I started attending fandom conventions in 2008 and was completely amazed by cosplayers I met at that time. I decided to make my own book about cosplay financed mostly by opening a bunch of credit cards. Hey, it wasn’t the smartest idea but who was gonna give me money to do this ?
I spent 5 months traveling to 6 conventions and documenting cosplayers for my book Cosplay in America (2010). My images were simple. A grey backdrop, a portrait shot lit by a beauty dish. I would set-up at the convention and photograph anyone. If someone was willing to give me 5 minutes, I was happy to photograph them.
I soon realized that Cosplay in America only told part of the story – the convention story. It didn’t explain the process or environment in which people did their creating.
So in 2012 I used Kickstarter to back another book. This time I would travel to different cities spending up to a week there. I would document the process from shopping at fabric stores to thrift stores to the late night construction frenzy to premiering their costume at a local convention.
Over the next 3 years, I bounced back and forth from major cities as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas to smaller cities like Salt Lake City, Nashville, Kansas City, Minneapolis following hundreds of cosplayers around.
Finally in 2015, I released Cosplay in America V2, a 282 page book which I hopefully would capture the spirit and the community that is cosplay in America.
More info: cosplayinamerica.com
Book trailer for Cosplay in America V2
Yaya Han has been a fixture in the community since she started in the late 90’s. Today she is one of the best known cosplayer in the world.
“We met in high school and started dating in 2001. I use to carry a Dragon Ball Z notebook. I had about 300-400 Dragon Ball Z pictures in it. We did our honeymoon at Anime South in 2009.” – John & Sheena (Christiana, TN)
“Benefits of cosplay ? Friends. Nothing can replace them. They’re the main reasons I keep coming back to the con scene.” – Andrew (Vallejo, CA)
Costume Competition held at NDK in Denver, CO. Costume contests have been a staple of conventions since 1940 at the 2nd WorldCon.
Surprised engagement from a Florida couple who travelled across the country to bask in San Diego Comic Con.
“My husband played League of Legends and it has been a fun game to bond over. I chose Janna because she was one of the very first champions I played. ” Vanessa (Las Vegas, NV)
Brittany (Seattle, WA) & Nim (Cleveland, OH)
Kyle (Bridgeport, CA) & Alexia (Boca Raton, FL)
Henry (Leesburg, VA) & Alyssa (White House, TN)
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