how nice it would be to meet a guy at one of these cons.

  21. Just saw your hipster Elsa and Ana pic on the Geek Life website. Here's the link: Geek Life
    Hope it brings more people to your site.

  22. i think the two khaleesis would have made way better margaery (left) and cersei (right)...

  23. I was chuckling about the photo bomb in the beetlejuice picture. At least he gave a goofy expression rather than staring creepily into my soul.

  24. The Wonder Woman is Callie Cosplay! She's really sweet and has done some amazing cosplays and photo shoots, here's a link to her facebook:


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