BlizzardTerrak Mailbag #01

So now that I am a “big-time photographer” I get some really random questions about me and what I do.

I suppose it is time to start a mailbag.  These are the ones that I remember people ask me frequently, but I don’t remember every question.  Also, some of you might have new questions to ask me.  So I’d encourage you to ask me questions.  You can message me on my Social Media (Facebook page, Twitter), in the comments, and at my email:

blizzardterrakmailbag@gmail.com

Do you shoot nudes?

…….next question.

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Do you cosplay?

I’ve done a closet cosplay of Mr. Chang from Black Lagoon and Tawaraya from .hack//ROOTS.  However my most popular cosplay has been Hirano Kohta from Highschool of the Dead (HOTD)

Photo by: Cosplay Photographers Also Starring: Crystallike as Saeko

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Do you do only do Cosplay Photos?

Nope.  I’ve done some studio portrait photography.  However, I do charge for doing this.  The reason I don’t charge for Cosplay Photography is that I don’t think I could get any shoots at a convention or cosplay gathering (especially since I was not the one organizing the events).  Also for those rare Cosplay Private Shoots, I’ve had to request a carpool with the cosplayer so that’s already compensation.

Here’s a sample.DSC_2319

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What time of day do you prefer to do photoshoots?

(Ah, good.  Something about my photography style.  ^_^ )

Definitely night time.  Yes it is cold, but then again, I use “Blizzard” as my callsign.  Also, I feel at night, I can control the lighting in my shot better than during the day.  Daytime, the sun does it’s own thing and I am forced to angle the model and my shots to compensate.  Also, during the day, it is difficult to have a shallow depth of field (aka BOHKEH~) when it is too bright and I do not have the means to get Neutral Density filters (ND filters) and other similar equipment.  Yes it is more effort on both on my part and the part of the cosplayer, but I feel that my favorite photos mostly happen at night.

If I cannot do it at night, then it would have to be late afternoon (after 3 PM or 4 PM depending on time of year).  I have to wait for the sun to not be directly overhead of the cosplayer and for the light to soften.  Otherwise the photo would not be very flattering.

DSC_1175-2

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How do I contact you for a shoot?

For now, Facebook and Twitter are the best ways to do so.  You can message me on either of these links.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BlizzardTerrakPhotography

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BlizzardTerrak

You can also message me on my DeviantArt and email account, but this one is not linked to my smartphone so answers may take time.

Email:  blizzardterrakmailbag@gmail.com

DeviantArt:  http://blizzardterrak.deviantart.com/

Please don’t message me for shoots on my private accounts.  I use that for close friends and family or frequent customers.  Speaking of which…

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How come you won’t accept my Friend Request on (insert social media site).

I used to do that in the early days because:

  1. They did not have Fanpages
  2. I was new, inexperienced, and was not ready for the drama/spam that would result
  3. I have been known to make political statements or really offensive jokes on my private social media.

Nowadays, I really have to screen the people I add.  I’ve made a lot of enemies either by my work or by me saying the wrong things over the years.  No it is not because you only have a fictional character for your profile icon or because you are a man and not a sexy woman (I wish people would stop using that line).

If you really want to get to know me, talk to me in person.  That’s the best way to judge me as a person.

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How come you don’t Photoshop?

Because I do not have Photoshop….let me explain.

Yes, I do use photo editing software (as of this post: Adobe Lightroom 3).  This allows me to organize the photos I take during an event, sort out the bad photos, and then do macro-level edits to them.  I can (and do) try and fix blemishes one request, alter lighting and the general colors of a photo, and do cropping.  So yes, I actually do SOME Photoshop.

Why do I not do more than basic edits?  Editing one photo is easy.  Editing 500 photos (a typical cosplay gathering) is a nightmare.  And for a large convention, it would take years for me to get those photos back to the cosplayer.  As a photographer, I still have a lot to learn about taking photos so in order to learn, I make mistakes…and make a lot of them.  Also, depending on the subject, I may have lots of ideas for poses, emotions, lighting, etc, so I just keep shooting.  It is a pain to store and sort after a shoot, but if a cosplayer loves 20 photos, it is worth it to me.

Another reason for me is that my goal isn’t to capture the perfect cosplay.  My goal is to capture the person.  They worked hard to make and/or fit into the cosplay so of course I want to make sure that the audience knows that they enjoyed the fruits of their labor.  I felt that “green-screening” should only be used for special cases and the photo now focuses on the Photoshop and not the model in the photo.

That last one is just my opinion.  I don’t have an actual problem with Photoshop other than the workload (of if someone uses Photoshop improperly to make a person look bad).

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So…SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay Season 2 is coming.  *sigh* I have to ask:

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~ by BlizzardTerrak on April 9, 2014.

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