I outdid myself and hit a lot of conventions this year. Most of these conventions, well all of them were on the east coast. Each one was unique and came with its own set of problems along with joys. Three out of the five conventions I attended were repeat conventions but I definitely enjoyed the new ones as they were a breath of fresh air. I was determined to attend as many conventions as possible this year and meet as many new cosplayers as I could. As a result, I made tons of new friends and captured thousands of great images. A few can be found HERE! I’m still working on the rest from my most recent convention, AWA.
More importantly, I wanted to discuss my experiences and favorite conventions of the year along with which conventions I will be returning to and why. Once again this is just based on my personal experiences as both a cosplayer and photographer. Hopefully, I can give you some insight into each convention and help you narrow down which east coast cons you plan to attend. And with that being said, let’s jump into my favorite east coast anime conventions.
First up we have AWA. This used to be my favorite con but is a close second to my new favorite convention (Momocon). AWA is based in Atlanta Georgia and is one of the largest east coast conventions with over 30,000 in attendance. The quality of cosplayers at this convention is absolutely astounding. To get an idea about some of the amazing cosplays you can see at this convention, click HERE. Everything from the cosplay contest to the panels and game room are astounding at AWA. It’s extremely spacious with most cosplayers favoring the middle of the Renaissance Waverly Hotel as there hang out spot. If you hang around this location and the Cobb Galleria hallways you are sure to see some amazing cosplays.
Unfortunately, over the past few years, they have become extremely strict with photography. Photographers are no longer allowed to set up large lights and any other photography equipment in the nearby park. They state this is private property and do not want us photographing the buildings. You are free to take pictures so long as you do not bring professional equipment with you. This was a huge let down as many of us favor this spot as its very scenic and offers some amazing backgrounds for cosplay photography. Hopefully they will eventually abandon this rule and let cosplayers do what they do best, cosplay.
This was my first year attending this con and though ill admit it wasn’t extremely spacious, it made up for this fact with sheer excitement, enthusiasm and aww! The fact that we were all in close proximity actually promoted new friendships and admiration of the hard work others had put into their cosplays. And don’t even get me started on the amount of dancing that took place as the DJ is in the dead center of the first floor. I’ll admit I’m a bit biased as he was bumping reggae and socca and these are definitely two of my favorite genres.
This was also the first convention I got to take a salsa class at. Im sure other conventions offer this but I guess I never considered such things at conventions. Out of all the events I attended at this convention, I would have to say the cosplay contest and comedians hired for the event made it special. Maybe it was the overwhelming support the crowd gave for the cosplayers as they paraded their outfits or the fact that I got to see @cutiepiesensie and @cin_von_quinzel again but something about this con was special. I will definitely be returning again this year.
Similar to Blerdcon, this was my first year attending momocon. This con was way more than I expected but in a good way. It was actually my first con of the year. This con has everything and I mean EVERYTHING! It was extremely spacious, had tons of amazing cosplayers and the dealer’s room was sure to help you overdraft your bank account. I easily took over 1000 pictures at this convention over the course of two days. Aside from the indoor photos I took, I also got the pleasure of photographing my good friend @the_resident_workhorse, @stellaranebula, @darkhyperion and @shaucatcosplay along with many other cosplayers for private shoots. Some of which can be found Here!
This convention has stolen the number one spot from me, with AWA previously holding the title. I really think it was the sheer size of the event along with the boundless cosplayers that attend this convention that did it for me. I really enjoyed the anime music videos along with the cosplay contest. If you haven’t noticed by now, cosplay contests are really my thing and the cosplays seen at this convention were unbelievable. I can’t imagine the amount of time that some of these people put into their costumes. They were damn near flawless and will surely inspire any upcoming cosplay artists.
This is the second of two conventions that are close to my hometown of charlotte. Although this convention is rather small, I met some amazing cosplayers and formed some awesome relationships with individuals. Unfortunately, I did not attend any panels or the cosplay contest at this convention so I cannot comment on them. But, this was the first convention I met @my_neverending_dreamz at and photographed his amazing saber Lancelot cosplay. If you haven’t seen it definitely check it out here. For photographers, this convention offers a gorgeous miniature bridge and indoor illuminated sculpture for pics.
Last but not least we have Queen City Animecon. This is definitely a con to hit if you are a North Carolina native and enjoy more relaxed cons. Of course, you are more than welcomed to come even if you do not live inside North Carolina but it’s not as large as AWA or Momocon. This can be great if large cons make you nervous or give you a bit of anxiety. You can meet up with friends much easier and sit back and chill without feeling the need to always be on the move. I also did not attend any panels or the cosplay contest at this convention so I cannot comment on them
But I did take several pictures at this convention which can be found HERE. Side note, this convention used to be held at the Hilton in university. This location offered a much better backdrop for photography. Now the convention is being held at the Sheraton Uptown. Although not as scenic, this new location does offer Marshall Park and Romare Bearden Park as possible spots for photography. In particular, Romare Bearden Park has a gorgeous waterfall that changes colors. This is one of my favorite parks in all of Charlotte so definitely utilize this spot for a few memorable shots.
The only other convention I hit this year was NYC Comicon. I wasn’t able to capture many images from this convention and I mostly spent my time wandering with friends in the dealers room so I will have to wait until next year to give you a better overview of this convention. If you are undecided about which east cost cons to head to, I hope this quick look will help narrow your decision. I plan to head to several other conventions next year and will definitely give you an update on each of those cons. Thanks so much again for checking out my post and for more awesome cosplay news click Here. That’s everything for today, until next time, stay BOUNDLESSS!!!