2016 – Year in Review
I know the running meme of #f***2016 is going around a lot due to the deaths of so many influential people (as well as the elections in at least two major Western Countries, including my own), but if I am to be totally honest, 2016 was actually pretty good to me. Besides the usual of having a steady job with decent flexibility, I’ve also met a lot of people after being rather shut out from my local community in 2015.
The best way I can describe this year is this: You’re at Disneyland and managed to get to the front of the line for a lot of rides. Some of them were closed, but some really fun ones weren’t. There’s a lot of good food too. Unfortunately you ate again right before a really fast roller coaster and now you’re vomiting on the ground and being asked to leave the park before watching the fireworks show.
Ok, let’s get the bad out of the way:
2016 - Worst 3:
#3) AX Videographers
Many cons, especially Anime Expo, have had videographers doing Cosplay Music Videos (CMVs) for years and I have always tried to work around them and not get in the way of their work. I know what it’s like for some <expletive> to ruin the shot. However, as the years continued, many of them have begun to exhibit elitist attitudes to photographers, including myself. On Sunday night, a popular CMV Youtuber out right yelled at me for interrupting him despite the fact that he was clearly checking his footage at the time. Up until that point, Anime Expo 2016 had been a very successful convention for me, so having it ruined by 1 person towards the end…
I’ve had many CMV makers out right yank a cosplayer from their scheduled shoots, including my own, to do 30 minutes of filming. In the past, I have allowed it as I do not want to be “that jerk” they all talk about at drinking parties at night. However after this year, I am enforcing a ZERO TOLLERANCE POLICY. I’ve tried to be friendly, I’ve tried to be nice. But years of bad behavior and I have finally hit my limit for all videographers.
#2) Fanime 2016
Excuse me, Fairmont San Jose? Did you say I won’t have my hotel room? I took the CalTrain and VTA over to the hotel and re-secured my hotel room the day before the con. Thankfully I managed to do this, but I know many people who cons / schedules were ruined because they had to transfer to one of the hotels near San Jose Airport. I haven’t checked on the REASONING for this, but this is just plain inexcusable. Especially with 0 refunds to the victims.
Besides hotel issues, between the heat and the heavily booked schedule (almost half of which canceled day-of or never showed up), the con was rather…meh. That should not be Fanime, period.
I was told to get a room so that I could do shoots there, but then many of the people who agreed to do it cancelled and did not show up. If I had known that would happen, I would either cancel before the deadline or not book the room. That was money that could have been used to travel across the country for off-con shoots with people more than willing to help make it happen. Definitely in my Top 5 Worst Experiences as BlizzardTerrak.
Ok, I would like to do a Top 3, but honestly I only need 2. So hopefully that illustrates how good of a there were to eclipse the bad things above:
2016 - Best 2:
#2) New Friends / Clients on the East and West
I have made it clear how much I dislike that area due to the cost as well as the limited amount of spaces to shoot. That said, I am thankful that many cosplayers who did shoot with me, both planned and unplanned. And this year, I actually have convention photoshoot-quality photos from these events I can be proud of in the future. Much of the credit goes to the cosplayers who did shoots with me.
#1) MAGFest 2016
I’ve had many photographers tell me to do more out-of-state conventions. After this con, I can see why. As a photographer, it is important for photographers to seek out new conventions and new cosplayers. And to boldly go where no NorCal Photographer has gone before *insert Star Trek: The Next Generation theme here*.
I thought it would be more stressful since I am in a new environment (and a new time zone), but the cosplayers and even photographers there were relaxed and chill. I got to drop my guard and derp around with them despite it being my first day there. MAGFest 2016 will be a career highlight for me. I am sad I won’t be able to attend the 2017 one due to work, but I do hope to visit and shoot in the East Coast again. Just let me know which events to attend.
2016 was rough a good chunk of the time, but at least those of you who are still with me and those who take the time out of their con, event, or even their personal lives to shoot with me:
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
You are the reason why I keep pushing forward.
And to the Undiscovered Country we see ourselves approaching in 2017....there really is only one phrase that we should all hold onto:
NEVER GIVE UP!
Hopefully before the end of the year, I hope to do a “Best In <CATEGORY>” Photoset that will be posted on the Facebook Page (and probably on Twitter / Instagram). Many will or should be on my portfolio on DeviantArt and probably posted on a website someday. Comment below as to what categories you want (please be reasonable with the categories and keep it positive).
Till next post.