A mellow FanX was just what I needed.

I have been volunteering with Farr Production events since their first September 2013 Event. I have 14 Badges hanging from the hook in my basement and that doesn’t count the one from gaming con when the Farrs owned a percentage. Having been there since the beginning, there are some pre-con things I usually do before the event to help out my team. This event, however, I bowed out since I was looking for work, volunteering as a board member for DevOps days, and a few other personal things. I was planning to be available for both days of the event though.

The photo ops group photo

Two weeks before spring FanX, I landed a job. I debated if I should ask for a vacation day this close to my start date. Then my boss scheduled our initial user group meetings for the 19th and I knew I wouldn’t be volunteering for the first day of FanX. I changed my availability to Saturday only and got a notice that I probably would be asked to help in Photo Ops instead of being on Celebrity Row.

Now the last time I was on secondment to Photo Ops I spent the entire day as a cashier and had a horrible time but sold a lot of photo ops and digital prints. So I was pretty worried about my upcoming shift, but during Thursday night Jim said he was excited to have me on his team this event and assured me that he would find me something better than sitting at a desk waiting for people to buy pictures.

Your Saturday Scan out team at Photo Ops

Remember this is my year of connection. Working with photo ops Saturday gave me some wonderful opportunities to connect with the fans in more ways than before. I was scanning at the exit to make sure that people were leaving with the correct photos so that their digital file would sync to the correct image. See FanX gave everyone the digital file in addition to the physical print.

This meant I got to see everyone leaving the photo booths. I saw amazing cosplays but only got a few pictures because I didn’t want to hold up the people leaving the area. I can’t count the number of times people were still shaking with the joy of having had their pictures taken with their favorite celebrity. There were a few times I asked if I could steady the picture in order to get the scan.

Can you guess she had the Aladdin/Jasmine team up photo op?

The only problem I had was every now and again, the tablets would lose connection with the server and I would have to rescan. After several people had to be rescanned, I had one go through perfectly and I said, “You’re beautiful.” to the person whose photo had worked smoothly, showing up on a green screen at the first try. She started to tear up and said, “No one has ever told me that.” That hit me like a ton of bricks and from there out, instead of saying “Thank you” or “you’re good to go,” I started passing out compliments. Things like “Looking great,” Beautiful shot, “Great pose,” or “You’re amazing.” The smiles were so worth it.

Another experience was a young girl in a mermaid costume who was so proud of her cosplay. She wanted me to guess who she was and gave me hints such as “Blond is the wrong hair color.” and “Oh, wait let me get out my palace pet.” I guess Ariel and she is so excited that I got it right. She was so cute that I asked if I could take a picture of her great cosplay. She was thrilled and posed. I showed her the pic to make sure she liked it and then made sure her Dad saw me delete it so he could be sure his daughter would be safe from any social media posts.

Great Freddie Mercury cosplay

I really did miss the con family that I usually work with at these events but I was able to get over and talk with most of them and collect hugs and stories. So all in all a great con. The only bad part was as often as I have been the person insisting that everyone drink water, I was so busy that I forgot to drink enough. I only went through half of my water bottle during my shift and ended up dehydrated.

I’m thankful to the people who realized that as busy as I have been the last few months, what I needed this event was to have a low key, slower job than what I’m used to doing. I’ve been exhausted learning the new routine at work and having a slower pace at the Con was a good thing for me even if I didn’t realize it at the beginning. By September, however, I’ll be back to being my high energy self and am looking forward to having a great challenge and being back with my people.

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