Photo Shoot @ FairyTale Boutique

November 25, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

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



Monochrome @ Fairy Tale Boutique

October 19, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

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! 


Miss Sinister – Sagat Cosplay – Featured (condensed version)

July 26, 2013  •  2 Comments

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:  





Suspended Elegance Project – Update

July 23, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

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




Behind the Beauty – Ashley Marie – Vintage Beauty Shoot

July 19, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

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



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