Photographer Interview with Tom Good

Tom Good is a talented photographer from Oregon, who has a great eye for capturing beautiful scenic moments on film!

Tom Good

Tom Good

How many years have you been into photography and what got you into cosplay photography?
I have enjoyed photography in general for over 30 years, but I’d say I got more serious about it a few years ago.  I got into cosplay photography when I attended Kumoricon for the first time in 2005 and saw how much fun that was. Then about 2 years ago I started becoming more involved with the local cosplay community, and doing cosplay photography more often than just at conventions a few times a year.

What regions do you usually cover, and do you charge for photoshoots? Also, how does one get in contact to shoot with you?
I go to conventions in Oregon, Washington, and California. I do not charge for cosplay photoshoots, because I do them as a way to support the cosplay community. Cosplayers are welcome to contact me through Facebook, though I can’t guarantee that I’ll be available for photoshoots, because I get pretty busy.

Meepy-Gal as Rei from Evangelion, photo by Tom Good

Meepy-Gal as Rei from Evangelion, photo by Tom Good

What type of photoshoots do you prefer and why?
I like photoshoots where everyone gets something more out of it than just photos — where it feels like spending time with friends and having fun together. I like to get together with a small group of people and go out to some interesting location for the shoot as a “road trip.” It’s fun to try something new, whether it’s a new location, or different equipment, or just a new creative idea.

What is some of your favorite equipment you work with and why?
The remote flash radio triggers from CowboyStudio are great; I use them on almost every shoot. They are inexpensive and reliable, and they allow me to position strobes just about anywhere and trigger them from the camera. I also get a lot of use out of a simple 32″ white/silver reflector from Creative Light, because it fits in a backpack, and I can use it outdoors with natural light, or indoors for bounced flash.

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
In terms of gear, I’m not sure, because I don’t think I’ve fully explored what I can do with what I have now.

What are some of the traits you like to see in other photographers and who do you think does them well?
I like to see photographers who have a strong personal style, and who use color, light, and composition to create a photo that makes me stop and want to take a second look. One photographer I’ve been following for quite a while is Anna Fischer. I really like her cosplay photos.

Nukka as Filia from Skullgirls, photo by Tom Good

Nukka as Filia from Skullgirls, photo by Tom Good

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I’m amazed at how much the cosplay scene has grown and gotten more sophisticated in the last 7 years. The construction quality of some cosplay creators is incredibly professional and beautiful. Here in the Portland area, the cosplay scene is very fun and the people are great. That’s probably the main reason why I’ve spent so much time on cosplay photography in the last couple of years — I like working with that group of people. Perhaps if I hadn’t met that group of people, I would have moved on to some other type of photography.

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I’m not sure what I’d want to see change; that’s a tough question. In a way I hope it doesn’t change too much.

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into photography?
Take photos often with whatever camera you have, even if it is your phone. Take many variations of photos of the same subject, and then spend the time to figure out why some work better than others. Get feedback on your photos — one of the great things about photographing people is that they can tell you which photos they like better than others. And sometimes there might be negative feedback, like “ugh, delete that one!” But it can be valuable to hear that and learn from it.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
One is Sakura-Con, because it is a big, lively, fun gathering with so much going on. Kumoricon is also great, and it is smaller with more of a “giant family” atmosphere. I’ve also really enjoyed Wonder Northwest — it is a pretty small convention (so far), but I know a lot of people who go, and the mood there is always great.

Meepy-Gal and Shaynii as Rei and Asuka from Evangelion, photo by Tom Good

Meepy-Gal and Shaynii as Rei and Asuka from Evangelion, photo by Tom Good

Thanks for the interview, Tom Good! To check out his work and contact him for a shoot, you can check out his Facebook page and his Flickr!

About Yunie

I am a cosplayer, a nerd, a geek. I am whatever you call me. However, I have a brain and tend to use it.
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