So, I decided to do another interview with another wonderful photographer! This time I tracked Blake Entrekin! If you don’t know him, he’s a great guy and WONDERFUL photographer. Here’s what went down:
- What got you into photography?
Blake:I would say most of my influence came from my dad and his interest and passion for photography. He had a DSLR for a long time and I would always get to toy with it on vacation or around the house.
- Awww that’s sweet. ^^ When did you get your first camera?
My first point and shoot was sometime in high school. When I about 16. Sometime when I turned 18 and was going into college I upgraded to my first DSLR.
- When you mean point and shoot, are you talking the small cameras? Explain the difference just in case some people don’t know.
Point and shoot are the basic style of camera people usually out. They are compact cameras that are as simple as point and click the button to shoot. An example might be Coolpix or Powershot. A digital single-lens reflex cameras (also named digital SLR or DSLR) are digital cameras combining the parts of a single-lens reflex camera (SLR) and a digital camera back.
- Awesome. So, when and what got you into the con scene? Did you come in as a photographer or just a fan?
I got into anime conventions when I was 14. I knew about them a few year prior but could never convince my parents to take me or let me go. I actually went with some friends and their parents to AWA for my first time. I was just an avid fan of anime back then.
- Yay for friend’s parents! Haha. When did you start really getting into photography at cons? What con really set it off for you?
I always had my small compact camera when I went to cons and I took pictures of cosplayers from anime I knew and loved. Back then wasn’t as popular or diverse of anime as it is now. I remember the very first picture I ever took was of a Vash the Stampede cosplayer at AWA. When I got my DSLR and met some very amazing cosplay photographers, I decided I wanted to try. I’ve been learning ever since.
- SO, what has been your fav con so far?
I really can’t name one con for an overall favorite.AWA has always been one of my home cons, so I always know what to expect while knowing I will be having a great time with friends. I really enjoyed the two years I went to Anime Boston, which felt as a bigger con and cooler set up as far as convention centers go. And Dragon*Con is Dragon*Con, I really enjoy this one as a fan and photographer because everyone digs deep for ideas of costumes. You will see really old school stuff to tv shows and comics. I’ve always get one or two costumes that I thought I would never see or even though of seeing.
- I hope one day I can go to Dragon. It’s up there on my bucket list. What about as far as shooting goes? Do you do a lot of shoots when you’re at cons?
Every con has it’s how crowd and style which I try to match or adapt for. Smaller cons really give me the time to sit down with certain cosplayers and get more out of each shoot. At bigger cons, it is a battle and balance of time since the more time you are away in a shoot, the more you are likely to miss events or cosplays you haven’t seen.Planning wise, I try to adjust to the convention center. Some cons have a lot of plain or small areas which kinda kill the nice background you were hoping for, while AWA has a nice scenic area right outside front.
- Nice. So as you know, KamiCon is moving to Birmingham. What are your thoughts on this? I mean, do you think that it’ll be a good move for this season or will it cause some challenges?
I think they will face the same challenges Momocon faced except for it’s biggest one which was going from a free con to charging since Kamicon has been charging already. From a Georgia con goer, I am happy for the move since it will be even closer to me. Depending on the spot, it might be too big for them. I don’t see it as a bad thing since it leaves room for growth. I do expect see problems with staff both of the con itself and the convention center staff.
- When you say expect to see problems, what do you mean? Are talking as in just learning a new location or something bigger? Kami has been growing rapidly, but do you think the new space will be too much?
A new space is always a problem for any con. You have to have new rules, dealing with learning the layout and setting up everything efficient as possible. Managing crowds and people hanging out in certain areas. As for staff problems, sometimes the convention center never held a anime con before so they have no clue what to expect or how to react to the crowd except very strictly. It is always good to expand which I almost feel it was time for Kamicon to expand into a new place but I guess we will see how much space was really needed.
- What about photography opportunities? You think it’ll be different?
I hope so. I am not from Alabama and really haven’t looked up info on the new location so I can only have high hopes for it to offer more than just a big space of walls.
- SO, the reason I keep bringing up Kami is because it was my first con and most meaningful. And I know that AWA is that for you. Will you ever stop going to cons?
I hope not. I feel I will still go even when I am a lot older. I might not as often to as little as only one or two. I think it would be an interesting and amazing experience to have kids into anime and be able to continue going while bringing them along.
- I agree. I talk to parents a lot that cosplay with their kids and they seem a lot closer that most others. Something about working on the costumes together and such. I hope when the world and I can handle having lil ol Britfaces running around I get that experience too. What has been your most memorable cosplay to shoot?
I would have to say one of my very first photoshoots of a girl cosplaying Ciel Phantomhive. The cosplayer, Kim D., understood I was a noob photographer but still gave me a chance to try and do my best. I feel this is so memorable is because of the pictures from the shoot was widely appreciated and people start recognizing me from that picture on DeviantArt. Another reason is because that one picture made it to print in two different magazines, a cosplay one in Japan, and a smaller US based anime magazine.
- That’s awesome! I had no idea! I bet that was exciting!
If I had to compare it, it would be like making your first cosplay and winning an award in the contest with it.
- Hey I know what that feels like. Sweet Pea and the Sucker Punch girls was a milestone for me. Haha.
Yup yup it was an awesome costume as well
- So as far a favorite photographs go, that one in the magazine is prolly the winner hands down huh. 🙂
Well it is a big favorite but almost at every con I get that one big favorite that I really like. Also this year alone, I feel my work has greatly improve so I am getting a new favorite every con.
- Now, let’s talk about your facebook page. What’s the name again? Hahahahaha jk jk. Bentpic5. Where did the name come from?
Actually me and my brother were brainstorming on my old page and name on how to make it smaller and catchy. It comes from both are names start with B and the first the letters of out last name ENT and of course gotta have a photography related tag with it PIC but just a little something to through a curve-ball, using the 5 as an S. Similar how Leet words or even Deadmau5. Was considering other numbers but figured it complicated too much.
- I think it’s catchy. So does your brother help out a lot or is he the go to guy?
A little of both. He is actually in charge of the website (which still is in progress of an update) and does more automotive photography with scenic pictures.
- That’s a great thing! So, I hear you are holding a contest of epic proportions, wanna fill in the masses? 😉
Basically I am aiming to promote myself in a bigger way with Promotional Cards. You might have picked up cards off tables at cons for other conventions, artists, or even CosplayInAmerica. It is something simple that you may see and take home to look at or look up online when you get home to find out more information. For the 2013 year, I will be handing these out as well as displaying them at cons to help advertise my website and facebook page to help promote my work. I hope this will in return bring in more cosplayers wanting to work with my at cons for photoshoots. The whole contest is about what picture will be featured on the front side of the card. A picture that someone will see and want to pick up the card to see what is it about. My brother, a few others, and I feel that something sexy or amazing would be just enough to get the card into someone’s long enough to wanna find out more.
- Seems amazingly fun. What are the details as far as entering? I know I will be.
It is pretty simple, from now until November when the contest ends, schedule and do a photoshoot with me and enter it to the contest. Of course there are rules and a bit more on how to enter, but you can check out the link to see all of the rules and information. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.457646154270388.103700.344013892300282&type=3
- I have a feeling that this is going to be a huge thing for you! I can’t wait to see what the outcome is. I’ve started making cards and am going to get some prints together upon request. Have you ever thought of getting a calendar together or anything?
I’ve had a lot of ideas come up by myself and even others suggesting I could pull off some things like a calender. I’ve taken them under consideration and noted on the side for when I am finished with the contest, I can then began my next challenge. I do see the Calender idea coming into play either this fall or next fall. Depending on how busy I get or I decide on how I wanna do it.
- I look forward to that! I love your photography and always have a great time shooting with you! We laugh constantly. Hahahaha.
Of course, I am not your average photography. I’ve always had people tell me they enjoy me over someone else because I am always cheerful and make things fun or at least funny while still getting good non-derp shots.
- Hahahaha yes, ALL the derp shots! I do have to say though you have a relaxed atmosphere around you. Some photographers I get nervous with. I’m glad when I get to shoot with you! Now, for others who have never gotten to shoot with you, do you usually go by appointments or is it more of a hey let’s get a shoot?
I use to schedule tons of people down for timed slots but it got to a point where I had too many people, not enough free time, a big headache, and it actually lost it fun. So now I go by a non-timed schedule where people contact me when they are free and we meet up on a convenient time for both of us. I do offer schedule time slots for a small cost and sometimes free to contest entries since they are very tight scheduled from judging to the contest itself.
- I can see where the scheduling would almost make it feel like more work than rather fun. So, this con season is closing in, what other cons do you have left?
Sukoshicon:Athens, Dragon*Con, Anime Weekend Atlanta, Possibly GMX, Atlanta Anime Day, North Carolina Renaissance Festival are pretty much all I know I have planned for this year.
- Sweet! Do you see yourself hosting any panels or helping with any panels in the future?
I’ve hosted my own panel twice called “The Cosplay Posing Guide For Beginners”. It had a great turn out both times and I do consider hosting it at more cons in the future if I can. The only downside to that panel is to a event planner, they may already have one to three cosplay photography related panels. Mine is mainly focused on the communication between the photographer and cosplayer while also helping coming up with ideas for poses. To the event planner, they will most likely deny it due to one of the cosplay photography panels already covering posing in their panel, no matter how small they do it. I remember one of the cons I got denied for the panel because another photographer panel had posing in it. I actually went and watched to see they only talked or well mentioned posing for about 12 seconds. One sentence. As for helping with panels, I am always up for it if someone asks, in which I have assisted in a panel called, “Drinking responsibly at cons” which was a packed room
- Oh wow, that’s a great topic because we all know people can get carried away. I know I’ve thought of hosting a panel for models. Helping with their posing and such. I think it would be great myself. Now, Do you have any advice to photographers and cosplayers out there?
Never stop aiming higher I know I don’t know everything about cameras, photographer, or cosplaying. The day you stop trying to learn more or get better is the day you stop going forward. Even pros have something they don’t know.
- Amen my friend. Well, I gotta say thank you so much for talking with me, it means the world! I’ll be getting with you soon for epic photo time!
Of course! Thank you for giving me the time. I look forward to the next time we get to hang out and the entry you enter for the contest.
Well, there it is! I have to say I learned a few things about Blake I didn’t know. Haha. SO if you wanna get to see more of Blake’s stuff here is his website like:
And his Facebook:
Also, I encourage everyone to get with him on his contest! It’s going to be great 🙂 I hope you all enjoyed! ~Sparky out~