Sunday, January 14, 2018

Better Late Than Never? Holiday Matsuri 2017, Part 2!

I know I already showed you guys most of my favorite Christmas cosplays from Holiday Matsuri last month, but wait, there's more!

 We'll just say she's more "Winter" than Christmas. :D

Look at all these gorgeous details! The fur collar, the poinsettias - and I love how she did her eye makeup with that blushing at the temples. 

HolMat really is THE con for big beautiful gowns, you guys:

In fact I only learned about HolMat through local cosplayers I follow online, who all see it as a can't-miss for the year. For a small con HolMat has a huge emphasis on cosplay, and was only the second con I've been to where I felt like the ladies noticeably outnumbered the men. (The first being Leaky Con.) 

Except when it came to the photographers, of course. Those are all men. Always. (Someday I'm going to write a post about this... but not today. NOT TODAY JEN FOCUS.)

Ahem. Right, 'nuff chatter. ON TO MORE PRETTIES:

Her cape was completely covered in (silk) autumn leaves! And look at that blue ombre fade!

Ooh, here's a funny one:

 I'm not sure this MST3K guy could even make it into the vendor hall, ha!

If you only follow one pro cosplayer online, make it Alyson Tabbitha:

 I said this before, but I've never seen anyone so sincerely kind and generous with her fans - not to mention OFF THE CHARTS talented. You won't believe her makeup test of Sarah from Labyrinth isn't an actual photo of Jennifer Connelly!

Alyson was the most popular guest at the HolMat by far, and always had a long line. When she dressed as Widow Maker her line was filled some pretty spectacular Overwatch cosplay, and I was Geeking. OUT. over this Halloween Roadhog, aka, "Junkenstein's Monster":

 I only wish my photo did her justice; we were experimenting with flash again, and you can see we had some less-than-great results.

Hang on, you non-players need a photo to compare:

That is one hard-as-heck cosplay, gang, and she nailed it. 

Confession: John and I've had serious talks (that I eventually vetoed, so don't get too excited) about making Roadhog's Christmas skin. I'll let you google it for a laugh. :D

Also in line that day: a Valkyrie Mercy and humanized Orisa:

Love Orisa's face paint - it's elegant and beautifully in-character.

This Sombra had the most gorgeous holographic trim on her coat:

She even had the pose down! Look!
I love doing side-by-sides like this sometimes; helps you guys really see the attention to detail.

K, last Overwatch one (for now), Widowmaker in her "Odette" ballerina skin:

In a perfect world all my flash photos would look like this:
There was a white wall just far enough away in the background to give that subtle vignette - isn't it lovely? I need to learn how to fake that in photoshop now, ha. And let's not skip over this witch's oh-so-perfect hat & dress! I like that color - kind of a gray-green.

This next shot was obviously too close to the background doors, but at least you can see her dress really well!
Again, still learning with this whole photography thing. ;) There were so many different light situations around the con that I was constantly changing my settings on the fly.

Tag, you're IT!

This Moana is wearing my favorite of her outfits:
So well-done - and her oar! WOW.

Pretty Corpse Bride:

 I love photographing reds and whites with flash - though I'm not sure on this character:

 Definitely anime - somebody tell me in the comments, k?

 Lilith and Nisha from Borderlands:
 I just realized Lilith made her tattoos red and green for Christmas! Ha! That's awesome.

  I already showed you the two Emilys as Rose and Pearl from Steven Universe in my first HolMat post, but I've edited a few more since then, and I think they're too pretty not to share:

One advantage/problem of knowing me in person, cosplayers: I *will* take more pics of you, since I'm more comfortable wasting your time if you're a friend. :D

Of course the problem for ME is I'm terrified my pics aren't good enough if I actually know you, and I put off posting them forever because what if you don't like them? Can I edit them better? Maybe I should start all over...? ARG.

Anyway, Emily and Emily, hope you like these. 

 Speaking of Steven Universe, this is super Christmassy but too cute to skip:

 Sapphire and Ruby!

Just a little thing, but I love that Ruby wore red gloves instead of Santa white ones. Now when they pose like this you can tell their hands apart! Smart.

Oops, I lied about no more Overwatch cosplay; here's Winged Victory Mercy:

That's Delaney, one of the cosplayers I follow on Instagram. 

And here she is the day before as Sypha from Netflix's Castlevania, which I still need to watch:

Not gonna lie; I'm pretty stoked we got all three faces well-lit! That's tricky with flash.
Another drop-dead gorgeous gown:
I kinda botched the full-length, but look how nice for the close-up:

That's all hand-stitched beading and gems and lace, btw. WOW.

This Queen of Hearts is stylin' - look at all that lace! 

 Note to Self: Stop aiming at windows. Dangit.

Let's end with a little more royalty:
At first I thought the girl on the right was a gender-swapped Huntsman from Snow White, but now I don't know. Help?

 I really like the princesses' flower baskets:
It'd be awesome if the flowers were false lids, so they could use them for storage. Instead they're both wearing backpacks, which actually works great; you can barely see the straps!

K gang, that's all I've got for now! As always these are only my top favorites, so you can head to my Flickr Gallery to see all my Holiday Matsuri photos in one place.

My next cosplay event is Universal's Celebration of Harry Potter at the end of this month, which always brings out the most magical guest costumes. Locals, if you need inspiration - or just want to gawk, which you should - be sure to check out my photos from last year: Here's Part 1 and Part 2!


  1. The cosplay with the autumn leaf cape is Keyleth from Critical Role! (A D&D Twitch show) LOVE ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Oh wow! She did a fantastic job!

    2. Ha, I'm glad someone else picked that out! The antlers are a dead giveaway.

  2. I really like the window behind the queen of hearts! In the second picture, it looks like she's in her throne room with a gorgeous garden behind her.

    1. I like that the second pic shows reflection from the floor as well, that's a cool effect! Also I have to lol at the contrast between the holiday/winter themed costumes and the sunny Florida palm trees outside :D

    2. Aha! In that case, let's pretend that was ALL INTENTIONAL. ;)

    3. Sitting in ice and snow at 6 degrees Fahrenheit in Kansas, I thought that was a backdrop until I read your explanation :p Palm trees are the sort of thing we see in movies. I went to California once, and remember being amazed that they just grew wild!

  3. I wonder if the third woman with Snow White and Aurora is Snow White from Once Upon a Time?

    1. Ooh, that could be it; she DID have a fur collar and vest, though it wasn't striped. Ok, that's the theory to beat for now.

    2. Yep!

  4. Is this con kind of a smaller one? I'm looking to get my con training wheels on and this one looks so pretty and fun, but I'm worried the crowds may be too much for my anxiety. I actually went to a small first-year con in Maryland (PotterverseCon) sans meds, no less (accidentally) and it was fun and not too crowded.

  5. Do you ever ask people who they're cosplaying? I know you've said it can be hard to have more than a few minutes with people so this wouldn't always work, but I would think that a quick, "I love your cosplay but I don't recognize it - what character are you?" would help later. I'm sure people understand that not everyone is going to recognize them automatically.

  6. Thanks for sharing your learning in process, it really helps remind me there is always more to learn and trying is better than not learning new things.

  7. My first ever cosplay was as a fairy to the great lakes medieval fair and i had a basket with flowers in it that was a lid! it worked great! i even put my camera in there (old school heavy 35mm slr number)!

  8. Beautiful photos! That first gown is absolute perfection <3.

  9. Oooh, I think it's awesome you're sharing the non-perfect flash experiments! Can you imagine how delightfully boring an entire post of gorgeous cosplay and dramatic dark backgrounds would be?
    Pinkie Welborne, 17

  10. Huh, I was thinking that the anime character is an alternate-costume version of Asuna from Sword Art Online, but after an image search, I couldn't find something that matched. So maybe not. There, that was helpful, wasn't it?

  11. The Rose is so spot on an beautiful . Steven Universe is amazing and on my list to show my daughter when she gets older. So pretty...


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