EDIT: My website's got troubles again, the database server is having problems. (Before, it was a matter of the CGIs not executing.) I'll let you know when they're better again...
Saturday night, the Gala ended at midnight. I watched the Bengal Lancer dude try to get chat up the bartender and get her e-mail address. I learned that the Gala wasn't a bad night for bar receipts -- the hotel took in about $500 -- but it wasn't a world-beater from the barmaid's point of view; she cleared over $100 in tips, but "a good night" is one when she gets three hundred dollars.
And woosh, the decorations were pulled, the housemen dragged the airwalls, things were re-set for the morning. I snapped a few pictures of the people cleaning up, and like almost everyone else I went to bed. Saturday night is the big night for Costume College, but that doesn't mean partying late into the night with room parties going on for all hours. Classes start bright and early Sunday morning so it's off to bed.library_lynn
had volunteered to set up the Exotic Emporium -- that is, a couple of dealers stalls in the hall out front of the Marketplace. So that was an early-morning start for her. She missed the breakfast buffet entirely. I missed most of the "Sunday Undies" crowd too. Many people have made themselves authentic period clothing, all the way down to the underwear -- so Sunday morning at breakfast is a chance to show off your corsets and petticoats. Ladies were running around in their underwear for most of the morning. I didn't take a lot of underwear pictures. Mornings aren't really my favorite time, and I had to get all my gear packed up and the cars loaded.ala_mokita
sat the Costume Exhibit from 9:00 am to 12 noon, bless his heart. I got dressed, packed up the room, hopped around taking pictures and hung out with Christian a bit. I was on duty starting at 12. I had my computer equipment piled on "Ala" in one of the exhibit room bathrooms, while colleency
's Alice in Wonderland house costume was in the other bathroom.
2:00 pm is when the Fantasy Tea was due to start, so I could only sit the room for two hours. bovil
and Ian Stockdale stopped by to smof with me and ala_mokita
, and the time passed quickly enough.
Eventually Colleen showed up to get into her costume, Lynn and Joanne helping her. She was dressed as Alice, from the scene where she grows too big for the house. The house she was wearing had lots of cute details, such as the welcome mat with the bunnies, and Bill the Lizard crawling up the back chimney.
I'd cleared the Gala photography with Annie Mitchek (Gala head) and Lana Bailey (Dean), but hadn't actually talked to the Tea coordinator Kathy Lear. Ooops! Lana explained the idea -- I'd take pictures, print them out, and give them away, free -- and Kathy quickly agreed. The Tea party ladies all had tables on the upper level of the restaurant, so I rolled Ala and the gear down to the lower level and found a power outlet. The restaurant/banquet head, Noel Gurrola, quickly found me a regular table to use, and I set up.
I ran into the same limitation I talked about regarding setup at the Gala -- because I hadn't set up the printer since the Gala, the night before, the morning's photos were waiting in the queue to be downloaded and printed. I caught up on those, stuffing envelopes with Lynn's help, and then when I was ready and most people were done picking at their food Kathy announced the photography.
This was about 3 o'clock. It took me almost 45 minutes to get the table squared away, the equipment plugged and running, all the morning's photos printed, envelopes labeled and stuffed. I really could have used an easy way to queue those for later; failing that, I should have just set aside the morning photos on their pages, uncut, and resisted the temptation to get the entire backlog cleared up.
It always seemed like "just another minute or two and I'll be ready." I need to concentrate on streamlining the process so I can go more quickly from "the equipment's all in the box" to "I'm ready to take new photos." This is another place where I'd really like to team up with another photog -- a photographer on camera, Lynn on notebook, and me fussing with the computer equipment could have shortened the time considerably.
There was a black backdrop set up in one corner, by the piano; there was also another corner with light-colored. Nothing really great, but better than nothing. Snapped a bunch of fun photos -- Lynn took down names for a while, that was a big help (Thanks honey!) -- and got them started printing out.
As it is, I only took about 65 photos, and that's including the random stragglers and employees I shot towards the end of the thing. (Admittedly, that fits the "about 30 per hour" figure I quoted for Saturday night. More, really, because I was only taking pictures for an hour; should my estimates encompass setup time?)
For those who tuned in late, I had several reasons for doing all this for free. (Or possibly for the cost of one replacement toner cartridge -- the Black cartridge is running low.) First, of course, is because we're volunteers, contributing effort and energy and materials is what we do in this kind of gift economy. And second justification is to get slips of paper with www.animelosangeles.org
in the corner into everyone's hands.
But the other reason to do this is because it's a full-scale field trial: does this concept work, in practice? Not just the idea, but the specific implementation? It seemed easier Saturday night than Sunday afternoon. Is that because Sunday's event was shorter? Or because Saturday people tended to get their pictures at the beginning of the event, while on Sunday we didn't start shooting until it was half over?
So many steps or ingredients go into it: The actual photo-taking, writing in the notebook, getting the pictures into the computer, processing the "frames", printing them out (and the kludge of "hit the green button when the amber light blinks" -- need help with that! Mac OS/X, "lp" is the program, printer is HP CLJ 2605dn), cutting them into quarters, writing names on envelopes, stuffing envelopes, getting the envelopes back to the subjects.
One possible shortcut might be to have the subjects write their names on the envelopes at the same time we write their name in the notebook.
Another helpful wrinkle might be to get one of those incrementing counters when doing that. Stamp notebook, stamp envelope, repeat. If we're just doing it to keep the sequences together, we can take a two-shot, stamp 0001 in the notebook, then 0002 and 0003 on the two envelopes. Or just hand-write the numbers stamped on the envelopes. (We have to transcribe the names, because we'll be giving away the envelopes.) Hmmm. Better order one of those.