To start off the new year and a new website, I wanted to not only cover topics on cosplay, but also convention experiences as well! So from this point forward I want to share my convention experiences with you about how I enjoyed the convention!
This year I got the wonderful opportunity to attend Katsucon 2018 thanks to some convincing by my girlfriend. Originally I was very content with having Colossalcon as my only out of state convention that I attended. However after 2017's Colossalcon, I knew it was time to try out more conventions.
Our little party of four stayed about thirty minutes away , across the bridge and in Virginia at the Holiday Inn. The hotel was very nice and I really enjoyed staying there although it didn't go so smoothly at first. We were checked in at night after a long day of being in airports on Thursday. The first issue to pop up was that the girl checking us in said they had run out of room keys to give out and that she was never told where to get more ( It was also her first week on the job) . I'm sure you can guess why this presented its first problem... Well luckily we managed to get that along with a few other things sorted out , and finally get checked into our hotel room. As an apology for the wait, the woman at the service desk did give use free parking, which let me tell you ... that was a godsend, considering how much parking was near the Gaylord... and everywhere else. Our room was very spacious and the beds were comfortable. The bathroom was a bit cramped and the mirror and sink was inside the bathroom. After unpacking, we all got prepared for Friday ( Day 1) of Katsucon, and went to bed.
If your group is on a budget and you don't mind the drive, staying at the Holiday Inn & Suites is a great place. Its about 30 minutes from both Washington D.C. and the Gaylord Convention Center.
Katsucon Day 1 (Friday):
It was Friday! The first official day of Katsucon!
Each one of us got up early and ready as quick as we could so that we could make it on time for booked photoshoot appointments and so-on. My photoshoot with Affliction Photography was the first shoot of the day. So everyone , except will (Wilgamesh) , hurried and got into costume. Roni (timeblaster) and Amanda (AMS Cosplay) were dressed as Luna and Gentiana from FFXV, and I was dressed as Nero from the Fate Series.
Once we were ready to go, we hopped in the car and drove to the con.
Since I was pressed for time, Will and Amanda offered to drop Roni and I off at the convention center while they looked for parking.
Let me tell you.. walking into that convention for the first time is unreal... Immediately when walking in I saw nothing but amazing cosplays and costumes. There were already so many amazing and beautiful costumes!! I was only a few feet into the convention and about to go down the elevator when I spotted so many elaborate costumes , and cosplayers I had seen all over social media. Katsucon is truly the convention where cosplayers are in top form and show up with the best of the best costumes. It was overwhelming and nothing like any convention I had ever been to prior to that.
Roni and I thankfully had a bit of time before my photoshoot, because already I was having a costume malfunction. The straps keeping up my knee guards on my boots had fallen off and will had the tape. So while we waited for them, we slowly made our way to the doors leading outside. Five minutes Will and Amanda showed up to the rescue and I was able to get my costume repaired for my shoot.
We all made it out to the docks and I got to meet up with Affliction Photography. He was a photographer I deeply admire for his work and I knew I had to book a shoot with him when I found out he was going to Katsucon.
Now look.... I am a born and raised Floridian. The only time I like the cold is when I am
sleeping and when I am working on costumes. So it was pretty chilly outside and Nero did little to help. Thankfully it wasn't to bad and once we got started I warmed up quickly.
The photo shoot session was $50 for a half hour, and we got some lovely shots on the dock.
You wouldn't guess that I was actually cold in this shot... Affliction did an amazing job!
After the photo shoot we had met up briefly for an hour with Roni and Amanda again.
Will and I were stopped a couple of times and I got to take photos with some awesome Fate Fans and even film with Chong Ahn to be apart of his cosplay music video! It was an honor!
You can check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2WxLJnoyko
They had left will and I during the shoot to go enjoy the convention, before they had their own photo shoot to go to. All of us took the time to grab a quick bite to eat before it was time for their photo shoot and for me to prepare my next shoot with my good friend Francisco Nazario Photography.
Frank is a wonderful photographer I have shot with for the past four years, and in that time we both have pushed each other to do better with our own work.
I had expressed to him that for these photos I wanted to do something different from his usual photos and we both worked together to get some magical shots like this one.
I had a lot of time to kill before my shoot with Kay Inoue Photography.
So once we all met back up again we decided to head back to the hotel room for some rest, before changing into our costumes for the night.
I originally planned to stay in Nero, but after complications I decided to change into Diamond and it was back to the con.
We had stayed in the hotel a little later than expected... so I was late to my shoot. However Kay was a sweetie and still fit me in.
Our group decided to check out the Gazebo area. It was so crowded and set me into a mini panic attack from being so over whelmed. Thankfully we were right next to the bar haha. I got a drink and my nerves calmed down in time to try and brave the gazebo crown to meet up with Kay and do the shoot.
After the shoot we all agreed it was time to go back to the hotel.
I also had a fun time that night learning how to make a fake beard for Will's cosplay the next day.
Katsucon Day 2 ( Saturday):
Saturday was little more relaxed , for me, for getting ready. I had the easiest costume lol.
It was the day of our Fate group and I was super excited. Roni and I did Enkidu and Gilgamesh together and Will and Amanda did Iskandar and Atalanta.
I helped Will with his first time ever doing make-up and a wig. I also applied the beard and wig. He looked amazing if I say so myself.
Then once everyone was ready it was back off to the con. We stopped for Mc.Donalds and I snuck selfies during the car ride.
Once we were at the con poor Roni was freezing , so I took her inside while Will and
Amanda looked for a parking space again. So while we waited, Roni and I camped out
in a little spot by the escalator. We met so many fabulous fate cosplayers while we were there. I was in Fate heaven.
After we all met back up again it was time for Roni and I to meet our photographer to go shoot Enkidu and Gilgamesh. It was also my last paid photo shoot at the convention, and after that it was NO MORE DEADLINES woo!! We got to shoot with the wonderful KMP Nguyen, who was not only super sweet, but listened very well and worked with us to get the shots we wanted. The photo shoot was for an hour and in the middle of the photo shoot it began snowing!!! It was the second time in my life I ever saw snowfall, with the first being when I was 5 years old. The experience was so magical. Better than a trip to Disney in my opinion. I was happy over the smallest things... and to see that snowflakes were actually shaped like all of the photos you see and not little white round dots made me giggle like a child. It also wasn't as cold as I expected it to be? However I was the one in a costume that was basically a potato sack. The remainder of the shoot was dodging security and people traffic , but we did really well. A hint to you readers..... if you wear a long wig like mine was.... don't loose your hair tie that you used to keep the wig nice in a braid with.
I am still detangling my wig from Katsu....
Once the shoots were over, we were finally free of deadlines to go off and enjoy the con.
A good hint though: Be prepared for long lines for food. The lines to get food at the convention center its self on Saturday were insane.
While we waited for the Fate Meet-up to start , Amanda had her own photoshoot she went off to do and I took a few photos of Will in his Iskandar cosplay.
None of us decided to get a badge, since we were all pretty broke from traveling, but Katsucon is an easy enough con to hallway con. However If you can get a badge please do and support the convention!
Once it was time for the Fate shoot we headed up stairs. The meet up was HUGE , and there were at least a hundred cosplayers or more at the meet up. We couldn't fit the whole group in one shot together, so it was divided into four. It lasted about an hour, but they made sure to cover all of the games and cosplayers. I chuckled when it was time for the Fate Strange Fake group , since we were one of the smallest groups. That's what you get though when the Part of the Fate series you are from was originally adopted from a fan manga by the creator of Baccano! and Durarara!!!
All in all it was a great time and we all really enjoyed ourselves.
However it was time for saturday night shinanigans and we all went back to change into casual fate cosplay ( Except for Amanda who was wanted to stay in Atalanta and rock it even more. )
I got to steal Roni's Lion Kigu and do Lion saber and I felt SO CUTE. I vowed to get a kigu after wearing it. Saturday night was amazing and had some of my favorite moments. We celebrated Roni's 21st birthday, and I met new friends. This night I will never forget.
We laughed , got food, had fun and just enjoyed the night before heading back late for some much needed sleep.
Katsucon Day 3 ( Sunday ) :
Sunday, the final day. Sunday was everyone's chill day. We took our time to wake up and get ready for the con. Roni and I were dressed up as Diamond and Phos from Houseki no Kuni, Amanda was dressed up and looked so pretty as Yona, and will was back to his regular self.
We arrived at the convention around 12pm , It was really cold, and the walk to the con was pure torture for Roni and I. Booty shorts are not great for cold weather.
We had time and decided to walk around the con for a bit before the rumored meet up for Houseki no Kuni. A couple of us found each other at the fountain and soon found out after that the person running the even had gotten sick. Well being cosplayers who knew a thing or two about running meet-ups, Roni and I took charge and we managed to get everything organized as possible. I'd say the meet up was quite successful too !!!
There were so many beautiful cosplayers. ( and I will include the photos at the end )
After the meet up we met with Ohtalku to be apart of his convention film. It was a lot of fun to do and I did get a little dirty, but its all for the sake of the video !!!
You can check it out here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIN1JxwvYeo&feature=share
When we were done, the four of us decided to end our Katsucon trip with a trip to D.C.
However I will save that for another blog. <3