Category Archives: Photography

Denver Comic Con Review

Not Pictures – Heels.

So yesterday I ventured out to Denver Comic Con in downtownDenver.  I’d never actually been to the convention center so parking was… delightful.  You’d think since I work downtown I would have had an easier time, but no $20 for parking as I was in heels and a corset (see picture).  However my own personal discomfort aside I was there to help out the Crusade of Legends crew, as well as go to my first (gasp) comic con.  I wasn’t terribly sure what to expect, and was concerned I was perhaps a little overdressed.  Thankfully I was far from it!  The costumes were fantastic! I was really impressed to see Denver’s geek community out in force and in full regalia!

This was Denver’s first year with the convention and it looked like it was incredibly successful!  Guessing from the initial numbers I heard, the con will probably have seen 30k in attendance, however as I was attending as a volunteer my perspective may have been admittedly skewed.  I was hanging out watching the immensely long lines to get into the convention; however this did give me a front row seat to some amazing costumes (pictured).

I think these are My Little Ponies?

I’ve found that as media, volunteer, or presenter as opposed to an attendee it seriously skews your vision, experience, and understanding of these events.  Honestly I can’t remember the last convention I just… went to as opposed to running something or helping organize.  As an attendee it’s like a deranged holiday – you run around you see the shiny things and it’s like recess for a day for gamers.  However I’ve been on the other side of the fence so long that I think I tend to see things differently.

That said I did meet some awesome folks, and hopefully helped recruit a few people to my favorite local boffer larp group.  While I was walking around between the Mind’s Eye Society table and the aforementioned boffer group I happened upon a few folks worth mentioning :

Reel Nerds

So I love podcasts to begin with, and this group was recording while I was wandering around and their PR gal was very chatty and sweet to talk to.  They’re actually a local group here to Denverand are worth checking out. They have a fun team, and it looks like they do a lot of nice reviews on their blog as well as in iTunes.  http://www.reelnerds.com/

The Dark Empire

This picture inspires me to go back to the gym… and learn to make scale mail.

So I’m a big fan of the 501st however it’s really pricy to get involved with them. I bumped into a local gal who works with The Dark Empire a group that does custom Sith costuming and are approved by LucasArts.  I’d check this out but I think I have enough hobbies.  If I stop being a LARPer soon I may have to try this group out. http://www.thedarkempire.org/

The other thing about DCC that’s worth mentioning was that the entire VIP Celebrity area seemed really well – open.  At other conventions I’ve been to the Celebrities were usually recessed back behind a lot of fencing or stanchion or the like. At DCC they were pretty close to the rest of the convention which I was sort of surprised by.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of them (I really want to get into voice acting more professionally so a chance to talk to some of the folks there was very enticing but commitments come first), but perhaps next year.  DCC did a really nice job of getting some amazing Celebrities, Exhibitors and Artists this year and I was really surprised by the size and scope of the entire event.

Overall – an awesome time!  And next year, maybe I’ll just go as a visitor.  Maybe.

 

Additional pics below :

Videos, Vegas, and Vampires

Pointy Things

As most folks who read this know, I’m from Las Vegas and was out there last week to see friends and family.  I managed to get to do a little bit of photography while I was out there, including the shot to the right out at Red Rock National Park.  It’s an area worth seeing  if you enjoy desert landscapes and hiking.  I do however recommend going either in the morning during the summer or in the non “OMG why is this city on the surface of the sun” months.  Also bring water.

The trip was a much needed break from work, and I managed to have a few adventures while I was out there as well as sit back and give some thought to my most recent upcomig video for the MES/Cam – Retention.  I chatted with several friends here in Denver as well as in Vegas (and abroad) about retaining people to a gaming organization.  Recruiting is arguably the easier part.  Things are sexy, flashy, and there’s a lot of burying the dirty laundry of the group.  I’m not talking about genuine skeletons, but more about the problems that all gaming organisations face :

  • Apathy
  • Location Problems
  • Burn Out (which leads to Apathy)

This list isn’t exhaustive but I think it’s a good start for me.  Bringing in a wet behind the ears newbie at a gaming convention isn’t too hard – they’re excited, they’re already engaged and really they bring a lot of energy.  The problem comes when you’ve got a veteran of 10 years who has given their time, love and money to an organization and they’ve seen and done everything.  How do you keep that person from staggering out into the proverbial sunset?

Pointy things and Rocks

If you’re looking for the silver bullet – I don’t have it. (Trust me if I did I’d be running a national LARP).

But that’s just it – it isn’t any ONE answer, it’s many answers.  Some of us have this weird undying sense of commitment to the organizations we belong to because well – this is our family.  The orgs (NERO, the Cam, RoC for me) have been there for us when we needed them.  So I feel a sense of responsibility to be there for the org when it needs me.

Retention takes patience, commitment, and a willingness to try and turn the tide.  So what did people say when I asked them “How do you retain players?”  I got a lot of interesting responses, but here were the top things I and those I asked believed could make a difference :

  • Making an old character new with new ties into the game
  •  Hanging out OCly once a month (these people ARE our friends)
  • Learning better conflict resolution
  • Knowing when to give help and when to get it
  • Finding new locations
  • Saying “Thank You” to those who have to manage the insanity

A lot of these may sound obvious, but I think we get so ingrained in the rut of our own habits and behaviors that we forget about things like this. I know I had a revelation recently in my on gaming life that there was something very wrong, and I believe that my lack of action may have inadvertently adversely affected my own local game.  Inaction is often more dangerous in the long term then action.  However that’s an entirely different blog post.

So where does one start to change things.  As with all my commentary on these communities - change can start with just one person.  While recruitment is about smoke and mirrors and glam, retention is about trust, friendship, and investment.  Sometimes saying thank you to your storytellers, hosts, and the people who actually produce your gaming environment goes a long way.  Most gamers are long past the honeymoon period with their hobby so a little romance there can go a  long way.

I’m not saying buy them flowers, but giving them a smile and a hand here and there makes a big difference.  Is one of them moving? Lend a hand.  Love people? Host a BBQ with plenty of advanced notice.  Want to spice up the RP? Offer to help decorate the space you play in.  Get creative, but most of all remember this hobby takes all kinds – not just hot chicks in leather.

Vegas from a distance, home of hot chicks in leather.

I’ll be posting the script from this upcoming video when it’s done, which should be shortly.  Remember, you can always see all of the videos I’ve produced for my gaming communities by checking them out on YouTube.  This video should be done in the next week or so, just in time for the MES/Cam Q2 newsletter.

Central City Photo Shoot with the Usual Suspects

Leora looking gothy

 

Most of you know I have a photography addiction that started when I met Regina Lafay in las vegas.  She continues to inspire me and I’m determined to take what she taught me as a fledgling model to other people so that they too can know the great gift that is photography.  Therapy, Art, and Mementos that will last you a lifetime, I think this is the sort of thing everyone should do once (both in fron and behind the camera).  I believe I have successfully addicted several friends to this past time.

 

The nice thing is that the site we tend to go out to is a beautifully preserved old west town and their open cemetery (graves from the late 1800s).  Driving up there is going up to about 9000+ feet of altitude, but the town is so beautiful that it’s always worth it to me. Like walking back in time.

 

My full gallery of fun stuff (like 70 pics) can be found on Deviant Art in my Gallery.  However here’s a few more for you if you’re just stopping by looking for my latest gaming rant.

 

Andrea and the Tree

 

A Ghost, A Vampire, and a Werewolf walk into a bar...

 

Only he knows...

 

The models for this are a variety of my friends from around Denver and are always amazing sports about me dragging them out for these things.  Credit goes to Leora for the theme and organizing this one!  I only wish I could show more people how genuinely beautiful they are.  I love seeing people’s faces light up when they have the “is that really me?” look.  It’s really special and I remember the first time it happened to me.

 

My photography is dedicated as always, to Regina, who helped me see things I never saw before.

Home again from Reno

My Invictus

There’s something about coming home from a convention with nothing but gamers that both makes you appreciate cons as well as appreciate your own locals.  SWRE was a great convention, and I wanted to take a moment to say thanks to those who threw it.

 

THANKS!

 

Seriously – I had a great tiem and things were really seamless w/ checkin as well as the other non-game stuff (a credit to the staff!).  Here’s a look at the massive amount of pictures I took.

SWRE Reno – March 2012

I also managed to record the MST (Jesse Robbin’s) speaking about the reset.  I’ll be posting those here  on this blog as well as I presume they will be posted on the MST site.

LARPing – an explanation

Art Therapy

I recently had the chance to do a  photoshoot with some friends here in Denver.  I wanted to share some of the shots from it.  Now while the shoot was inspired by Vampire and it’s various games, the shoots came out with various levels from goth to punk to just silly.

If you want to see the ever growing collection from the shoot check it out here 

Please note that I will be continuing to update the gallery on my DeviantArt account, so updates will be hiding in there. (My WP blog can’t hold all that awesome)

Here’s a sampling -

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