Dragon Con is one of the biggest conventions in the United States. It happens over Labor Day weekend every year in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia. JwaiDesign Photography, BGZ Studios, Chou-wa Photography and Cosplay, and MLZ Studios from Cosplay Photographers and Cosplay Videographers were lucky enough to go check it out this year!
A unique aspect of this con is that it doesn’t take place solely in a convention center or a single hotel. Dragon Con spans across five main hotels and local areas such as the Georgia Aquarium. There were over 55,000 thousand attendees this year checking out the hours of programming spanning science fiction, gaming, comic books, movies, and much more. Things weren’t limited to panels and guests of honor too. There is the annual parade where fans and cosplayers walk the streets of Atlanta in their favorite costumes to celebrate the love for costuming and dressing up. There is also the aquarium, parties and raves that go into the morning hours where most conventions are more or less quiet.
We arrived from California and Texas at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Right after stepping off the plane and walking towards the baggage claim, there were thoughts running through our heads that Dragon Con was going to be special since the airport was lined with welcome signs and banners. There were stories from other passengers that they already knew about this on their flight in, and of many people seeing others on their plane holding cosplay props! It was Day 0 and already in the middle of the day there were cosplayers with props on their way to their hotel. The convention hadn’t even started and there were an incredible amount of people present already dressed up in costumes. Seeing a Stormtrooper high five a Commander Shepard that’s talking to Batman next to Ms Marvel, it was quite a sight.
Dragon Con is a convention known for its enormous amounts of parties day and night. It is quite amazing to find some of the best cosplayers all gathered here in the hotel lobbies. There was no shortage of amazing cosplays to photograph or film. Not to mention some of the best cosplay photographers from around the world were out in full force as well! One slight set back at Dragon Con is the limitation of space. There just isn’t much space due to the sheer number of people. There were some interesting locations outdoors to take pictures and to film at, but the heat and humidity made it hard for people in more elaborate cosplays. We mainly stayed indoors on the 10th floor of the Marriott where a lot of cosplayers would gather and managed to get a great deal of photos and videos in that regard.
There was an incredible amount to do and see at Dragon Con. There were panels involving comic books to videogames to fan discussions. The more popular panels and celebrities drew large crowds and line but from most things operated smoothly thanks to all the volunteers present at Dragon Con. One special event that happens during Dragon Con is the Night at the Georgia Aquarium. The city of Atlanta reserved their aquarium for the convention on Saturday night that welcomed cosplayers, photographers, families and other visitors. A sight to see was the themes of mermaid and Bioshock costumes at the aquarium. Among many other diverse and elegant costumes present, there were also fantastic Elizabeths, Little Sisters and even a Big Daddy/Subject Delta. It was a very interesting location and we were very lucky that the aquarium was so kind to let us take photos and videos in there. The lobby area even held a costume contest, played dance music, and was a general congregation area that split off into separate areas of the aquarium with an assortment of sea life. Seeing and capturing a cosplay that matches the location of the underwater tunnel where fish, sharks and stingrays swim above you is probably one of most memorable things to be done at a convention for a photographer and videographer alike.
Here are some videos:
You can also see some of the photos below as well as more in our Dragon Con 2013 Coverage Album on Facebook.