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We would like to introduce you to one of the “Behind the Scenes” members. Sometimes they are forgotten or left out. Not by intention, but simply because they are , well, behind the scenes. It is imperative that you to get to know them as they are just as important as those you see in FRONT of the camera. Ronald Ladao is a Costumers With A Cause Photographer and bringing him into the forefront to get to know him is not only a pleasure, but an honor! Like the others, we asked him a few questions to help you get to know him a little better. Finding photos of him sure wasn’t easy!

Bio: On weekdays, I’m work at a car dealership. Selling car parts, ordering car parts, returning car parts, delivering car parts, talking to customers. On weekends, I take on random photo task, from exploring areas, quick studio shoots, to going to conventions & events.

Q & A

How did you first get into photography and specifically, photographing cosplayers?

Kind of got sucked into it by my cousin Jon, my cosplay buddy Ray.  But really started taking photos in high school for the school’s year book in my senior year.  Yet the photo side of me faded away after 5 years away from high school, until when I can afford my own DSLR camera.  Started taking photos of cars with the car club I was with, then hanged with some cosplayers that I know in the community.  I gotten curious with some of the camera settings, and camera science.  Continue my push to get better looking photos at settings that are hard to pull off.  And the rest is history.

If you could go anywhere in the world with anyone for a photography shoot, what would be your dream set/characters?

Don’t really have a personal selection in the world for photoshoots.  Most of my stuff can happen in the Chicagoland area.  I just have to find the spot, find the right time to do it, and take the shot.  And it can be with anyone as long the costumer/cosplay doesn’t mind the setting and risk they’re in.  But if I gotta pick a dream set/character.  Hands down.  The cast of the Gallian militia from Valkyria Chronicles, and taking the shots in Cantigny’s Tank park.

How did you hear and get involved with CWC?

From Scott Whipple.  Saw a CwC pic that he posted on Facebook, and I asked if you need a photographer to come with and photo document what happens.

What has been your favorite experience with CwC and why?

2013 Kids with Capes.  There was a section where little kids get water noodles, and they get to beat down on the bad guys they were their.  The amount of beating on our Deadpools, and Joker.  OH MY GOD! I had a really hardcore laugh from that event that it put me in tears.

Photography has it obvious challenges, can you tell us about one challenge you have had while photographing cosplayers or one of the CWC events and why it was challenging for you?

My personal challenges when it comes to photography is slacking on a dedicated assistant, and the feel of being rush.  With a dedicated assistant, I would have an ease on mind of getting the shot without worrying about my gear getting damage or stolen.  And when I shoot, time is a factor.  Usually it’s at spots where I have limited time.  From model not able to handle cold weather conditions, or to areas where we shouldn’t be taking photos in. My technique gets sloppy cause of being rush.

If there was one piece of advice you would have for a group or individual you were going to photograph, what advice would you give?

Keep making mistakes, understand the mistake, accept mistakes, correct the mistake.  Understand how some of the camera science work.  Learn how a disadvantage can be an advantage on your end.  Sometimes bigger isn’t all the best, but only as good as the user who knows their gear.  And the shot will happen when you’re ready or not.

Some people have special charities or causes they hold dear to their heart for one reason or another. Are there any special causes that you may hold closer to your heart than some of the others? If so, which one(s) and why?

I gotta go with St. Judes Children hospital, and Make-a-Wish foundation.  I didn’t have much of a childhood back when I was a kid, it’s usually just staying at home, and school work.  Didn’t really do much outside of school, or had much of a social life back then.  So it’ll mean much for me to help kids to have something they can remember in their childhood, and there’s still good people in the world that got their back.

You probably knew we were going to ask you this one, anyone who knows you, knows you have this “thing” with Oreo cookies. If you could make your very own Ron Ladao Oreo cookie, what flavor would it be?

If I gotta make an Oreo flavor.  It’ll be crazy to make REVERSE OREOS! Instead of the original Oreo… WE REVERSE IT.. we have the cream on the outside, and the cookie in the middle. #huehuehue

Q: Let’s say you could create your own character to photograph, in action. What would you describe this character as looking like, doing, and what would be their superpower or greatest feature?

If I gotta make my own character to photographer in action.  It’ll be someone who’ll be there at moment notice.  May not have super powers, maybe not be the best, and not everybody will notice him.  But knows how to make someone’s day better.  Characters like that can be interesting.  They’ll show a lot of expression, and emotion which I like in my photographs.  I just need that one shot to tell a full story.

Obviously you do photo shoots outside of CWC, if someone wanted to get a hold of you to schedule a shoot, how would they get in touch with you?

I don’t really pay much attention to my emails now-a-days. I’m always hook onto facebook. So just contact me on my Facebook fan page . Or on my personal Facebook page .