ConBravo 2014: First and Wet

At last-minute I decided to finally attend ConBravo which takes place in Hamilton ON, I’m not sure what took me so long to finally attend, but I’m glad I did as to me it’ll somewhat be filling the void left by the late Con-G.

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I only attended the Friday and Saturday but got a decent look on how the con functions. Right off the bat I have to say with how gleeful I was on how everything was geographically nearby. Paid parking at the convention center, hotel across the street, restaurants right beside that, photoshoot locations in almost any direction. The only thing that literally dampened the weekend was the rain. It wasn’t excessive, but it was enough to need to take shelter under some sort of building. Again, everything being so close and that there were skywalks really helped out.

Artists chatting with Attendees

I didn’t attend much of the programming, I’m still really bad on that but I’m trying to be better! I did look over the program guide and saw a variety of panels and showings so most people should have been able to find some events to their interest. Speaking of events, there was a protest “Free Palestine” on Saturay at 1pm at City hall (right across the street from the con) regarding the events that are taking place in the east. I did not see the protest rally a CH but did witness the marching later-on on the streets. For those wondering, it was a peaceful rally with friendly protestors, one of them even strongly suggest I take a shot of him and the model during one of my sessions! : )

Peaceful March down King Street

I had a total of 7 shoots at ConBravo, in all of them I got to try out my new 50mm lens. Not only there but also in my general con coverage I walked around taking shots with the bad boy on. It’s a fine focal length to have between my 35 and 85mm lenses.

I had fun meeting new and interesting and crazy people throughout the two days, and it keeps reminding me whenever I interact with younger people, about how I’m getting older and how different it’s all becoming! This is a more inner deeper troubling issue to myself and has nothing to do with ConBravo itself, haha… The registration/pre-reg line did seem to process a bit slow, hopefully that'll be sped up next year. Otherwise the ConBravo staff did a good job running the convention, I didn't hear anything bad and everyone I met was friendly!

Handsome Jeff

I noticed there were some signs up at the convention that said no outside food or drinks, which if you’re eating a restaurant isn’t an issue, but to my curiosity I’m wondering if that includes outside water bottles… I’m not sure if this was a ConBravo rule, but probably a convention center regulation so that their own concession stands were to make some sales. If I was to make a suggestion for any such signs (for any convention), make it cute and interesting! All-capital negative comments plastered everywhere on blank sheets of paper kills some of the anime mood and is a visual eyesore. Spice it up with an image of a Kirby holding up a sign saying “No Outside Food” or a Snorlax crossing his arms and denying you entrance if you’re bringing in food. It’s a minor point about the food signs, but something that rubbed me the wrong way.

There was a good list of guests attending ConBravo, many youtubers of music and games. When you’re at a smaller con like this you don’t really know who you’re going to see if you didn’t look at the guest list; I was talking in a small group of people when one of them made a comment about either my beard or my camera (typical…) and I thought to myself “this guy looks familiar…”. Only later did I find out Pat the NES punk was attending the con and that’s when it clicked in, it was him. At least, I’m pretty sure it was… I guess I may never know!

Surface Pro 3's on display to use and play Games on

So with all that, I can safely say I’ll be coming back next year! I enjoy the fact that it’s only an hour away, the $40 cost of the badge if fair, the venue location is great, and I enjoyed meeting with the local photographers/cosplayers who attended the con. If you’re in the SWO area I say go check-out this small-yet-growing con next year. Oh and ask for some sunshine to.

Be sure to check out the Full Gallery if you haven't already.