The photographer interview this time around is with Al Lin of S.AL Media. I had featured him already when I first started this blog, and of course when I switched to interviews I had to get him again. He’s got a great eye, knows what he’s doing, and is great to work with!
How many years have you been into photography and what got you into cosplay photography?
I picked up a DSLR in 2008 with the intention to start photographing “people”. At that time I didn’t know how exactly I would go about doing that, but after learning about Sakura Con and that my brother-in-law cosplays with his friends, I attended my very first convention and have been hooked onto cosplay photography ever since.
What regions do you usually cover, and do you charge for photoshoots? Also, how does one get in contact to shoot with you?
So far I only cover Washington state, mostly greater Seattle area, but I do hope to expand to other states or even countries in the future. I am working toward becoming a part-time freelance photographer, so technically speaking yes, I do charge, and contacting me through my website is probably the easiest for most people.
What type of photoshoots do you prefer and why?
While impromptu shoots are generally the most common and the easiest to do, well planned shoots are what I generally prefer to do as my team and I get to decide on all aspects of a shoot, including but not limited to, makeup, outfits/costumes, locations, lighting, equipment, and post processing techniques.
What is some of your favorite equipment you work with and why?
Currently my favorite equipments are my Canon 5D mk2 with a 50mm f/1.4 lens, and one 580ex II speedlite with various light modifiers. The why is simple: I don’t have much else. XD
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
More lenses and lights are always welcome as they enable me to create images with even more diverse styles. With the video capability of the 5D, I am also hoping to do more videography. It sounds pretty fun.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other photographers and who do you think does them well?
Lots of respect for their subjects and fellow photographers is one trait I’d like to see more because it sort of reflects the humbleness of the photographer him or herself. And I think a truly humble photographer will never exist, more or less a goal… kind of like there will never be a perfect cosplay so to speak.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
Most of us are in it for fun, and it should be just that (unless fame and fortune is also part of why one gets into the scene). Some people get too serious about it and in the process ruin other people’s fun, which is what creates drama and that, in my opinion, is not a very nice thing to do.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Just generally more respect for others.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into photography?
Just have fun.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I have only attended Sakura Con and Aki Con, so these two are my favorites because one attracts thousands of awesome people from all over the place, and the other is just in general a very chill con.
Thanks for the interview, S.AL Media! To see more of his work, check out his website!