With one week until Creation Entertainment’s TVDNJ convention I wanted to introduce you to the man who’s soon to become your new best friend, and no I don’t mean Ian Somerhalder. A big part of the convention experience is the photo op, and I was lucky enough to meet the man behind the lens who helps immortalize the fans’ dreams. Chris Schmelke is the professional photographer for Creation Entertainment. Photography has always been in Chris’ blood, His dad was a photographer, and Chris remembers being intrigued watching his father develop photos in their darkroom as a child living in Vietnam. “Something about the red light and seeing blank pages become something else was very mysterious to me. ”
He got his start in photography after his band split up and he began photographing his friends’ bands. For the last 10 yrs Chris has been working in photography, 9 of which he has been working with Creation Entertainment. Chris’ relationship with Creation started when he was in elementary school, “I used to buy comics in their store. My mom started working there in the 80’s and I started helping out.” Later when Creation was looking for a photographer Chris was right there to fill the spot. Chris has photographed all the various Creation conventions including: The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Supernatural and of course The Vampire Diaries.
When asked which convention was his favorite Chris is quick not to play favorites, “I have actually enjoyed them all, tough to pinpoint a specific, though all the TVD and Supernatural casts have been great.” Throughout his years with creation Chris has been witness to many interesting fan moments, including a time when a fan dumped the water from a celebrity’s glass over their head to “have their essence”. Chris admits to having his own fanboy moment when he got to work with Star Trek stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, “I mean I had a lunchbox with them on it!” Though he prefers to remain less demonstrative in his fan worship, “I’m the silent crazed type.”
Chris would love to work as the set photographer for a film, but is perfectly happy with his work now. Chris’ camera of preference is once again influenced by his father, “My dad had a Canon, I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II and III, so I guess I’m carrying on the tradition.” When not shooting fans and celebrities Chris enjoys shooting in a very interesting space, “May sound strange, but I am a big fan of industrial wastelands such as abandoned asylums. Not an easy thing to shoot but I secure permits before going in, some places require respirators which add to the fun!”
To see some of Chris’ work with photo-ops check out my post The Art of the Con
- What do you do April? (isitjustmenadine.wordpress.com)