Monday, December 10, 2012

Anime Los Angeles Photo Shoot Slots Fill up in Record Time


Photography is an art that takes endless practice to achieve a certain level of skill. Henri Cartier Bresson famously said, "your first 10,000 photos are your worst." I have been doing photography in 2004, and I have been improving as much as I can. In 2009 I started to go to the next level, doing photo shoots in conventions. Over time I have built a reputation as a fun and friendly photographer that gives really fun photo shoots. This hard-earned reputation is because I have gained the respect of many amazing and skilled cosplayers. It bears itself before a convention since I take requests for shoots before cons, on December 10, 2012, I hit a new record of sorts in taking photo shoot requests.

I started taking requests from cosplayers I am close personal friends with a couple of days ago. After that, I moved on to then next tier for photo shoot requests. That is when something special happened, in under 4 hours I had all available photo shoot slots for Saturday and Sunday of the event filled up. It was 16 slots. Here is how I do photo shoots, for those of you unfamiliar with my scheduling system:
  • Tier 1 Close Personal Friends: I hang out with you and you know me personally, you know my style and we hang out in and out of cons. You know who you are 
  • Tier 2 Facebook Friends: You guys know my style and are familiar with it on some level. We interact on some level so there is familiarity in the shoot. 
  • Tier 3 DeviantArt followers: They know my style and like it, so they know what they are getting. There is less personal interaction so there is less familiarity. 
  • Tier 4 Cosplay.com requests: they don't know me, they just want a photographer that isn't a creeper and a perv. I normally use this for events that I don't have many friends in, like Wondercon and Comikaze Expo. 
Typically, for most conventions I at least go down to tier 4 before all my slots can be filled up for any convention. It also normally takes around a month to fill up my photo shoot slots. Even with events as large as Anime Expo, it takes a while to fill up my slots. I can say with no hesitation that I have never ever had my slots for photo shoots fill up as fast as they did for Anime Los Angeles 2013, it is quite a record. The question on my mind is whether this is special to Anime Los Angeles or if my scheduling will be this crazy for the rest of the 2013 convention season, time will tell.

Kris Zoleta, B.A., M.B.A., started working in Anime Expo as a staffer in Manga Library. He worked in Staff Service in Anime Expo 2006 and became the manager of Manga Lounge from Anime Expo 2007-2010. He was serving on the Board of Directors for the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation as Treasurer and Interim CFO for the 501(c)(6) non-profit behind Anime Expo, and he was Co-Chair of Anime Expo 2012. He works in the con world and is one of the most recognized cosplay photographers in the West Coast.

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