The Cosplay that Came in from the Cold

Katsucon 2016 #19

When thinking about Anime conventions in the DC area, Otakon is usually the first to come to mind. Besides being located in downtown Baltimore, it used to be the biggest Anime convention in the country. Katsucon, on the other hand, has been going for almost as long, but bounced around from Virginia Beach to Baltimore to Arlington before settling at the the Gaylord Hotel in the National Harbor. Since it’s been at the Gaylord it’s doubled attendance in just the last few years.

Katsucon, described by Van Ngo, who has been going for several years, and gives us his thoughts from this year:

Roaming the halls of Katsucon 22, one can’t help but admire all the cosplay ensembles based on new and old anime shows, video games or other platforms of pop culture. Equally impressive are the photographers with assistants, light modifiers and even mobile studio rigs (think dude walking around with two Profoto B1 or B2’s housed in their respective octa boxes and a trusty assistant holding an overhead light). That being said, there’s no shortage of amazing photos when you do a flickr search on Katsucon. While no official meet was setup, I was able to join up with Rob Cannon for a quick bite and captured a handful of great looking cosplayers.

While smaller than other conventions in the area, it wouldn’t seem that way from the convention floor. Thousands of convention goers stream from panels, artist alley, and other events through the massive courtyard in the center of the convention center.  The indoor courtyard looks over the harbor with several stories of glass opening the view to the green space inside. Costumed attendees and photographers congregate in these park like areas because it allows for a variety of unique photo ops as well as amazing natural light. With temperatures in the low twenties this weekend, it was a unique opportunity to  take “outdoor” portraits without having to set foot outside.

Check out the photos from this year in our gallery below.

Photos unless otherwise noted are copyright Rob Cannon. All photos are used with permission.


A life-long resident of the DC area, I recently started viewing the city from a different angle: behind a camera. I enjoy capturing concerts, dance, and festivals. My photos are often of concerts seen on popular local blogs, such as DCist.