Behind the Scenes with Sami and Tani - Glam&Beauty

October 30, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

This is a quick behind the scenes look at the first entry to the new "glam&beauty" section of  The shoot was set up with one of the most elegant lolita's I know; Sami Boardman.

We ended up working in my new small home studio which is still under construction.  Most of the shoot was trial and error, due to my minimal studio experience.  I’m used to shooting with natural lighting and plenty of space.  It’s a new experience trying to control all of the light, especially in such a small place.  

I was also fortunate enough to have Tani L. Chavez helping me with make up and hair.  Below are some behind the scenes shots. 


 I had no idea that make up and hair took so long!  

I don't think Sami did either... :D

The shoot turned out better than I had hoped.  Sami was a pleasure to work with once again, and Tani went above and beyond what I was expecting.  She had a lot of in-studio knowledge that helped the shoot run smoothly.  Tani was always on guard with hair and wardrobe, catching and fixing small mistakes that would have been difficult to edit in post production.


I had a great time photographing Sami, and I hope she did too!

Thank you to both of these talented young ladies for all of their help, and stay tuned for more glam&beauty photography coming soon.


Anime Expo 2012 - A small report on my Photos Shoots

July 13, 2012  •  Leave a Comment



This post is to give people more insight into what I do at Anime Conventions... more specifically, Anime Expo 2012.

Every year around mid-June I start to brainstorm new ideas on what I kind of photos do I want to get out of this year’s Anime Expo (I try to step it up every year).  This year I had decide that I was going to focus on setting up shots that were ideal for inserting special effects into them (I will post examples below).  I also had in mind that I wanted to do something with “levitation” photography like I have been doing with my Lolita series (Suspended Elegance).  I knew that I wasn’t going to get many participants since it’s a weird idea to try to pitch to random people at a convention, but it wasn’t going to hurt to try!  (n_n)

Here are a few cosplayers that were brave enough to follow me somewhere to do some floating photos:

Thank you everyone for risking bodily injury for my art!


When it comes to large anime conventions like this, I usually look to schedule private (at con) photo shoots that last around 30 to 45 minutes.  I also like to leave time in between shoots to “scavenge” for those cosplayers who look great and are willing to give me a few minutes of their time to take some photos off to the side, or in a corner of the convention center.  I respect the art of costuming, like any other medium, it takes skill, hard work, and talent to put it all together.  Therefore,  I put the same amount of effort into my cosplay photography.  Below are a few shot’s from cosplayers who were great enough to set up some photo shoot time with me during AX2012. 

Cosplayer: Tatiana Wok

Character: Lightning

Series: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Note:  This shot was set up in a walkway right outside of the west hall lobby.  It's a popular spot for photographers because of the great lighting which is consistent throughout most of the day.  I planned ahead for Tatiana's shoot in order to get photos that I could later on insert special effects into, so the poses we ended up with reflected that.  They would have looked funny on their own without effects.  

Cosplayer: Krissy

Character: Inori

Series: Guilty Crown

Note: Since it isn't too windy indoors, I employed the help of Kristin's "handler" Alex, and her co-cosplayer Angeline Woo to BE the wind.... this shot took three tries. Third time was the charm on this one.

Cosplayer: Krystal DM

Character: Sindragosa

Series: World of Warcraft

Note: This cosplay was based on a "fan made" original artwork called Sindragosa.  Krystal went ahead and made the real life cosplay counterpart of it.  The benefit to this shoot is that it's not an actual licensed character from the W.O.W. series, which gave me room to play around with the effects as such.  I used my imagination on this one because there was no material to use as reference for the effects.  We came up with the poses on the fly during the shoot, as I was photoshopping it all in my brain.  This is one of my personal favorites from the set.

This is the benefit of setting up a photo shoot with me prior to a convention. It gives me time to plan ahead and make the most out of our time together.  These are the results of that. 

Let me give special thanks to these cosplayers who ended up spontaneously shooting with me at Anime Expo.   Thank you for finding me.

Kasea VP 

Hugo Fernando Martinez

Joanna Rodriguez's Cosplay Group!

and Rochelle Anne!

This year was tedious, exhaustive, and awesome!  I still have much more photography to process and post, so keep an eye on my Anime Expo 2012 gallery for updates. Email me for the password to download your photos, and “LIKE” me on Facebook. :D


I will see everyone again in 2013!

Featured - Best of the Best from Anime Expo 2012 - Cosplay Photographers

July 13, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I was browsing my facebook newsfeed when I came across the Cosplay Photographers Feature “The Best of the Best” photography for Anime Expo 2012.   I was surprised to find out that I was on there!  I’m honored to have been placed alongside so many exceptional photographers.  Click the screen shot below to read the article.  Thanks to the staff of Cosplay Photographers for including me in this feature.  Please support them, so they can continue to bring us more insight on amazing cosplay photography


Hello - A Lolita Meet Up

May 22, 2012  •  2 Comments

This was the “Hello – A Lolita Meetup”, put together by the Fabulous Olivia.  The event was held on a warm California afternoon, at the Old L.A. Zoo, in Griffith Park.  I always enjoy shooting the events that Olivia organizes, because I get to see and talk to all my fave Lolitas. 

This is Olivia, She’s a talented graphic designer/fashion designer/blogger/Lolita.. etc.  You can find her blog here -> ( 


The Lolitas assemble outfits from Japanese brand name Lolita clothing designers (which can be very expensive), or design and make their own outfits, either of these outfits in their completed states are called “coordinates”.  The coordinates are usually completed by the accessories, hair, shoes, and purses that compliment the dress, skirt, or print worn.  Here are some examples of great Coords.

See the rest here ->


Another awesome thing about these meetups is the networking you are able to do in regards to scheduling private photo shoots with some of the Lolitas.  Here are two Lolie’s that I’m looking forward to shooting.  They agreed to help me with my “Suspended Elegance” photo project ( 

 See you ladies soon! 

Email me here from this site if you are an awesome Loli, and interested in shooting with me.

I had bunches of fun at the Hello – A Lolita Meetup!  I enjoyed taking your photos, and talking to all of you, because I admire all the hard work you ladies and gents put into your outfits.  Hope to see you next meet! 

-Nelson Castro

Promotional Photo-Shoot with DJPREZ

March 12, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I recently collaborated with a very talented and popular DJ (DJPREZ), for some promotional shots.  We ended up going to a well known location in Los Angeles for getting great urban photos. 

I used a lot of different techniques that day, including levitation, and Light painting.  Here are some of the results we ended up with after the shoot. 


The photo above and below were taken using my home made tupperware ringflash.. browse through this blog to see the tutorial, and make your own!

 The photos below were taken using the light painting technique that I’m experimenting with.  This is my first official attempt at this.  Not really what I was expecting, but you can’t automatically be great at something when you haven’t practiced it.  In time I hope to have developed a solid process to this kind of photography.

 We also took one levitation photo.  We were shortly “evicted” by security soon after this photo was taken… :(

So many ideas… so little time for this shoot.  All in all, we ended up with some usable promo photos, and a nice addition to my portfolio.

See the rest of the photos here ->

Check out DJPREZ’s work here ->

Here's a behind the scenes video, made by DJPrez Productions...



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