I took somewhat of a different approach to this year's Fanime.  I was sent to cover MusicFest and of course, that was my first
priority.  I considered the rest of my time to be "leisure time".  Instead of spending most of my free time roaming the halls and
taking cosplay photographs, I chose to instead do private photo shoots and then put the camera away when I wasn't doing them.
 This was the most relaxing Fanime that I've experienced and that was because I chose to have it that way.  It gave me a lot of
time to socialize and do more of a variety of things.  In all, I'd say it was "different" in a good way.  The whole experience started
on Day 0, driving up from Los Angeles in a makeshift caravan with a few carloads of friends.  There were swimming pool and
jacuzzi times.  I participated in a 4-mile run on Sunday morning with a few other fitness-minded attendees.  There were plenty of
new experiences this year.  I've been going to conventions for many years and it was a lot of fun to do a bunch of somewhat
random things.  There was also a lot more time for shopping.  I actually bought some stuff from Artists Alley, the swap meet, and
exhibit hall.  I usually never buy stuff at a convention.  There was gaming and karaoke fun.  I always love the game room at

Of course, taking photos was still a big part of the convention for me.  I really enjoyed doing my private shoots and learning a lot
of things.  They way I do my convention photography these days is so different from what I was doing even 2 or 3 years ago.  I'm
really enjoying it.  It's always fun to try new things in photography.  Years ago, I would spend a few seconds with a cosplayer and
take a few photos of them on the spot.  Now, I'm doing photo shoots that can last several hours.  It's quite a change.  It's a lot
slower paced and involves carrying a ton of equipment all over the place, but it's very rewarding.  I really appreciate the
cosplayers who were willing to spend so much time with me to get these photos taken.  I know that it's very difficult to spare so
much time for a photo shoot at such a busy convention and I hope the results were what they had hoped for.  Most likely, this
style of convention shooting is what I will be doing until the day I give it up.  I'm actually surprised that I ended up with so many
photos, but as long as I'm productive, I'm happy.

Whether I'm doing press coverage or not next year, I hope to return to Fanime in 2012.  It's always worth the trip.

Nergene Arquelada
Bonus pic.  I didn't know where else to put it.