It turns out even though I took lots and lots of pictures during both of Ian Somerhalder’s panels, only a very few are good enough to share in the end. Even with a very good camera it’s hard to shoot decent photos from a seat 20 metres away from the stage and in a dark room. There were spot lights on stage, but… did I mention the distance :-)?
There were quite a lot of young-ish fans of Ian at this convention, very emotional ones, which always makes me feel a bit awkward. And outside of the hotel there were a few more hanging around without tickets, who were hoping to catch a glimpse of him as well. That was a first for me.
His photo and autograph ops were the most expensive and even though I’ve heard that he was lovely during the photo and autograph sessions, I don’t regret saving my money for other stuff, as I wasn’t such a big fan of his before and he only kind of managed to win me over at the end of his final day :-) Until then I was a bit underwhelmed by both his panels to be honest and still can’t quite put my finger on why. Ian told stories, he was charming, he said a lot of eloquent and admirable things. But all the time he seemed rather… guarded, maybe. I’m not saying he was playing an act, because I really do believe, that he meant the things he said. He supports a lot of important issues and I think he is a intelligent and decent human being. Somehow I just still didn’t really connect with him, which is a strange thing to say, because you don’t really “connect” with any of the stars at these conventions.
But unlike Andrew’s or Louise’s panel I didn’t go “Wow!” at any point while Ian was on stage. Not until the end of his 2nd panel where he talked about his experience of “Shipping” and for the first and only time it felt to me like he let his guard down in a (good) way. Apparently at some point in his career or maybe even now still he had/has to deal with these stupid / crazy / rude “shipping” ideas some fans come up with. He didn’t go into specifics, but as he is a much bigger star than Sam or Cait I can only assume how much worse the whole craziness plays out in his case. To me it seemed that this whole “shipping” thing really, really bothered him. And rightfully so I think. He ended his statement with something along the lines of: “We are real people. So just… be kind.” And this time I not just thought, but actually felt like he meant it. I guess there was the connection I was looking for :-)
Anyway, here are a few of my photos…