Monday, April 25, 2011

Anime Boston 2011

Boston, MA - April 23, 2011: 'Java' and his current wife or waifu, Ne Chen, share a drink at the convention hall at Hynes Convention Center during Anime Boston 2011.  Photo by Matthew Healey

Well I learned what a waifu is this weekend.  A waifu is, um, you know what I'm still not entirely too sure.  I can tell you how that word came into my vocabulary and what it means to one person at least.

This past Saturday while working for The Boston Herald I had some time to go out and enterprise.  I heard from my sister that the anime convention was in town.   I missed the convention the past few years but finally had my chance to check it out. 

I found my way to the press table at the convention hall and managed to get a credential.  I talked to one of the volunteers and he said that they were expecting something like 18,000 participants and that Anime Boston is the biggest convention in the northeast.  

Not even ten feet out the door and I spot 'Java' and his waifu.  He was sitting in a cafe having a drink with the body pillow.  My interest was piqued so I went over and started chatting with him and asking about the pillow.  He explained to me that waifu is just the Japanese pronunciation of the English word wife.  He said that in this context the waifu is earned through a Japanese dating simulation video game called 'Love Plus'.   'Java' plays the game and changes waifu's as he plays.  He told me he doesn't normally go out in public with the pillow version of his current waifu but feels comfortable bringing it out at Anime Conventions.  As I was talking to him a handful of convention goers stopped and asked if they could take photos of him.  One even went so far to thank 'Java' for having the courage to bring his waifu out in public.  

It was a good start to what turned out to be an interesting day.  There were lots of people dressed in costumes.  Cosplay, as it's called is a big part of these conventions.  People go out in elaborate, usually hand made costumes, of characters they like or identify with from anime, video games, manga (comics).  When together in groups they may put on an impromptu performance of a scene from a TV show or movie, or video game.  

I have to admit, the extent of my knowledge of the whole anime world and cosplay culture begins and ends with Akira.  Okay, that and Ghost in the Shell, and Ninja Scroll, but thats, it I promise (totally grew up watching Grandizer).  Anyway there is obviously a lot more to it than a few popular action films.  It's a pretty interesting culture and a goldmine for photography.  Sadly I had to call it after an hour and a half, I needed to get back to listening to the police scanner.

Here are a few scenes from the day.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think and please keep it civil.  

And as always check out my website for my full portfolio and follow me on twitter @matthealeyphoto

 Boston, MA -  Lara Tang, of Boston dressed as Hizaki from the band Versailles, rests on a windowsill during Anime Boston 2011 at the Hynes Convention Center.   Photo by Matthew Healey

Boston, MA - Attendants dressed as characters from the video game Assasins Creed 2 march down a hallway during Anime Boston 2011 at the Hynes Convention Center on April 23, 2011.   Photo by Matthew Healey

Boston, MA - J.P. Meneide, center of Boston, rides the elevator in his Storm Trooper costume with friends Jen Torres, left of Boston, and Kurt Larsen, second from left of Weymouth during Anime Boston 2011 at the Hynes Convention Center.   Photo by Matthew Healey

Boston, MA - A character wearing cardboard boxes walks the halls during Anime Boston 2011 at the Hynes Convention Center.   Photo by Matthew Healey

Boston, MA - A convention goer walks the halls in costume during Anime Boston 2011 at the Hynes Convention Center.   Photo by Matthew Healey

Boston, MA - Lou Maldonado of New York City, has lunch while still in costume as Ken the Eagle from the anime show Gatchaman during Anime Boston 2011 at the Hynes Convention Center.   Photo by Matthew Healey

Boston, MA - Michelle, last name not given, left of New York, who is dressed as Jasmine You of the band Versaille, shops with friends at Anime Boston 2011 at the Hynes Convention Center.   Photo by Matthew Healey

Boston, MA - Todd (last name withheld) dressed as Princess Leah from Star wars, is led around by Tiana (last name withheld) who is dressed as Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars during Anime Boston 2011 at the Hynes Convention Center.   Photo by Matthew Healey

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Still waiting

I realize it is still early in the season but I am probably not the only one that is just begging for the weather to turn warm and stay that way.  You would think I would be used to it now, after all, I am a New Englander through and through.

But it's those days that get you.  You know the ones.  The sky is blue, the sun is out, and most importantly the wind isn't blowing 50mph and it is still April.  People are out playing frisbee in shorts, driving with their windows down blaring that album they have been keeping to themselves all winter.  You think to yourself, wow, its gorgeous out, this is great, spring is finally here.  But it's just a tease.  You have to wait.  The wind picks up, turns a different direction, the sky clouds over, rain starts to fall, you roll up the car windows, put on the defroster in the car and you are back to waiting for the sun to come out again.  It's getting close.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tea for two hundred

I just looked back at the last few days and I have covered a lot of ground.  Some portraits, a Tea Party rally, two Red Sox games and some quality time at a local McDonald's.  I wanted to share some images I made at the Tea Party rally with you all.

It was held on Friday April, 15 2011.  A day that is, traditionally, the tax filing deadline set by the IRS.  That deadline was postponed a few days because of a holiday in Washington, D.C.. but the they went ahead with their rally on the 15th.  It was held on Boston Common and hosted by several local right wing radio hosts.

I anticipated a fairly decent crowd but when I arrived I only found 200 to 300 people.  The surprise of the rally was a group of pro union demonstrators that set up shop directly in front of the rotunda.  I mean literally in front of the speaker, front and center.  They had big signs and bullhorns and were there to be heard.  They were few but they were often louder than the speakers at Tea Party rally.  The police stepped in to make sure no one got out of hand and to create a line between the Tea Party rally folks and the protesters.  It made for some good photos.

Have a look and let me know what you think.  Oh and I am on Twitter now:  @matthealeyphoto or you can add me using the button below..

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Here's looking at you

Just a quick post.  A photo from something I shot over the weekend.  I was working in this room all day and happened to glance at the door and saw this face in the window.  It is a painting on the wall in the other room.  I thought it was cool.  Also I am on twitter now.  You can follow me at the link at the bottom of my page or just find me @matthealeyphoto.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Workin on it

I know, I have probably used that title before.  It's the hook from a J. Dilla song and it's awesome.  If you feel like giving it a listen well you can listen right here (youtube link)

At any rate, I have been trying to get my PhotoShelter account filled with new/old content.  PhotoShelter is a great archiving website geared towards photographers.  I can store a lot of my old photos on there and if someone wants to buy them they can just download them straight from my account.  It's seamless. Anyway, have a look around at the site and let me know what you think.  Trying out a new design.  It is a slow process to go through the old photos and upload them but it will be worth it in the end.  If anyone has any workflow tips I would love to hear them.

And I can't go two blog posts without posting a photo.  So here, have a photo of a woman with a beard.  I would love to help you out with a caption but I think it's better that you just make up a story on your own and then tell me what you think the caption is.  Post it in the comments but keep it clean, my parents read this thing.

Caption by You

Monday, April 4, 2011

From Japan - Kuni Takahashi

Though I never met Kuni I know him by reputation.  He used to be a staff photographer at The Boston Herald where I freelance regularly.  From what I gather he is a great guy, very passionate and a hell of a photographer. 

He is currently a freelancer based in Mumbai, India and was out covering Libya when the tsunami hit his home country of Japan.  He went to Japan to check on his family and then brought his cameras to document what happened.  The Boston Herald just ran a brief interview with him and posted some of his photos here:

To see more of his work check here:

Japanese disaster relief donation links are here: