Monday, September 2, 2019

Dragon Con 2019: Our 10 Year Anniversary!

I didn't pack my laptop for Dragon Con this weekend, which is why I've been a little MIA here on the blog. (You didn't even notice, did you? OOF, the pain.) John and I are doing daily cosplay videos again this year, so every night John needs the one laptop we brought for video editing - meaning I can't get at it to ramble on to you guys about how much fun I'm having. Blurg. Again, just bad planning on my part.

I've tried to make up for the lack of blog posts with lots and lots of Instagram Stories, but I have so much - SO MUCH - to tell you guys, and it's just not the same. So while John's taking a shower let's see how much I can cram in here.



 A couple of favorites from my Stories.

I just realized this is our tenth year coming to Dragon Con, and so much has changed since then. For one, I think my photos are a little better now:



 
A photo from yesterday.

Back then I was so timid getting photos, always afraid to interrupt or yell to get someone's attention. I remember running around like mad, sliding in front of some awesome cosplayer on my knees - so I didn't block anyone trying to take a photo behind me - and then often feeling a pang of frustration and failure when they never looked at my camera. I saw all the "professional" photographers around me and envied their confidence, their ease at directing people and taking up that person's time.

This weekend, I WAS that professional photographer. Sure, I'm still not as bold or brash or loud as some others, but I'll happily yell to ask permission. I make eye contact. I take up space. I clap my hands and scream out "I love you" to total strangers. I even give photo directions now, asking people to move or drop their chin or swing a battle axe. And all the while, I'm having the time of my life.


Ten years ago I didn't know anyone, not at this convention or any other. I was an anonymous face in the crowd, fangirling over amazing cosplayers and wishing I knew people half as cool and creative.

This weekend John and I have been nearly mobbed by you guys. Even after two scheduled Epbot meets (one of which we had to move because there were so many of you), we've had dozens more readers find us and hug our necks, scream our names, give us gifts, or just yell "I love you." I've also lost count of the number of amazing cosplayers who, as we're taking their photo or video, suddenly say, "Jen? JEN!!" 


This was the first FOE meetup. We forgot to take a photo at the second 'til nearly everyone had left, so then we just did a big group selfie:


After John and I filmed a fantastic Korg from Thor: Ragnorak last night he started making motions like he was speaking, so our friend Alexie ran over and leaned in to the massive rock creature to hear what he was saying. "He says Epbot is his favorite blog," she reported back with a grin, and I nearly started to cry right there in the crowded Marriott lobby. These people I've fangirled over for a decade, you guys, they know me. A lot of them even like what I do. That's... well, it's nearly 1AM on my third day of sleep deprivation, so I don't have the words. But it's pretty dang cool.

(This is a terrible quality screencap from a video clip, but hopefully you get the idea.)

John's out of the shower now and he has another video to edit before we can go to sleep tonight, so just one more story:

Last night while we were taking black-out flash photos I asked a woman for her photo - just like I've done thousands of times - and when I saw that the photo came out especially well, I whipped the camera around to show her and demanded, "Did you KNOW you were this gorgeous?"

The woman took one look, and then did something I've never had anyone do before: she burst into tears. Happy tears. "I look like an action figure," she whispered, and then proceeded to thank us again and again, in between asking for our info so she could get a copy. I think we were all choked up by the time John and I walked away.

So even with folks who don't know us, I think we're making an impact. At least we're making people smile. I'm giving out 50 compliments an hour and sopping up all the happy feelings in return.

What a difference a decade can make.

I'll have more Dragon Con stories for you later, but for now I'll end with the fruits of our video-making labors. As tired as I am (we stay up 'til dawn each night editing these), I think I could go on taking photos and videos of cosplay forever. I hope that joy and enthusiasm comes through, and these leave you grinning as much as I am right now.

Friday:



Saturday:



Stay tuned for Sunday's video, plus all my flash portraits and more Stories!



19 comments:

  1. And don’t forget all the people who visit cons vicariously through your blog - not only am I in England, but I can’t travel far because of my health. I get to see so much good stuff at the US cons purely because you show it to me 💓💓💓

    And Rambo Brite is fabulous! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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  2. I agree with Heather- I got to go to DC once, but then my kids came along and getting away is hard! And just impossible with a baby geekling due this week, so I've been enjoying it vicariously through you and Instagram pictures from friends who did go. Also, the plushy Ringwraith horses are great, it makes me happy to see that my favorite fandom is alive and well!

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  3. Welp. You made me cry. Happy anniversary!! 💖

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  4. I love the way all the people seem to be dancing. Was there music playing that they all heard and danced to? It seems like everyone was dancing to the same beat.
    As for going to Cons, like the previous folks mentioned, my granddaughter went to one last year, but they are way beyond grandma here.

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    1. There was music inside, yes; the hotels have DJs blasting VERY LOUD tunes. That said, most folks weren't dancing 'til we asked, so it was extra fun for us to see what they busted out with. (Almost everyone danced when we asked; only one or two refused!) There's no music outside, but that didn't stop anyone; they still boogied down just as hard when we asked, hah.

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  5. Absolutely, as another Brit, its wonderful being able to see the really big cons over there without having to work out transatlantic flights etc - not that I wouldn't love to attend in person, but its just not an option right now. I adore going through your con posts and feeling the energy and joy that people have just geeking out and having fun!

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  6. It's a good weekend to be out of Florida, but I'm worried about your house and especially your cats! I hope you have taken them with you!

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  7. Bob Davros -- I'm dying.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, you got it!! I'm ashamed to say we had to ask; that's a tricky pun right there, lol.

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  8. LindaS (from PDX FOEs)September 2, 2019 at 4:33 PM

    Jen and John. These are a-ma-zing! Can’t believe you edited and posted the videos so quickly. You have become outstanding photographers and videographers, to the great pleasure of your fans. Thank you x 1000

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  9. Ranbo Brite just made my day (which was in serious need of making!). Thank you!

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  10. I love that Radar and Klinger! Radar's bear is perfect. <3 And very cool to see a Jeannie and Tony in Saturday's video! But I think my favorite has to be that Clue group, with game piece hats. I hope we'll get to see a still pic of them!

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    1. I love the I Dream of Jeannie reference, too, but I think it’s supposed to be Tony’s buddy Rodger and Jeannie’s evil twin sister.

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  11. Mwah, Jen. I love hearing you sound so happy, giving and receiving joy <3 <3

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  12. I was getting my picture taken by a bunch of people and someone with a video camera and a director came at me. I had no idea it was you!!! Thank you for including my Granny and Tweety in your Sunday video. I am stoked! <3

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  13. Korg is a friend of mine from College (circa '98/'99). I'm so happy to see him on your blog!!

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  14. I'm tired and emotional, and I sat down to read these while eating breakfast before I run out the door to my first job of the day. . . (started with the post you put on facebook today and worked backwards). . . and here I sit with tears streaming down. Could barely choke down my toast for the snuffling. I'm so happy for you and with you in this moment. I love Epbot and its FoEs.

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  15. Someone may have just startled the cat from sleep by shrieking "TOONCES THE CAT WHO CAN DRIVE A CAR?!?!?!?"

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  16. Rambo Brite here...

    I posed for SOOOOO many pics that night and this is the first I've seen of 'em

    Thanks for the great shot!!!

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