Aaron Matthew Holmes is a talented photographer from Washington, who enjoys capturing great moments at conventions!
How many years have you been into photography and what got you into cosplay photography?
I’ve loved taking pictures ever since I was a child, and I have had many different types cameras. At some point, I went through years without taking pictures, until I found out about DeviantArt. It had beautiful pictures of people, environments, animals, and more, and I discovered that I missed taking pictures. It wasn’t until I joined the cosplay group, Yakumei, that I actually started taking pictures again.
What regions do you usually cover, and do you charge for photoshoots? Also, how does one get in contact to shoot with you?
I primarily cover the Seattle – Everett region in Washington State. I haven’t charged for photoshoots, but have had an offer in the past. I am still slowly learning the different settings of my current camera and wouldn’t charge more than 30$ or whatever seems reasonable. In regard to getting a hold of me, there are of course all my websites.
What type of photoshoots do you prefer and why?
My preferred type, so far, has been to capture people unexpectedly, as I have taken pictures that are hilarious, and yet impressive at the same time. I really enjoy the warm summer weather for photoshoots for the best lighting and gorgeous blue sky backgrounds, as it adds a lovely atmosphere to the image and improves the quality.
What is some of your favorite equipment you work with and why?
As of now, I only have a Kodak Easyshare Touch model M5370 digital camera, and Tripod. I do have Photoshop, but haven’t used it for more than just increasing lighting in a dark picture. I’ll be researching more on other things that I can do to improve picture quality, including effects, if the camera doesn’t process picture effects well. I would love to upgrade to a preferred camera such as a Canon, as they have firmware that you can install onto the camera for even better picture results.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Conventions! Definitely, conventions! I love seeing all the various costumes that people either bought or made by hand and the opportunities to take pictures of them all!
What are some of the traits you like to see in other photographers and who do you think does them well?
From what I’ve seen, and who I’ve met, photographers who are self-taught and dedicated to learning everything that they can about taking pictures, have done some amazing work. School is also a great way to learn all about taking pictures, but it can be stressful trying to get “the perfect picture, which is understandable. Having a strong passion for what you want to do should help keep you staying strong in the field.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I truly believe cosplay to be a form of artistic beauty, whether people buy their costumes, or not. To those who actually create their costumes, they spend a great deal of hours and create such lovely costumes. Cosplay is something that I think should be appreciated by all, and not seen as “weird”, but seen as something “beautiful”.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I’ve unfortunately heard and been around people who judge other peoples costumes, how they look, how accurate they are, etc. I feel that all cosplayers alike shouldn’t judge someone else’s work, the character/anime they chose, or even interpretation of a character. If we can truly see the hard work others put into their cosplay, and ask for opinions, thoughts, or even help, it’ll form a better community for all other cosplayers, and cosplay-hopefuls to enjoy.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into photography?
Take lots, and lots of pictures! It doesn’t matter what camera or equipment you do or don’t have. A picture is a picture and it’s all about just trying out different settings and lighting! Always, after taking lots of pictures, look through them. See what you like, what you don’t like, see if having a tripod may have improved the sharpness of the image so there’s no blur. Then upload what you feel are your best pictures to a website, and get the opinions of others, see what they think, and what you can improve on.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Aki-Con, which I attended for the first time, was a great con to attend. They had a room setup specifically for taking pictures with different scenes/settings, which made for some lovely pictures, with various cosplays. Sakura-Con is another favorite of mine, solely because it’s a convention for anime and cosplay, by cosplayers and anime lovers. It is truly amazing to attend such a convention that has so much passion which mirrors my own.
Thanks for the interview, Aaron Matthew Holmes! To check out his work and contact him for a shoot, you can check out his webpage, his Facebook page, his Facebook photography page, his Deviantart, and his photography website!