As we get further into 2022, we are starting to see some COVID-19 restrictions being loosened, many of us are now holding events in person in the public. How eager we are to be once again in person. One event in particular located within wonderful Asheville is known as Blue Ridge Furfare. Two years ago in 2020 COVID-19 was making headlines and restrictions were put in place all across the state of North Carolina, this included during the 2020 convention! Needless to say, no one expected the outcome of the next two years. 2022 is now here and we are now able to have an event in person. Two years ago, I enjoyed being an attendee of BRFF and have the opportunity to photograph (also seeing the much need) so much that I wanted to do more to help, that’s when I reached out and became a staff member.
So here we are! BRFF 2022: The Great Outdoors. Let me tell you about it.
Lets start off with where is took place. The hotel and convention space was not too far off Interstate 240, being in Asheville often for work reasons makes you learn the roads quickly. Traffic is always heavy in this are due to it being a main road for the city. There was a nice view of Downtown however so that was enjoyable.
So as a staff member, I came with the view to work which I think is the appropriate attitude to have after all. Arrival and check in went smoothly. After getting unpacked and all the hotel travel things out of the way. It was time to claim the convention badge. So being a staff member the first area you want to make your presence known is con operations. There I was given a Staff badge to wear and to say hello it’s me! Now, unknowingly I left and did not think that I could just use my staff badge to get around the convention and proceeded to stand in line in pre registration badge pickup. So standing in a long line with a huge camera strapped to myself I cant help but take photos. One thing I’ll always find funny is when you carry around a huge camera and lens you have the power to make people pose and/or stop traffic in hallways. I don’t even need to say anything just like our fine example here of me just calibrating my camera in line. Alright, badge pickup is done and its time to run off.
Now the overall thing I did at BRFF was yes, photos. With the help of DustyFox and other wonderful volunteers I helped run the photo booth area and was running back and forth between the convention space and events to get photos of things happening. Needless to say, it was extremely tiring, not so much stressful but definitely tiring. The pressure mostly comes from everything only happens once so it’s your job to capture interesting angles of said things happening. The photobooth was also free of charge, I actually was not aware that other conventions usually charged money for this.
Photo courtesy of Katie Shaw
As a photographer, I had a lot of fun being able to see so many different fursuits and others having a wonderful time. A lot of people knew my name and that was actually quite a bit unusual for me. The different colors and attitudes each suit has really sparked my mind for what kind of shot to take or pose to give. Plenty of potted plants to hide behind to give an interesting perspective down an otherwise boring looking hallway as well. As you can see by these examples.
One other highlight I want to share was I had the privilege of helping shoot the main fursuit photo. I got so excited of being able to press the shutter button. Every convention I have been to in the past I have always thought, one day that will be me high up pressing the shutter button.This year that happened. It was absolutely a team effort from everyone on staff to not just coordinate people but actually get the photo right. So I see that as very much a privilege to be able to do that.
To wrap things up so that I’m not writing a book, my overall thoughts. I had a wonderful time working at what I love doing. The interaction of everyone as well as being helpful in other areas that needed it was tiring indeed but I left feeling like everyone else also had a good time. We had more staff but was not able to make it into the photo. I cant wait to see you all next year!