Anime Expo 2013 - Convention Report - AX 2013 @ 85mm

July 16, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

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 (            

Final Anime Expo 2013 - Photo Shoot Schedule

July 01, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

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!


Scheduling with LAphotoNet Announcement

May 23, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

-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    

Suspended Elegance Shoot – Behind the scenes with Olivia

May 20, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

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.


Suspended Elegance Shoot - Behind the scenes with Sami Boardman

May 09, 2013  •  Leave a Comment


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. 


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