LAPhotoNET: Blog 2016-01-07T17:11:00Z (C) LAPhotoNET LAPhotoNET Dark Beauty Magazine Feature


My octo-girls project was featured in Dark Beauty Mag!  Link here -> CLICK ME!


LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2016-01-07T17:08:59Z 2016-01-07T17:08:59Z Interview with Cosplay Culture Magazine

There I was; minding my own bee’s wax, plugging away at my cubicle, when I get an email from Ashley Wilson.  It was a short very friendly email asking me if I would like to be featured in Cosplay Culture magazine.  She then referred over to the Editor (Paul) which selected and collected my images, then in turn referred me to Jill Bergforth, the Journalist who would interview me.  I’m SO very honored and confused as to how or why they wanted to feature my photography.  Click the image below to get your issue and read all about it, or read my interview here -> LINK



Thanks again to everyone involved.  I will keep you updated on more behind the scenes, and upcoming projects, and conventions as I get myself re-organized. 



LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2015-05-19T19:23:27Z 2015-05-19T19:23:27Z INTERVIEW with - *spanish

The Columbian correspondent Poisoned Candy from contacted me a few weeks back to interview me about my Suspended Elegance photo series.  Thank you to Lolitasnaps for spreading the word on floating lolitas! <3 The interview was conducted in English, but was translated into Spanish for their readers.  

Click the Screenshot below to read the interview in Spanish.

I have a bunch of new themed shoots scheduled for Suspended Elegance, so stay tuned for more Floating Lolitas on

LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2014-09-29T21:26:06Z 2014-09-29T21:26:06Z Cosplay Magical Girls Photo Shoot - Behind The Scenes - DIY GoPro Backpack Mount

Here's another look behind the scenes of a recent cosplay photo shoot I did.   

LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2014-09-29T20:14:50Z 2014-09-29T20:14:50Z DIY - GoPro Back Pack Camera Mount

I have gotten several questions asking about my GoPro over-the-shoulder view videos, and what I use.  

It's basically a custom frame mount made out of PVC pipe, cut to fit inside of a back pack.  I learned how to make it from the video below.  I've seen a few videos on how to make it, but haven't seen many videos made with the actual mount however.

WATCH DIY video here!

The version I've built is made out of 3/4 size PVC for sturdier quality, since I used it frequently for my behind the scenes videos.

Here are some photos of what my version looks like, I've also made small modifications to make it easier to use (and some cosmetic differences).  One of those modifications being, adding a rubber washer to the end of the 1/4 bolt to hold the tripod mount with a snug fit, but still loose enough to remove afterward. It also makes it easier to adjust the angle on my GoPro if needed.

Here are some other ideas that I've come up with.  GoPro batteries only tend to last an average of one hour.   I take a lot of video, which has me changing batteries frequently.  I purchased an affordable external battery power-bank, and now I use that to run my GoPro for hours.  I run a USB cable down to another compartment that holds my external battery. See below.

I love this setup because it doesn't get in the way while shooting, and I can turn on my GoPro and forget about it.  It also makes for an interesting perspective.  I take my DIY PVC rig with me whenever I shoot, so I have loads of videos waiting to be edited.  Here are a couple of recent examples of my behind the scenes GoPro videos (my editing skills need work, I know).  I edit on my iPad using iMovie. Sad.


I'm still working on getting a better workflow for my videos, but for now this is it.

Stay tuned for more behind the scenes from!

Thank you!

-Nelson Castro


LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2014-09-25T05:46:32Z 2014-09-25T05:46:32Z Untamed - Behind the scenes with the Tiger-Lady

Here's a behind the scenes look at my last photo shoot with savage model Tatiana Wok.  I just recently started a new Series called UNTAMED - A photo series of wild beauties.  I've been brainstorming this idea for a series for about a little over a year now, and I'm glad to say that I finally got around to starting it.  Now if I could only catch up on my photo editing.   

Tatiana Wok is a fabulous model, and was the perfect first candidate for this kind of theme, since she works as wild life caretaker at the city zoo.  She is also a very talented cosplayer (costume designer/maker).  She actually made the wardrobe featured in these images by herself.  Here are some construction images that she kindly provided me of her building the head-dress.  Go here to see her cosplay work -> LINK


This was the first one of many shoots that I am currently scheduling for this concept.   I expect to have this collection full or ferocious images soon.  

Enjoy some of the outtakes from the shoot.  Tatiana is such a happy person. <3

For more info on this series click this LINK.  Also, message me if you would like to participate. 


Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for more updates to the Untamed photo series.  



LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2014-09-11T00:13:31Z 2014-09-11T00:13:31Z Fashion Shoot in Little Tokyo - Moon Farron & Bitsy Cosplay

Here's a behind the scenes video of a Fashion shoot I did with two lovely ladies.  Moon Farron, and Bitsy usually cosplay, but this day was all about street fashion.  It was a quick spontaneous photo shoot that almost  didn't happen.   Thanks to some awesome driving skills, and facebook messaging, we got this shoot done.  

The video runs a little long at 6 minutes, but it's a good look into how simple my photo shoots are. Natural/ambient light and me on the floor.  Below are some examples of the photos we got that day. 

I'll have more of these images soon.  Check these ladies out on Facebook in the meanwhile.  



-Nelson Castro -


LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2014-07-31T04:19:14Z 2014-07-31T04:19:14Z Anime Expo 2013 - Unedited Bulk Upload

CLICK ME TO VIEW GALLERY!Unedited batch upload - Anime Expo 2013


Here are everyone's photos from last Anime Expo.  I probably would have died of starvation trying to edit effects into all of these. What was I thinking? Message me on Facebook for the password to download your photos.  I resized them to be ready to upload to your social networks.  They range from 1.5mb to 4mb each.  


Thank you for your patience and support.  Go HERE to see your photos. Thank you all again for your time and effort last Anime Expo. 


Hope to see you around the next convention! <3


LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2014-03-09T19:13:47Z 2014-03-09T19:13:47Z March 2014 Featured Photographer Of The Month: Nelson Castro

I was interviewed by Cosplay Photographers for Photog of the Month.  I'm still wondering why.  Click the screen-shot to read the article.  Thank you to Richard Bui, and Cosplay Photographers for the opportunity to share my work.  


@laphotonetCLICK ME TO READ INTERVIEW!Cosplay Photographer of the Month for March 2014

LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2014-03-04T19:24:25Z 2014-03-04T19:24:25Z Suspended Elegance - Irene Yuen - Behind the Scenes

Click to see how we made Irene Float away!Suspended Elegance - Behind the Scenes


Check out this BTS video of my latest Suspended Elegance - Photos of Floating Lolitas shoot.  Thank you to the fabulous Irene Yuen for her time.


LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2014-01-15T02:57:12Z 2014-01-15T02:57:12Z Photo Shoot @ FairyTale Boutique

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Miki, the owner of FairyTale Boutique to shoot some stock photos for the shop.  I was very excited to do this, since I love the shop and all the ladies that work there.

We ended up shooting on the weekend of November 16th, and decided to shoot in the shop (in the back room).  We did not fit back there however. :(

We decided to shoot right smack in the middle of the store.  This was a very cool experience for me, because we had an audience watching us as we were photographing, directing and posing the girls.

Before long there was a crowd gathered around the inside and outside of the store. 

As lighting I used four DIY fluorescent shop lights on photo stands, and a white seamless paper background.  I like using this setup, but at home only, since they are not transport friendly.  Loading and unloading these things without breaking them was a nightmare.  

The images look like this after post. Ready to be placed and edited in a graphical layout.


We obtained most poses from Lolita magazines, book marking most of them with post-it’s.  Miki did most of the heavy lifting (posing wise) for this photo shoot, since she would be doing the layouts for the postcards and content that will be generated for the shop using these photos, I figured she would know what would work best in the graphic design portion. So most of the poses were her idea.  

Here is quick very light-hearted behind the scenes video from that day.  Filmed and edited on my iPad using the iMovie app.  So professional! :P

All in all, the shoot was very fun.  I hope the ladies had as much fun as I did. 

Thanks to Miki, and all the girls who participated in this photo shoot…  Until the next event ladies and gents. <3


- Nelson



LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2013-11-25T18:11:23Z 2013-11-25T18:11:23Z Monochrome @ Fairy Tale Boutique

I went to the Fairy Tale Boutique's Halloween event to get some snapshot's and catch up with my awesome Loli-friends.  

I wanted to focus on the interaction and emotion that goes on at the Fairy Tale events, so I decided to shoot in Black and White (monochrome).  

I enjoy catching the natural expressions on peoples faces when you minimize yourself and become un-noticeable.  I tried doing this for most of the night.  

I really like the raw aspect to these images, not much was done to them other than a few exposure adjustments. 

Thanks to Miki, and all the awesome Lolis that run Fairy Tale Boutique for this great event.  I had a fantastic time.  

See the rest of the images HERE.  Feel free to download your image and use it for your social networks courtesy of Miki and all the Ladies at Fairy Tale boutique! 


LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2013-10-19T22:13:42Z 2013-10-19T22:13:42Z Miss Sinister – Sagat Cosplay – Featured (condensed version)

Wow! These photos have been making their way around the internet.   I don’t want to spam my blog with “hey lookie” posts.  So I’m going to make a condensed version and I’ll just post (update) what I find here. 


I would like to thank Miss Sinister Cosplay for giving me her time at this year’s Anime Expo.  The quality of her cosplay is amazing and impressive.  Great work, and hope to shoot again soon.   

I’m thankful to all these blogs/websites that have featured our work.  I am humbled and honored. 

 Click the screen shots to read the articles:  





LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2013-07-26T16:48:42Z 2013-07-26T16:48:42Z Suspended Elegance Project – Update

This is something that I have been wanting to post for a while now regarding my Suspended Elegance: Photos of Floating Lolitas project… (n_n) 

Levitation photography is not a new thing; nor is it a secret technique.  If you can Google, you can find out how it’s done. There are many photographers out there using this technique.

The most prominent levitation photographer being Natsumi Hayashi.

*photo credit Natsumi Hayashi

The combination of levitation photography within the context of the Lolita community is original however, albeit accidental.   

I was sitting at my computer one day trying to think of ideas for an upcoming shoot I had with an awesome gothic Lolita by the name of Ashley Marie.   That’s when I thought,  

“Hey, why don’t we do some levitation photography”! 

I opened a Google search for Floating Lolita’s, Levitating Lolitas, Flying Lolita’s and nothing... Not one pic that I could refer to.  This surprised me because I thought that EGL and Levitation photos just naturally went together.  How come no one thought of this before..?  ..Beats me.  So I decided to be the first to do it.  Ashley and I ended up meeting and basically developing floating poses that would showcase the Lolita fashion and retain the unmistakable Loli silhouette… and it just went from there.

Ashley Marie “The first floating Loli”!  

Ashley Marie Manzo

I was originally inspired by Anka Zhuravleva's work.  In my opinion she has turned a gimmicky photo trick into a serious art-form.  She is amazing and I will forever be trying to achieve such awesomeness, to which I’m not even close.  (I’m sure there are others out there).


*photo credit Anka Zhuravleva

I’ve just begun developing my own technique with levitation, and am currently drawing up new challenging ideas for upcoming floating photo shoots.  Thankfully I have many poofy participants who are willing to help me build this into something great.  Just wait until you see what I have planned.

With all that said, the Floating Lolita’s virus is spreading!   I come across photos on the web, and friends are linking me to other floating lolitas.  I think it’s very cool and flattering.  I encourage people to send me their results, so I can post them to my facebook page (with credit of course).  

Here are some that I’ve come across so far.  I’ll try my best to credit the source. Keep up the good work ladies and bro's.

*Photo credit Marie Cherie Chavarria

*photo credit Sissy Doll

*photo credit

Message me here to submit your Floatey Loli's.

I’m also going to make a tutorial, on how I do it in-camera, tips on what mistakes not to make, and maybe a photoshop tutorial afterward.     

Thank you to everyone who has participated so far in the Suspended Elegance project, and for all the positive feedback.  <3

August will be full of new floating updates!  Stay tuned. 


-Nelson Castro




LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2013-07-23T20:35:25Z 2013-07-23T20:35:25Z Behind the Beauty – Ashley Marie – Vintage Beauty Shoot

Back in June, Ashley and I had agreed to get together with Tani L. Chavez and shoot another beauty / glam shoot with a vintage theme.  We decided to meet at my house in Los Angeles to see if we could use the available space to shoot.  

I have a really small makeshift photo studio/home office where I am able to shoot with friends who want a “closed set” type of photo shoot (It’s REALLY small; see short video below for reference).  See how I'm backed up against the wall? :0

Tani brought along her arsenal of makeup and made sure Ash looked fabulous during the shoot.  Check out these shots of Tani working her magic. 

This was the perfect time to continue my experimentation with Joe Edelman’s lighting technique, using DIY fluorescent lighting.  I shot these photos using an 85mm 1.8 Staying at 5.6 aperture most of the time, and always at 1/125th shutter speed, which was absolutely necessary due to the slow flicker of the fluorescent bulbs. I compensated with bumping up the Sensor’s ISO to 400, giving me a bit of noise to get rid of afterward in post process.  We shot against the bare grey textured wall in the office.  Everything we used was very minimal, and straightforward.   

One thing I must always point out is that Ashley is my favorite person to photograph.  I gave her most of the control over the shoot, poses, and wardrobe.  I think it’s simply because she’s great at every one of those things, not to mention Tani Chavez’s make up, hair, wardrobe, and studio experience helping me conduct this shoot freed me up to focus on “photographer type things” (she also brought her awesome transformer make up chair).  Plus my wife Evelin was there assisting with everything she could, giving us access to her closet full of goodies.  It really was effortless shooting on my part.      

Ashley Marie Ashley Marie Ashley Marie

Right off the bat this shoot was fun.  I think it’s due to the fact that we all have known each other for a few years now.  30% of the shots taken this day were of us goofing around and laughing.  Here are some of my favorites.  (n_n)



This turned out to be a great day, we shot, we laughed, and we ate spaghetti.  

We worked hard! Look how tired Ashley looked by the end of the shoot. 

Thank you to Ashley, Tani, and Evelin for all the awesomeness and hard work.  

Check out the rest of the photos here ->  <3 <3 <3

I’m looking for my next top model, so if you’re interested in shooting, send me a message on FaceBook with some examples of your work.


Thanks for reading!


Model: Ashley Marie -

MUA/Hair: Tani L. Chavez -


- Nelson Castro



LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2013-07-19T21:21:28Z 2013-07-19T21:21:28Z Anime Expo 2013 - Convention Report - AX 2013 @ 85mm

My Experience at Anime Expo 2013

Another great Anime Expo has come and gone.  For me, Anime Expo 2013 represented a great challenge.  The challenge was due to the fact that I lost all the equipment I was accustomed to using to cover conventions.  I had no strobes, no mono-lights, no LED’s, no umbrellas, not no nothin’.   This year I was armed with my trusty Canon 5D Mk 2, an 85mm, and a collapsible light reflector.   That’s it. 

I covered all 20 of my scheduled photo shoots with this set up. :o

I was nervous and excited to see if I could rise to the occasion without using my lack of equipment as an excuse not to produce anything worthwhile. 

Honestly, not having to worry about light stands, and manual flash settings, wireless triggers and diffusers was a relief.   (n_n;)

(photo credit: Risa Takeda)

(photo credit: Zulma Castro)

I spent a lot of time before the convention researching characters, ambient light techniques, composition, and finding locations to allow me to use my limited focal length to its maximum (even though I did get a little repetitive with the locations at times).   I relied on ambient light techniques all weekend.  I also had my iPad full of reference images to use for character poses and inspiration; an invaluable tool.  

This year also gave me the opportunity to collaborate and hang around with awesome photographers, and all around great dudes.  It was cool talking to all of you. (Steve Pham, Ejen Chuang, Hugo Fernando Martinez, Mike Rollerson, Darryl Pamplin, Jason Barbosa , and everyone else).

It was also a pleasure shooting with all the talented cosplayers who were nice enough to lend me their precious convention time.  It was an honor, and thank you all. <3  Below are some of the shot's I managed to snap during the convention.  

Miss Sinister Cosplay - Sagat

Miss Sinister Cosplay ^
Amanda - Original Character

Amanda Benavidez ^Sasha - Comedian

Sasha Felix ^Angeline - Annie (LoL)

Angeline Woo ^

Check out more pictures here.

All in all, it was a super-fun-worry-free weekend full of anime related deliciousness.  I’ll have the rest of the photos up soon, and thanks again!

See you next year!

-Nelson Castro (            

LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2013-07-17T00:46:17Z 2013-07-17T00:46:17Z Final Anime Expo 2013 - Photo Shoot Schedule

This is my final schedule for Anime Expo 2013.  Thank you to everyone who was nice enough to allow me to photograph them. Click the screen shot to see the entire schedule.  I will see everyone in a few days!


LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2013-07-01T13:53:11Z 2013-07-01T13:53:11Z Scheduling with LAphotoNet Announcement

-These announcements are for all those wonderful and talented people that want to schedule a photo shoot with me, and some info I think everyone should know.


-I have been getting a high volume of requests, and am already booked solid for May, and June, and half of July.  I have Anime Expo in early July, and most likely will not be scheduling until after AX.  I will eventually be scheduling shoots for late July, and August, prioritizing cosplayers and fashion (but am not booking anyone for those dates at this moment).


-I am currently getting together my schedule for Anime Expo 2013, and will be offering very few shoots this year.  Last Anime Expo I overbooked myself, and was overwhelmed with the large amount of photos I had to process after the convention, which people are STILL waiting for, and I feel terrible about it.  Therefore, I will not be scheduling everyone who messages me in order to keep reasonable post processing/uploading timelines.      


-If I have already spoken to you about scheduling a shoot at Anime Expo I will be contacting you soon to set up a time and day to shoot with you.  This will most likely happen early/mid June. 


-Also, I will be shooting only natural light photography this year due to circumstances that have left me without my lighting kit.  So I will be staying away from night time photo shoots, Garage shoots, and other types of locations and times where lighting is extremely limited. Please keep this in mind.


-This year I will be doing more shoots with character specific special effects like the ones below. 

-I still have some room available in my schedule for Anime Expo, if you're interested in shooting at the convention.   Feel free to contact me.   Thanks for reading, and for all your support! 


See you at AX.


-Nelson Castro    

LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2013-05-23T16:20:59Z 2013-05-23T16:20:59Z Suspended Elegance Shoot – Behind the scenes with Olivia

I just finished up another floating Lolita photo shoot.  This time it was with Olivia Rivera

Olivia Rivera

We met up around 4:00PM and headed out to Griffith park of course (last time, I promise). 

Olivia and I had scheduled this photo shoot well beforehand, which gave us the opportunity to collaborate on ideas for the day we would get together and shoot, which worked out very well because we had time to plan out everything.  Olivia took the initiative to find, buy, and make props and coordinate pieces specifically for this shoot, which included a custom made capelet, and super huge chiffon scarf.  The scarf made most of these compositions what they are.  Olivia outdid herself, and I’m very happy with the results of her hard work and talent.

This shoot, just like the last one, was done using only natural lighting with the help of a silver reflector (assistant included).  Thanks again Darwin.  We also received much help from the most professional fabric tosser on the west coast, Salem.  We had a magical team that day. (even a unicorn showed up).  Below are some behind the scenes shots along side the final images.  

Olivia Rivera

We floated for two and a half hours!  Much more than my photo shoots usually last but Olivia was a trooper, and very committed.  She was sore the next day however (floating Loli is physically demanding).

^^ We were totally twinning that day. 

I want to thank Olivia for being a great sport and model.  Check out her work at

Also, see all my floating Loli’s here ->

More updates on Loli’s will be coming near the end of May.  Stay tuned.


LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2013-05-20T15:11:34Z 2013-05-20T15:11:34Z Suspended Elegance Shoot - Behind the scenes with Sami Boardman


Last Sunday I shot some floating Lolita photos with Sami Boardman.  I needed an emergency Suspended Elegance shoot, due to the fact that I have been lacking content on this site lately.  Sami was nice enough to volunteer to  help me inject some life back into

Sami Boardman

All I've been using for these shoots is my 5D Mark II and 85mm prime lens, and the sun (and a pair of Photographer flip flops). 

I always get dirty when I'm in photo mode... there's a reason I dress bad.  I always end up sitting or laying on the ground for some reason.  Sami kept trying to dust me off.

The location was the wonderful Griffith Park, where most of my floating shoots have taken place.  We met up around 4:00 PM, said hi, and we got right down to business.  I also brought along lots of helping hands.   Floating takes much coordination, and teamwork, and who better to help me than teenagers with nothing to do.  (Laura, Marla, and Darwin. Thanks for all the free help)!

The shoot went very quickly.  It was maybe a little over an hour long, but it was very productive.  

I keep saying this, but I always enjoy shooting with Sami.  She has an excellent attitude; she’s creative, and committed (it's always a pleasure! PLUS, I got to meet her Fiance Rob).   This is the first shoot of many more upcoming Suspended Elegance series that I will be putting out in May and June.  So stay tuned for more floating lolitas, as I get this project back on track.  Thanks again to Sami, and everyone else who is supporting me in my goofy ideas.


Check out the latest floating set here -> CLICK ME. 


LAPhotoNET (C) LAPhotoNET 2013-05-09T16:00:19Z 2013-05-09T16:00:19Z