I was honored to be ask to come out and cover the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention again in its 7th incarnation out at Old Tucson Studios. It’s always a fun event for a photographer because you have some really wild costumes and the location is so immersive that you can photograph people and they look like they belong there.

I’ve covered it for several years and during that time I’ve grown to become friends with many of the people who regularly attend it and who run the event. Some of them I see regularly throughout the year. Others are people I only see at the event. Either way, I look forward to going, saying “hello” and renewing acquaintances as well as seeing what everybody is showcasing that year.

I love photography but I also love that in my attempt to pursue the photography, I’ve had the chance to meet so many nice and interesting people along the way. Sometimes they help you in the most unexpected ways – and the steampunk community is no different.

I photographed one couple this year during the day and then saw them that night just before the concert featuring Deus Ex Vapore Machina and Abney Park started. They had staked out a space right at the front of the stage and they told me, “if you need to get good pictures down front we will help you do it”.

So during the show I made my way down front and these two helped push people back so I could get through and then they formed a protective barrier around me so I could shoot the photos I needed. Once I had the photos I needed they helped ease me out of the side of the crowd. I made my way to the front a couple of times during the concert and on the 2nd time around they shoved a cold root beer in my hand. As it happened, by that point in the show I was really thirsty so I was incredibly grateful. I was as shocked as I was surprised.

Who does that for photographers? The steampunk community. They are some of the nicest people you could ever meet. I continue to be amazed not just by their amazing ability to build and create incredibly costumes, but by their generous hearts and free spirits.