We have a special treat for our readers today! We’d like to give a big welcome to our newest Ambassador, Darrell Ardita of BGZ Studios. Darrell has been generous enough to write the following entry to introduce himself to our community. We’ve been following Darrell’s work for some time now so when we heard that he was interested in our cause here at Cosplay Photographers, to Learn from each other and to pass on that knowledge, it was only natural that we welcome him as an Ambassador. We look forward to seeing more from Darrell and his crew at BGZ Studios as they drop some serious knowledge on the cosplay photography community.
This past week, I was invited to be a writer on this blog. I normally wouldn’t even consider doing it because I also have a blog for myself and I have a hard enough time trying to talk about my own stuff there! But I actually checked out the work of my fellow Cosplay Photographers who work on this site, and their work is quite nice. Now I’ll be completely blunt here and just say that nice photos are extremely rare in this community!
My name is Darrell Ardita and I am the principle photographer of BGZ Studios. If you don’t already know me or haven’t read about my work, you probably just figured out how I can be – I speak my mind. But I am really a guy people can get along with! Just normally not other photographers, honestly. I have some really good friends in the community, but it really comes down to either hating me or loving me. I am not some photo guru and I am no expert, but I love giving advice in my own unique way – without saying the words “man that photo sucks!” (most of the time, anyway)
Mass Effect – Tali’Zorah nar Rayya Cosplay by BGZ Studios
Professionally, I have been shooting for about 7 years. I have numerous contracts and have shot for numerous magazines and newspapers. I am still a nerd at heart and love gaming and anime so it was only natural to be part of the cosplay community. I love the passion that artists put into their costume and the unique touches that each individual brings to the characters. It is quite inspiring and I love spending time getting them great photos.
I often collaborate and create projects with cosplayers. These usually end up being bigger projects than planned (I mean, I set someone on fire for gods sake!). A lot of what I do requires permits, teams and insurance waivers before any of the shooting begins. I tend to do a big project about once every few months just because of the planning and cost behind it all. You will sometimes find me doing smaller projects, hanging with friends, getting some neat pictures, and scouting cool locations. But my favorite thing to do is go all out and create something WILD!
My biggest key? – Using the Environment! (or creating it). Where is the character you are photographing from? Somewhere desolate? Technically advanced? A big city? These are questions that kind of flow in my head when planning a shoot. The strongest element that can compliment a cosplay photograph is its scene. This is something you’ll see me repeat in my future blog entries here.
Dark Phoenix ON FIRE! by BGZ Studios
For those interested in the gear that I use, here is a brief rundown: (I like talking gear sometimes too. You might find me geeking out on it later.)
- Nikon D3s
- Nikon D700
- Hasselblad H4D
- Pentax 645D (main)
- Elinchrom Ranger Quadra/RX Speeds – various Elinchrom lighting equipment
Behind-the-Scenes of Dark Phoenix by BGZ Studios
Behind-the-Scenes video of Emma Frost shoot by BGZ Studios
Over the course of these blog posts, you will find me doing some behind the scene videos, tips and tricks and even some teaching along the way. I’ll post some of my favorite projects and explain the story behind how it all happened. After all, someone has to teach these other cosplay photogs on here how to take a nice picture! (Totally kidding guys!)
You’ll see more from me soon!