Everyday Cosplay: Cosplayers IRL
The starting idea for this project came from Klaus Pichler's "Just the two of us", which is a beautiful photographic project (I know there are more projects like this, but this is the one that I happened to see first), but in my opinion focuses mostly on limited-palette, 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 "lazy people who idly make fancy Carnival costumes", I decided on making this project happen.
The parameters/constraints which I set myself for shooting this project are the following:
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.
I will give preference to costumes where the cosplayer's face will be visible (from the available costumes of each one).
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.
The cosplayer that takes part will submit answers to a few questions about his/her life, in order to have a small biographical text accompanying the photos.
The final form of my project consists of one to three photo(s) of each cosplayer, taken at a time where he/she was really into what he/she was doing and had mostly forgotten about the project. You can see them below in custom order. Please note that the description beneath the images is an essential part of the project.
After the 18 final project photos from 15 cosplayers in Greece and Turkey, alternate takes are presented as well.