Lemon-ikon Photography is a talented photographer from Texas, who captures beautiful photos that fit the series very well!
How many years have you been into photography and what got you into cosplay photography?
I’ve been into photography in general since 2001 as a young kid with an old film camera. Cosplay Photography didn’t begin until 2010, when I had met a few con-going anime friends that told me of this magical place where people with my sort of gear were very loved, so I tried it out and have been doing it 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?
I mostly stick to my home region within the state of Texas, but I do satisfy a larger convention craving by going to SakuraCon in Seattle every year, and I do have plans to return to a California convention at some point in the coming year. I do not charge for photoshoots at conventions, in between I generally do, but even then its just smaller amounts to cover costs and what not. Shoots are typically setup by message on my Facebook page or personal account, that will probably change in the future as I branch out more and more from my established network, but as of right now that’s how it is.
What type of photoshoots do you prefer and why?
I vastly prefer the more personal and private photoshoots just because it gives me a little more compositional freedom and the ability to setup lights and what not, as opposed to the average hall shots where you’re very limited in what you can do.
What is some of your favorite equipment to work with and why?
On-site, a wide angle lens is my best friend, allowing me to work in the tighter confines of a packed convention center or hotel. Off-site, I prefer to utilize longer lenses for a proper perspective and better background blur. BUT I couldn’t go anywhere without my flashes and their wireless triggers; they’re the tools that really give me the most freedom in creating good images.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
If you mean equipment wise, I should be getting more powerful studio strobes sometime in my future which I definitely look forward to employing outdoors when fighting the sun for light control. As far as anything else, I always look forward to meeting new awesome cosplayers and people to spend time with and make great photos with.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other photographers and who do you think does them well?
What I like in other photographers is the ability to work together and have fun doing so. I think its fun to get a few of us together and photograph the same model, with all our different styles the results always end up different and I enjoy seeing that. I do see this a lot in most cosplay photographers I come across, since its a fairly lax and easy going discipline, but there are of course those that fly alone and get defensive at the notion of teamwork, which is their right, but in the end takes away from the cosplayers that we’re doing this for, and that does irk me a bit.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene?”
Well I think the perspective of cosplay photographer is a fairly unique take in this world, because while I hear stories of drama and hate, or this whole business of fake geeks or whatever else, through my viewfinder I don’t see any of it. Through my lenses I see good craftsmanship, I see smiles, I see characters from a screen coming alive, and thus my view of the cosplay scene is very positive, yes I have my own share of politics and all that, but as a whole I’m very happy with it.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
This one is simple; stop the hate. That’s it.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into photography?
As with anything else, practice, practice, practice… The more you do, the more you learn, and the better you get. Find your style and keep refining it until you’re happy, and even then, keep learning.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
My favorite to date is SakuraCon. It’s a good size without being too big, the location is wonderful, and there’s just the fact that it’s in Seattle, an environment I grew up in and am thus very comfortable with.