This is actually more of a vent post. You have been warned!
So, I went to Dragon Con this year. I had actually been pretty hyped up for the last few weeks after AkaiCon and, for the first few days, it was living up to that built up hype. My friends and I drove in on Thursday, unpacked the car, and I proceeded to take just my camera to wander before heading to some pre-con meetups. One of them didn't appear to happen or I was late to, but the second one proceeded to be MUCH different than I was expecting. Needless to say, the people at the meetup were welcoming and a lot of fun things happened until the wee hours.
Friday also started about about as great. I picked up a bunch of artwork from a kickstarter, then a commission of Medusa from
. If you note the comment I put there, I was incredibly stoked to pick it and seeing the progress pictures on Instagram were just helping building up meeting the artist in person. The end result was awesome and it's getting framed at the earliest opportunity. I ended up getting more art from the artist alley and talking to people along the way.
More wandering, taking pictures, and missed out on a ton of stuff, but that's par for the convention course. I also broke my camera strap while handling the shoulder video mount and dented the dial, but my camera is built like a tank and no other damage was present.
Saturday, I decided to leave before the parade started thinking it would be the perfect time to do so. WRONG! I walked smack dab into what felt like 10,000+ people on the street and TRIED my freaking hardest to get to a good spot to take some video of the parade. I hilariously failed and decided to find a way around t he crowd and get my silly butt to the dealers room. More video taken, then I found a dealer that sold leather straps. Thankfully, one of booths had something that fit perfectly and I was able to reattach my camera rig back to my shoulder strap, which made it easier to navigate the crowd without freaking out every time someone bumped into me. More wandering, spending money, and bumping into friends later, I finally get to my first photo shoot of the weekend, realize I was running late to a group shoot thanks to my phone not updating for the time difference, and missing that completely. Feeling bummed, I wandered around until my friend for a second shoot was ready. At this point, this is where things start to wrong: Somehow, between that shoot and going back to my room for the night, I somehow lost my light stand case. I ended up calling around and retracing my steps to see if I could find them, but I gave up and went to lost and found. They don't have anything camera gear related. Then, the next freaking night, after another group shoot in the same hotel, my camera bag goes missing. I swear, in my head, I had it with me when I went to the room and, somehow, the damned thing goes missing. At this point, I'm freaking out since the bag had my old camera I had for a backup, second speed light, and a lot of random stuff I use on a regular basis. I do the same thing as the previous day and scour the hotel for my missing gear, then to lost and found for every hotel I had visited just in case they showed up somewhere else. This leads to nothing, NOTHING.
At this point, I'm done and it's time for everyone to leave the con and head home. I had spent much of the remaining time asking around if anyone saw anything and hardly taking any photos with what's left of my gear (which was what I had attached to me before I fell asleep mind you). I could have done more and talked to the police, but they needed specific information that I had to go home for and they need to call me back to file a report! Same for the convention's lost and found, but more spelled out on what they cannot do. Insurance won't cover anything until the report is filed AND they won't cover it anyway since the deductible is more than what was stolen. Thanks for nothing guys!
I could have lived without my light stands (minus the extra costly, all metal umbrella and speed flash adapter) since those were easy to replace, but come on, my camera bag with the rest of my gear in it too? Never have I had this much trouble anywhere, but obviously I don't work alone at many of these events. This time was different since everyone got stuck with something with work or family, leaving me I as the only person with free time to go. This just makes it more obvious that I need at least an assistant in this sort of instance.
So, after all of this nonsense, I will have to say that my second Dragon Con was the absolute worst convention I've ever attended, EVER. I don't feel like going back after this and I need to replace much of what was stolen before my next convention at the end of the month. Some of my friends have stepped up to help with replacing what was taken, but it's still going to be a while before I'm at normal working capacity.
Ugh... I'm just going to continue curling up into a ball for the next few days.