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.
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.