Welcome to Photographer Friday! I have a great photographer for you today. Enjoy these great insights!
Hi, what is your name?
Dan Elliot Photo
What is your favorite beverage?
I really enjoy tea. I took a few years in college to stop drinking soda and got into tea as an alternative. Arizona tea is my staple but I do also enjoy making different loose leaf teas every now and then.
Tell me a little about yourself?
I am 29 and went to college to get a BFA focusing in ceramics. While there I took a few photography classes and loved them so I continued with it. I started off with macro photography and didn’t get into model photography until later. Cosplay photography cam even later after that.
When did you start cosplay photography?
I started cosplay photography in 2017. I first started with a cosplay group called Nerd Girls Inc. Shortly after I started taking photos for them they stopped meeting up. I went to my first con in 2018, Anime St. Louis.
What got you into photography?
I started with film in college. The actual physical nature of taking the photos and developing them was very interesting to me. I loved finding the different media that I liked best along with the different exposure settings to get the look I wanted. Shortly after that I went to digital and using photoshop to manipulate the colors and surface of the picture works very similarly to the darkroom, for me.
What made you go into cosplay photography specifically?
In college I saw a lot of glamour and high fashion photos but not much fantasy inspired. Because of that I set out to make the photos that I wanted to see. It first started with masquerade photos using wire masks and dresses but after coming back to STL I got into cosplay photography. It makes it a lot easier when I don’t have to make the outfits because the models already have them made.
How long have you been doing photography?
I have been taking cosplay photos for a year and a half.
What types of cosplay do you like to shoot?
I like to shoot anything fantasy themed. Fairies, Skyrim, and the like. But I am willing to take photos of whatever the model needs.
What is your photo shoot goals, or something you would love to shoot?
My goals are to improve so I can keep creating my own photo projects. I am currently in the middle of working on my own project of personifying the season as Queens.
What is your favorite kind of cosplay photo shoot?
See above. I like fantasy cosplays, ones I can add magic effects too.
What do you love about cosplay photography?
I love working with the models and seeing their excitement and passion with the cosplays they make.
What is the most difficult thing for you about cosplay photography?
I want to take pictures all the time. Finding people with cosplays to photo ready is the hardest part for me.
Do you have any camera equipment you can’t live without?
I have a flashbender that I use all the time. Having something small but so versatile is a real life saver when lighting situations are ideal.
If you could live in or visit any fantasy world, where would you go?
I would definitely live in the elder scrolls world. Beautiful scenery, magic, medieval armor and weapons, and dragons. A guy couldn’t ask for anything more.
If you could give cosplayers tips about working with a photographer, what would they be?
Tell the photographer what you want. If they are a photographer worth their salt then they will do their best to realize your vision along with theirs. Never be afraid to speak up.
What are your “fandoms”?
I like Log Horizon and Magi. Amazing clothes and magic.
What is something you wish cosplayers knew about working with a photographer?
Photographers are just as awkward as you may be. Me personally, I feel like I’m too awkward to even ask for a photo, let alone a whole shoot, when seeing such amazing cosplays.
What misconceptions do you feel cosplayers have about working with a photographer that you’d like to clear up?
I am not sure with this one. I have not worked with enough people to get enough info for it.
What is something you wish cosplayers knew before they booked a photography session?
Cancelling last minute or not showing up without notification is extremely rude. If you know before hand that you can’t make a booked shoot then don’t book it in the first place or don’t wait till the last minute.
What is your creative process?
I usually start with an idea and then work to find everything needed to make it a reality. I am terrible at making outfits myself so I comb through amazon or thrift stores to find the closest thing that would work. After the photos are taken then I use a mix of photoshop and particleshop to add my style and effects to the photos.
What are some proper etiquette tips for booking a photoshoot and participating in one?
Always be professional. Show up on time (preferably a little early) and have as much ready as possible. We know that some cosplays require assembly at the location, but if you are putting on makeup in the car then that wastes time, you could have done it at home. Be open to suggestions and be open to giving your own. If you have a certain pose or look you are wanting to go for, make sure to bring it up. But be open to suggestions by the photographer to make it look more natural or get a better angle or lighting.
Where can people find your photography?
You can find my stuff at Elliot Photography on facebook or Dan_Elliot_Photo on Instagram.
What is your greatest achievement (regarding cosplay photography)?
I have been published in Photographer’s Forum’s Best of Photography book with a Left 4 Dead Witch cosplay shoot I did with a friend.
Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.