One of the best things about the art of photography, is the fact that there are so many ways a person can express their creativity. A talented photographer has the ability to tell stories and evoke emotions through pictures, which is why photography is considered a great art form. At Hmoodle, we have had featured some very talented photographers around the states and this month is no different. Zeze, a Seattle based Filipino photographer and digital artist, brings a unique perspective to this month featured, because of his ability to combine photographs with digital art, producing extraordinary final results. Even though he is still considered a newcomer in the world of photography, his work has gotten a lot of attention from people in and out of the industry.
Hmoodle: Give us a short self introduction. (Name, where you reside, and a little bit about yourself)
Zeze: My name is Ezekiel, but you can just call me “Zeze”. I am a Filipino Photographer / Digital Artist based in Seattle Washington. Mostly i do a lot of cosplay photography, fashion and glamour. I also do some engagement sessions, family photos, and once in a while weddings.
Hmoodle: How long have you been doing photography? What inspired you to start?
Zeze: I’ve been doing photography for about 3 to 4 years. What inspired me was those artists that can combine photography and digital art into a masterpiece. I love seeing images with special effects as well..
Hmoodle: You’ve showed me a before and after photo of your editing. Can you share with us the amount of work put into making one of your masterpiece.
Zeze: It depends what kind of editing, usually if it’s compositing, I spend from 1 to 3 hours or more. I start with opening an image in “Camera Raw” to minor edit (clarity, contrast, luminance, vibrance, saturation, exposure). After the first step, i open it in photoshop and making it sharp using “unsharp mask”. And then i do some retouching ( blemishes, and other unwanted stuff on the face, body, outfit. Once i finish all the basic editing, i will cutout the subject from the background and replace it with something else by putting different images together and use as new background. For the last step, i add special effects related to the subject and background, and then once everything is done i do a final color correction.
Hmoodle: We see that you’re really talented with your cosplay photography, tell us about your passion for Anime and Cosplay.
Zeze: I’ve always a big fan of anime since I was a little kid, it is pretty much part of my life. I don’t cosplay but i like seeing these awesome cosplayers with their awesome cosplays. I really enjoy doing cosplay photography especially when I add special effects using photoshop. It makes the cosplay look real and and more awesome. The more accurate the cosplay and effects the more i enjoy it, it is like bringing those cartoon / fictional characters to life.
Hmoodle: What are some short term goals and long term goals for your photography career?
Zeze: Right now I am only doing it part time. I am also still kind of in the process of growing my network and building good relationship with clients. Eventually i would love to have my own legit studio, expand it and become well known photographer around the world.
Hmoodle: Tell us about your first photo shoot, what were some obstacles that you’ve encountered?
Zeze: First photo shoot was really stressful. I did not have enough experience when it comes to directing the model to do poses and I was not so good at focusing on the eyes, so most of the photos were out of focus. Also i only had kit lens (18-55mm) and i didn’t have external flash. It was really bad but it was definitely a good experience and made me a better photographer after seeing all my mistakes.
Hmoodle: If you can give 3 tips to a new photographer, what would it be?
1. Focus on eyes to make photos sharper
2. Practice with your friends / family, use them as your test subject. Don’t be afraid to mess up because it will help you improve.
3. Compare your work from other pro photographers. Make them be your goal. For beginners it is ok to imitate someone else style. Try your best to make it as close as possible. By doing this it will help you to improve your creativity and editing skills. Once you are used to it and have enough experience, you can finally do your own style.
Hmoodle: When you’re not out shooting, what are some of your other hobbies or interests?
Zeze: Photo editing, watch movie and anime, hangout with my girlfriend, practice mixed martial arts with friends.
Hmoodle: Growing up, who were some role models that really inspired you?
Zeze: The people that didn’t give up no matter what obstacles they faced just to reach their goal.
Hmoodle: Tell us something shocking about yourself.
Zeze: I used to get bullied a lot back in elementary school. During high school I started working out and learned martial arts. I am not going to talk all the details about because It is a really long story. but yeah that’s how everything ended, made my life so much better.
Hmoodle: Where can viewers follow your work or contact you?
Instagram: instagram.com/zeze.photography / @zeze.photography
Hmoodle: Any last words?
Zeze: It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you are using, cheap or expensive, crop sensor or full frame, as long as you are doing it right that what matters. Also Learn how to edit your photos.
This interview with Zeze was a great experience, because we got to learn a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes with a photographer that combines his pictures with digital art, and he also shared some of his trade secrets with us. If you are interested in seeing samples of his work, you should check out his website, where there are plenty of samples of his past work. You can see some of his cosplay pictures and his glamour shots. His website also has his contact information, if you want to hire him for an event. Since he is currently doing this part time, his availability might be limited. You can also reach out to him through his Facebook page, and check out reviews from people he has worked with in the past. It was a pleasure getting to meet and interview Zeze, we wish him continued success, and we look forward to having him back in the future.