We all enjoy the various pictures of amazing Cosplayers in beautiful settings. And while we think that its just the amazing people in front of the lens, we must remember the amazing workers behind the lens. FaM is one such worker, who’s amazing imagery has made some of the best Cosplayer look even that much better. Recently I was able to get FaM to sit down for a moment and give us a peek inside the creative mind and process.

Jack Nickelz: So tell us what first got you started in Photography?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: I dabbled in film photography in college on my way to a graphic design degree, but it wasn’t until a car accident in early 2010 that gave me some expendable income to buy my 1st DSLR, a used Olympus E-410 with a couple kit lenses. When you have kids and a new camera you start shooting them, in fact I began shooting everything. Soon after, my friends and wife’s friends wanted their kids to have portraits done by me. That’s how it began for me.

Jack Nickelz: What types of photography did you start out doing?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: Anything I saw that was interesting started with my children and my local autocross racing club as well as car shows. Wearing out cameras just shooting everything around me non-stop probably annoyed my wife to be honest.

Jack Nickelz: How did you end up doing Cosplay photography? 11154712_394991074020870_6947220892834440520_o

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: I was a comic fan and an illustrator, so I was always going to big wizard world conventions in Chicago to talk with the top artists, portfolio reviews, even had tables to sell comics I had drawn. However I hated drawing sequential art as it was boring to me, so I got out of the business of going to cons. In January 2014, I decided to visit Ohayocon on my way back from a trip with my camera gear, I was hooked.

Jack Nickelz: Who have been some of your fav. Cosplayers to work with?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: Sunday school answer: I enjoy them all, I love doing it. There hasn’t been a single shoot where I have felt that I’d rather be somewhere else. Artemis Moon, Dusking, Breezy Bree, Caroline Krunchy just to name a few.

Jack Nickelz: What have been some of your fav. conventions to go to?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: I generally have kept to Ohio and Michigan for my conventions so it’s pretty limited, but I enjoy Youmacon in Detroit because visually it has a massive amount of scenery to the giant rear atrium of Cobo, to the docks with a great view of Canada, the parks in between Cobo and the GM Ren Center. Then the Ren Center has awesome rear steps, great skyline, and lighted glass walkways in the center itself. It’s a buffet of imagery for a photographer.

Jack Nickelz: What do you think conventions could do to make things easier between Cosplayers and photographers?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: Conventions that sets their schedules early and are organized help everyone. Time is the most precious thing at conventions and last second changes and not being orderly for a convention is tough on the Cosplayers and photographer shoots. Venues with a variety of scenery to shoot around all within a close distance can help us out as well.

Jack Nickelz: What type of equipment did you start out with?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: An Olympus evolt e-410 with the 14-42 and 40-150 kit lenses. It was a micro 4/3rds sensor, I shot a lot in landscape and portrait modes because I didn’t know about exposure at the time, and it was a great little camera that was built like a tank.

Jack Nickelz: What type of equipment are you using now?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: I’ve got several Nikon Bodies; The D7100 is my favorite con camera because it can focus very well in darker environments. I carry an external light in a softbox for convention shots as well.

Jack Nickelz: Do you do your own picture editing?


FaM- Cosplay Photographer: Yes, Generally speaking I try to do most of the editing at the time of taking the photo, but the more I shoot Cosplay the more I am getting into creative editing.

Jack Nickelz: What are some things people should know before getting into photography?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: Just buy a camera and start shooting. There are tons of resources online to walk you through learning (Tony Northrup, Jared Polin, Ben Long’s foundations of photography videos on Lynda.com are also amazing). 

Jack Nickelz: What are things that some Cosplayers should know about?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: Know your good angles and poses, facial expressions make or break shoots so practice those as well. Pick photographers you like and trust, the more you speak your mind the more likely you are to get what you want.

Jack Nickelz: How hard was it to get people to shoot with you when you first started?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: I already had a portrait portfolio so it was pretty easy to get Cosplayers who wanted free photos. Even if I didn’t have a portfolio, the Cosplay community is so nice and understanding it would have been fairly easy to set up shoots as a novice as long as you are polite and professional.


Jack Nickelz: How did you come up with your name?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: FaM (pronounced like the 1st 3 letters of family) came from the comic Spawn #1. In the back there was an advertisement with a Triceratops with a giant gun and he was saying “I got your family values right here”. Over time my username of family values got shortened to just “FaM”.

Jack Nickelz: Thank you for taking time out to do this. Is there anything else you would like to say to the fans?

FaM- Cosplay Photographer: If you’re a photographer or a Cosplayer and there’s something I can help you with, don’t be shy. I’m here to help and have fun along the way.

For more on FaM- Cosplay Photographer, check out:

https://www.facebook.com/famcosplay  https://www.flickr.com/photos/thegreatjonashley/sets


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