When my good friend Wynston of Wynston Fernando Media told me he needed assistance with a photo shoot, he didn’t tell me what I was going in for; only that this was going to be very relevant to me and that I’m likely to enjoy the shoot. It turns out he was right. Who better to ask for assistance than from the person that enjoys anime as much as he does – in some cases so much that he blogs episodes on a weekly basis? Well, used to; that should be changing soon. Jump past the break for details behind why we thought it was a good idea to gather a bunch of photogenic maids and one host at a square-mile-sized park one sunny Saturday Orange County afternoon.
So what exactly is a maid cafe? From my experiences at Anime Expo Maid Cafe the past two years along with a recent trip to Japan that exposed me to an actual cafe, it is not all that different from traditional restaurant or coffee house service. The main difference is in the quality of customer service coming from the hosts and/or maids, as well as the dress attire that you see in the photos below. In addition to food and refreshments, entertainment in the form of board/table-top games, karaoke, and other simple small-party antics are usually carried out. And this is where the theme of maids and hosts come into play: by taking up the services of a maid cafe, you are treated very well with leisure and relaxation in mind!
As for the park setting, we’ll just have to wait and see how the final photos came out (as mine are really just the B-sides of the photo shoot; test shots if you will). My personal association with bringing the portraits to the park is for invoking peace and serenity with the portraits of the maids and a sense of structure and admirable organization for the host(s). Perhaps Wynston will be able to shed some more light when the official photos are uploaded.
Aside from Wynston doing a great job of putting this shoot together, I also want to point out this gal above in the blue hoodie – her name is Allison and she is one very talented individual. Kudos to her for coordinating this with Wynston, for going the extra mile to even join the Anime Expo Maid Cafe team in the first place, and helping to take it to where it is now and where it will be heading in the near future. It is people like them that help me appreciate anyone who follows their passion with as much perseverance and strength as they can muster. Likewise, big thank yous to the young women and man (the one host we photographed that day pictured above in the black vest) who volunteered their time to capture their grace and suave on camera!
As usual, the rest of the photos can be found on my flickr set here. For the mean time, here are some of my favorites from the shoot: