I started getting seriously interested in photography shortly before attending my first Anime convention in January of 2003. I had bought a Canon 2 mega-pixel digicam (digital camera) and was primarily taking photos of nature around my home city. I was attending a community college at the time, and was part of a newly created school Anime club where we spent most of our time watching videos and talking about our mutual interest.
Conventions were a foreign concept to me back then, but other members in the club knew about them, so they organized our first trip to “Ohayocon” (Ohayou in Japanese is a greeting), which is a yearly convention based in Ohio. Prior to attending, I had been researching conventions on the Internet on sites such as cosplay.com, learning about the whole culture of cosplayers and the people who photograph them. Needless to say it was the start of a long term hobby that would seriously strengthen my interest in photography, and also create an interest in cosplay as I tried it out for myself.
As time went on and our group attended more conventions, I slowly improved my techniques and eventually moved on to more advanced equipment. Once I was finished with my time at that college, I continued to attend conventions, most often by myself because I treated it as my primary purpose for attending. I held a strong drive inside to continue my photography at conventions, which continues to this day.