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This is one of those projects, that take off from an existing idea and transform into something completely different along the way. The starting idea was Klaus Pichler's Just the two of us, which is a beautiful photographic project (though there are more projects like this, this is the one that I happened to see first), but in my opinion focuses mostly on monochromatic, full-body costumes.
I felt that the human element was missing: Who are these people? What do they do? How does cosplay fit into their lives?
Especially in my country, cosplayers are vastly misunderstood and sometimes even frowned upon or worse. Knowing, from my many years of experience as one of the few cosplay photographers in Greece, that cosplayers are indeed "everyday people" with jobs, studies, worries, just like anyone else really, and that they are not "no-gooders who idle around making fancy costumes" (as often told) I decided on making this project happen.

The parameters/constraints which I set myself for shooting this project are the following:
  • (1) The photo has to be taken during the cosplayer's daily routine, be it at home or at work. Most of the times I will just sit/stand somewhere while the cosplayer goes on with the daily activities and take the shots. Some staged photos are introduced to make the cosplayer feel more comfortable, but the final form of the project will only contain non-staged photos.
  • (2) I will give preference to costumes where the cosplayer's face will be visible (from the available costumes of each one).
  • (3)The photo has to be taken with naturally occuring light only. No external flash or LED light has to be used. Even if that means that sometimes light might be tungsten, other times sunlight, or even candles, etc. I put authenticity over a uniform project look and feel, as the people's circumstances and surroundings are different as well.
  • (4) The cosplayer that takes part has to submit answers to a few questions about his/her life, in order to have a small biographical text accompanying the photos.

The Project's Final Form

The final form of my project consists of one photo of each cosplayer, taken at a time where he/she was really into what he/she was doing. You can see it below in Sliding Galleries that correspond to the various phases (years) of the project. Please note that the description beneath the images is an essential part of the project.


Below you can find some more photos from each individual shoot.

Jim Keith as Naruto, at his Home

Cosplayer: Jim Keith , Assistance: Xenia K.
Jim was 28 years old at the time and has studied Cooling Engineering. He was unemployed at the time and seeking job as freelancer photographer. Cosplay enables him to bring his favourite characters to life and enjoys dressing up and filming it as well. These photos of him getting dressed up, doing the laundry and gardening, were taken at his residence, in Peristeri, Athens, Greece, while wearing his "sage-mode" Naruto cosplay from "Naruto Shippuden".
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Residence/Getting ready, Laundry, Gardening/2015

D. Papadopoulos as J'avo, at his Home

Cosplayer: Dimitris Papadopoulos
Dimitris was 27 years old and has studied Journalism. He was also searching for job as freelancer photographer or journalist. He is into cosplay because he loves the Fine Arts and cosplay is an amalgam of many of them. In this photo he is reading a newspaper at his house in Athens, Greece, wearing his J'avo cosplay.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Residence/Getting ready, Reading Newspaper/2015

Lethiel's Art & Cosplay as San, at the Cafe

Cosplayer: Lethiel's Art & Cosplay
Lethiel was 22 years old at the time and studying English literature at the University of Thessaloniki. She is into cosplay because she loves creatively bringing all her favourite characters to life. In this photo, she is waiting for coffee at one of her favourite spots, in Thessaloniki, Greece, wearing her San from Mononoke cosplay.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Cafe/Waiting for, having coffee/2015

Rene Polymorfous as Moonlight Elf Sentinel,at her Home

Cosplayer: Rene Polumorfous
Rene Polumorfous was 23 years old and a student of 3D animation and fashion design. She had just started taking on jobs as a freelance designer/artist. She is into cosplay because she loves dressing up as her favourite characters and because she loves the process of constructing and painting them. In this photo, she is drawing during a break of our shoot, surrounded by her other creations. She is wearing her Lineage II Moonlight Elf Sentinel cosplay.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Residence/Presenting her art, Sketching/2015

Ailiroy as Beatrix, at her store

Cosplayer: Ailiroy
Ailiroy was 24 years old at the time and a student of Graphic Design at the Technical University of Athens. She was also running a stamps-on-various-objects small business, called "Stamp Escape". She loves cosplay because it combines everything related to theatre (costume making, set construction, prop-making, make-up, acting). In this photo she is working at her store, wearing her Final Fantasy 9 Beatrix cosplay.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Workplace/Working at her store/2015

Galini as Krul Tepes, at the Tram and in her home

Cosplayer: Galini
Galini was 31 years old at the time and has studied Theatrology at the University of Athens. She still is an office worker. In her own words 'I find it difficult to explain why I cosplay. I love the whole process of creation, even though it can be tiring and really exhausting sometimes. But in the end it's something that really gives me peace of mind.' In this photo, she is enjoying a cup of coffee in her kitchen, after our shoot, wearing her Krul Tepes cosplay.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Outside, Mass Transit & Residence/Transiting & having coffee at home/2015

Irini Alferei as Adjutant,at her Country Home

Cosplayer: Irini Alferei
Irini was 23 years old at the time and a post-graduate student of Geology in London at the moment. Cosplay for her is, quote, 'a creative hobby, that relaxes me and helps me escape the everyday routine' In this photo she is playing the piano, in her house at the city of Volos, Greece, wearing her Adjutant cosplay.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Residence/Playing the Piano/2015

Ronny von Kaida as Date-A-Live char,at her Home

Cosplayer: Ronny Von Kaida .
Ronny was 16 years old and still in high school, at the time. Cosplay enables her to escape everyday life and she loves every part of it. In this photo she is feeding her pet rats, one of her many rodent animal friends, wearing her 'Date A Live' anime cosplay.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Residence/Feeding Pets/2015

Geo Kuromi as Jaina,at a D&D basement

Cosplayer: Geo Kuromi
Geo was 22 years old and studying Music at the Fine Arts School of Thessaloniki, at that time. She is into cosplay because, quoting her, 'In cosplay I have found another outlet for my creativity, a way to be more social, tougher against negative criticism, more patient and to meet more people'. This photo was taken during a D&D session, one of her favorite pastimes, wearing her Jaina cosplay.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Indoors/Playing Tabletop RPG/2015

Darkenya Cosplay as Sona, at Work

Cosplayer: Darkenya Cosplay
Darkenya Cosplay was 27 years old at the time and her studies include Set construction and being a nurse. Cosplay is a very pleasant past-time for her and a chance to dress up as her favourite characters. In this photo, she is taking a break from our shoot to fix a computer problem at the internet cafe she was working at the time (now closed).
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Workplace/Working at Internet Cafe/2015

Yvaine Dazzling as Harley Quinn, at her Home

Cosplayer: Yvaine Dazzling
Yvaine was 21 years old at the time and studying Filming, as well as learning and teaching Pole Dancing in Athens, Greece. She is into cosplay because, quoting her, 'It lets me see many parts of myself. Every time i am a different character in a different world with different personality, but at the same time every character (I portray) has something in common with me'. These photos were taken at her home, while practicing her Pole Dance Routine, wearing her 'Harley Quinn' cosplay from the 'DC Comics' Universe. A few months later, she actually took part in a public show in that same costume.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: House/Pole Dancing Practice/2016

Clair De Lune Cosplay as Emily Kaldwin,at the Funicular

Cosplayer: Clair De Lune Cosplay
Gulce was 26 at the time and ready to take on her Architecture Masters Degree in Italy. She cosplays in order to give life to her dream characters and is one of her biggest passions. Having really embraced the project, we had 3 shoots in her everyday routine. This one is in her Emily Kaldwin costume while commuting to work.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Istanbul's Mass Transit/Commuting/2016

Clair De Lune Cosplay as Wonder Woman, at Super-Market and Work

Cosplayer: Clair De Lune Cosplay
Yet another one with Gulce. Having really embraced the project, we had 3 shoots in her everyday routine. This time it was a double one, in her Wonder Woman (under cover) costume while shopping in the Super-Market and then working as intern in an Architecture firm.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Istanbul's Super-Market and Architecture Firm/Shopping & Working/2016

Nervven Cosplay as Harley Quinn, at Restaurant

Cosplayer: Nervven Cosplay
Nervven was 26 at the time of shooting and lives in Istanbul, Turkey. She was completing her Master Degree as Mechatronics Engineer and Game Designer. She cosplays because it gives her the feeling that she can have everything. Different hair color, clothes, contact lenses. In cosplay every look is possible and she feels free from choice. Quoting her 'It's something like turning into your childhood heroes for a limited time and you are still you.' For her Everyday Cosplay, we had crepes at her favourite place in Moda, Istanbul, in her Harley Quinn costume.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Istanbul's Super-Market and Architecture Firm/Shopping & Working/2016

Sensee Cosplay ve Aksesuar as Saya, at her Home

Cosplayer: Sensee Cosplay ve Aksesuar
Sensee, was 30 at the time of the shoot and she was unemployed in Istanbul, Turkey. Thus our shoot centered around her favourite everyday housework (which she perfectly does, as I tasted): Cooking! in her Saya Kisaragi, from Blood C, costume. Cosplay for her is a reason of living. It's her biggest passion and what drives her on.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Her Home in Istanbul/Cooking/2016

Eleni von Mondlicht as Harley Quinn, at the Park and in a Bookshop

Cosplayer: Eleni von Mondlicht
Eleni, 27 at the time of the shoot, has a degree in Philology and works in Customer Service. She insists that she is not cosplaying Harley Quinn, but is just being herself! For this project, we shot two parts of her life: A) relaxing and listening to music in a Park and B) cleaning and reading in her boyfriend's bookshop.
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Park and her boyfriend's Bookshop/Relaxing and Cleaning, Reading/2018

Zelia as Luna Lovegood, at her house

Cosplayer: Zelia Lestrange Cosplay & Arts
Zelia, 21 at the time, is an Infant Nursing Assistant and she cosplays because she like comics, movies and videogames and she has a great time doing it! Other than the good time, cosplaying has also assisted her being more social, more participating and more focused. 'Cosplay has no age' is her motto! In our photoshoot, we spent time in her house while she was going through her everyday routine: preparing, taking selfies, watching videos, relaxing and playing with her cat..
Location/Everyday Occupation/Year: Her house/Everyday Routine/2018