At TFCon 2016, the world’s largest Transformers convention, I had the honour of being the legendary Frank Welker’s official photographer. In case you don’t know, Frank Welker is the voice of Megatron, Galvatron, Soundwave, Skywarp, Wheelie, Mirage, and countless other Transformers in the original series as well as reprising his roles in the recent cartoon series and the live action movies. That’s in addition to being voicing a million other characters in other series from Scooby Doo to Nibbler. The man’s IMDb is a mile long!
While it was great fun, there’s much I would have done differently. For one, I didn’t know what the lighting situation would be until I was there. So in retrospect, I would have brought some lights to knockout the yellow pot-lights and a more neutral background so that people in black shirts would be lost so much against the black curtains.
I also didn’t foresee how difficult it would be to deliver everyone their photos. I tried emailing everybody their photos directly, but I was quickly stopped by my email server thinking I was spamming people. What ultimately worked best for me was I upload each photo to Google Drive and sent everyone a unique shareable link to download their photo. It was quite a lot of work and even weeks later I had some people who either didn’t fill out their email or otherwise didn’t get their photo(s). Maybe they got sent to spam?
If/when I were to do it again, I would bring some lights, request a custom background from one of the convention exhibitors who does that sort of thing, and I would bring a laptop and wireless camera card. Oh, and someone to help me too. That way the photos will get saved directly to the laptop as soon as they’re taken, where an assistant could help the guest copy their photo to their device. And if they don’t have a device, I’ll be sure to bring some cheap USB sticks, prefer Transformers themed ones, that they can have.