Patti Gould is a talented photographer, who I’ve been happily friends with for years in the cosplay scene! I was quite honored to interview the all-knowing Stage Goddess! 😀
How many years have you been into photography and what got you into cosplay photography?
I have been into photography since I was a kid, however I didn’t really get all too serious until about 2003 when I bought my first digital, a Fuji Finepix 3.2 megapixel. Shortly after, I resorted back to a film camera A Pentax Super ME SLR due to the faster shutter speeds and ability to change out lenses, but of course developmental costs quickly axed that idea.
Cosplay photography interested me in the fact that I was somewhat able to leave the real world behind and what would be “normal” in certain shots. No two shots will ever come out the same even if it is the same character.
What regions do you usually cover, and do you charge for photo shoots? Also, how does one get in contact to shoot with you?
Currently I am pretty well stuck in theChicago/immediate Midwest area for shoots. Every once in awhile I will travel to Colorado to visit with friends and by chance get a shoot in just for the sake of getting one in. In most cases I do not charge as it is mostly just purely a hobby for me, however I do charge should there be a charge to get into the location where the shoot will be located (national park, convention center, etc.)
As for getting in touch with me and viewing pictures please visit: Main storage site, http://s201.photobucket.com/home/tuxedomakdarien/index or http://domomkasshu.deviantart.com/
What type of photo shoots do you prefer and why?
Most of my photo shoots are based off the actual costumes and what would look the best with them, but most have been taken outdoors to take advantage of the natural light and beauty. If there is a special circumstance like a Japanese Gardenor tea house I will look ahead of time to see what is available nearby. I have in the past been kidnapped to locations unknown to me and had wonderful results.
What is some of your favorite equipment you work with and why?
My main camera of choice currently is a Canon Rebel XTi with a 28-135mm IS lens, a 24-75mm IS and a 100-400mm “L” Series IS lens. I do carry an external flash and bracket for 99% of my shots. I also like to carry a Canon Elph Point and shoot camera for references as well as occasional shooting.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I am excited when anyone has a positive reaction to my photos that I take, so every experience is new to me.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other photographers and who do you think does them well?
Every photographer does them well, some better than others. BUT it is in the eye of the beholder where you must find acceptance. I am no professional by any means and will most likely never really be. Though I do find that those of them that take photography beyond what is sometimes unimaginable is Alain Camporiva of Idolatry Studios. I am continually blown away by him.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
Cosplay as a scene… *laughs* Now that I am getting older and seeing some of the new series out there, things have become to mainstream to a degree. We have Hot Topic selling outfit pieces and in general people are not putting forth any effort to differentiate themselves from the crowd. There are those that take the time and effort to create and make their costumes their own and NOT blend in. I also see a lot of the same people getting photographed by the same photographer over and over. This also creates some if not a lot of animosity between cosplayers. I would like to see more randomness from photographers for their general photos and save the “favorite” cosplayers for the photo shoot section, but that’s just me.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I cannot really say I want the scene to change, but I would like the younger, less experienced cosplayers to not be afraid to ask the more experienced for advice especially when they are stumped on a project. I see far too often the younger cosplayers quit cosplaying because they get frustrated and just give up.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into photography?
For those of you trying to get into photography, take your time and learn. With as fast as the technology is changing, you will always have to learn something new. The basic fundamentals are what you will be relying on even with a digital SLR camera just like with film.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Conventions attended so far to date are:
EVERY year of Anime Central
Anime Oasis 2003-2008 (Chicago,IL)
Anime Iowa 2003 (Cedar Rapids,Iowa)
Nan Desu Kan 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008 (Denver,CO)
Colossal Con (Ohio)
The cons I have attended repeatedly are mostly because of friends and proximity to my home/s.