On 12/17/2017 I got to visit Central Valley Con and from what I heard it was pretty busy last year but not as much this year. I will estimate 500-800 participants with enough notable guest from a variety of fandoms (List of Guest).
There was 4 cosplay guest (AlchemicCosplay, ashpashcosplay, FaceYourShears and momino_cosplay) who judged the cosplay contest. I failed to do my job again and did not take any photos of them. The costume contest has 4 monetary prizes, one for children and a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. You can learn more here. I felt the winners of the competition was appropriately determined. It was also quite cute watching the child winner steal the microphone and sing the audience songs.
In terms of photography, there was plenty of space to take photos and minimal crowds to disrupt your shots. The locations I found were just outside the doors to the con (Modesto Centre Plaza) and gives a nice variety of backgrounds.
I was not able to get as many photos as I wanted but here is a link to the albums. Enjoy.