This week, I had the privilege of interviewing Matt Nicholson of Dim Horizon Studio. Matt and his wife Nicole are the driving force behind this ingenious photography studio, which hooked up with some incredible cosplayers for JordanCon this year in order to bring The Wheel of TIme to life in the backwoods of the Southeastern U.S.
The full gallery for the promotional photo shoot can be found here.
Perrin, modeled by John F. Strangeway (and Odin!)
Q: You were the photographer on the JordanCon shoot, right?
A: That I was! Dim Horizon Studio was contacted months prior to JordanCon 2012 with the idea to host a large photo shoot with a collection of local talent specifically for the JordanCon 2012 art show and convention promotion.
Q: Do you do all the photography for Dim Horizon Studio?
A: Dim Horizon Studio began in 2002 as a creative outlet for me and throughout the years has grown into a husband-wife duo set on tackling our clients’ photography needs with our creative style & vision. We do bring in additional talent from time to time, but primarily it's myself (Matthew Nicholson & Nicole Nicholson).
Q: Have you been a photographer your whole life?
A: I’ve been involved in a myriad of creative pursuits my entire life. From mineral specimen hunting to a dabble in video game design, I’ve done a little bit of everything but settled on photography in 2002 as it enabled me to capture as well as express the world as I see it.
Q: When did you know you wanted to pursue it as a career?
A: In roughly 2008, I incorporated Dim Horizon Studio, as the demands for my services started to branch out from servicing a close circle of friends to quite a wide audience. It was a big choice at the time, as it inspired me to truly take my work to the next level and transition from more of a hobbyist mentality to a true profession.
A Maiden of the Spear, modeled by Paige Gardner Smith
Q: What inspired you to focus on cosplay?
A: We truly focus on creatively addressing the needs of our clients. This lends us to be closely involved in the cosplay / prop production community as their skills enable us to tell rich stories while focusing on their talents in costume design & construction. While there are quite a few companies that may specialize in a more documentation-oriented photography, we aim to take it all to the next level and do more than just capture a good costume--we want to communicate a strong story as well.
Q: How did you get involved with JordanCon?
A: We’ve had the pleasure of working with quite a few of the individuals intimately related to JordanCon. Dim Horizon Studio as a whole bases its business model around supporting locals (specifically in the southeastern USA) as well as supporting our growing network of clients. In the end, one of our clients (Cliff Tunnell) suggested diving into hosting a large shoot for JordanCon and we couldn’t pass the opportunity up!
Rand, modeled by Paul Bielaczyc. The coat had sleeves at the beginning of the shoot!
Q: Are you a big fan of The Wheel of Time?
A: Comically, I’ve never actually read any of the Wheel of Time books but it’s certainly now on my MUST READ list. As a photographer in this community, I get challenged often to try to portray a clients’ character that I may have had no exposure to. We always try to do a little research beforehand and, while it does help, there is always some level of my own personal style or take integrated into the session based upon what I do (or in some cases don’t) know.
Q: Did the models make their own costumes?
A: Yes, each of the models made their own costumes. We had quite a bit of talent on set that day, and here’s a laundry list of where you might find them.
· Cliff Tunnell – Talented Gentleman behind Steampunk Ash
· James Atkins – Actor/Costumer/Family Man (IMDb profile)
· Paul Bielaczyc – Creative Mind behind Aradani Studios
· John F. Strangeway – Media Dept. Head at Penny Dreadful Productions
· Odin – Dog of the Day!
Q: How did you (the studio and the models) find each other?
A: We find most of our models through our network of professionals and/or messages through our Facebook page or our contact page. For other projects, we occasionally make announcements through our Facebook page on where to access our casting calls. We also use networking sites such as Model Mayhem to specifically target a look or concept. For this specific project, we’ve worked quite a bit with all of the talent previously, with the exception of Paul. We do have quite a bit of plans for collaboration in the future with him, though!
Q: Are they affiliated with the studio?
A: Only as our client. They each have all sorts of talent to offer the community, and if you have any questions you should definitely reach out to each of them in turn!
Mats, modeled by James Atkins (left) and Cliff Tunnell (right). I guess you can never have too many!
By a serendipitious twist of fate, Tor.com just featured Dim Horizon Studio on Wednesday. Check out their article here for more photos from the shoot!