Winter Wish Cosplay Photography is a talented photographer from California, who has an amazing eye for capturing beautiful images and amazing mood lighting!
How many years have you been into photography and what got you into cosplay photography?
I started back in college when I found a good deal on a dSLR. I initially got into cosplay photography to learn photography, but I eventually fell in love with photographing costumes. It helped that I’ve cosplayed as well so I know what it feels like to be behind the lens as well. I wanted to give back to the community.
What regions do you usually cover, and do you charge for photoshoots? Also, how does one get in contact to shoot with you?
I at some point experimented with paid shoots, but the lack of creative control was not satisfying to me. The whole point of paid shoots is not for profit but to make sure people show up and take it seriously. If you shoot enough, you will find certain people that are on time and serious and you just work with those people. If you are going to try to make money off photography, there are far more lucrative fields like weddings or whatnot. As an artist you should keep some things for fun, and cosplay photography was always about fun and giving back to young artists aka cosplayers. I cover the San Francisco area in California. Usually if you send me a message via facebook/twitter/email, I am happy to try to accommodate you depending on my schedule and figure out the concept and execute it.
What type of photoshoots do you prefer and why?
I prefer private shoots because it’s a collaboration between the cosplayer and photographer. Its 2 artists coming together to produce a piece for the public. I usually discuss location and time weeks before and there is always a theme involved. I want all my photographs to mean something, not simply to document cosplayers in say a convention environment.
What is some of your favorite equipment you work with and why?
I don’t particularly have a favorite equipment or camera. I think it’s basically whatever brand/system you land in and buy enough so much that you can’t switch equipment without taking a loss. Also every photographer works differently in terms of workflow, so it’s basically whatever works for you. I personally shoot with Canon equipment, and I am loving my new 5D mark III body as Canon did an amazing job designing the features on it. In the end it’s about the artist not the tools.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I am excited to be continuing doing private shoots with cosplayers in the future to produce amazing imagery that tells a story. I just love to create and that really drives me in life as an artist.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other photographers and who do you think does them well?
I highly value “professionalism” even though this is purely a hobby. So when I see a photographer smile and act cordial before asking to take a picture, or showing the cosplayer the shot to explain what they’re doing. Cosplayers are people and they deserve to be treated equally. We give back and they give back to us by posing. I don’t expect respect; I give respect to the other person first.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I think the scene is evolving as the videogame industry recognizes the monetization possibilities. Examples that come to mind are Jessica Nigiri and Precious Cosplay representing the in game characters in real life as well as the booth babes you see at cons wearing costumes in the featured games. I am torn on the future of this as this gives us more credibility but could also do damage in the long run by propagating stereotypes but it’s too early to tell. The important thing is we are no longer a niche and recognized as something cool now and we can do something good with that if we manage the course correctly.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I am not really sure. I’ve addressed some of the things in the previous question, but I just hope people stay altruistic and not see this as an opportunity to enter the modeling/acting/web acting profession or whatnot, because it is bigger than that at the root. It would be sad to see the good cosplays go just because they were not sexy or badass enough.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into photography?
I would say just buy what you can. Master it. Sell it, and buy what you need to get you to the next level. It’s all a learning process and no one is ever going to be the greatest photographer. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, make mistakes, and just ask people to shoot with you. If you are confident, people see it and they will want to shoot with you. If you don’t believe in yourself and don’t push yourself, like anything else in life you won’t get very far.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
My “home convention” would be Fanimecon. The shooting environments are very diverse, the locals are friendly, and the location is very convenient in terms of food and lodging needs. I’ve been to other conventions like Anime Expo and smaller ones like AOD and enjoyed them as well. Big conventions are fun because there are a ton of amazing cosplays but it can get busy whereas smaller conventions you have more time to work with the cosplayers and you get to converse with people more. Thank you for the interview!