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Gallery Portraits of Cosplayers / Costumers both in and out of their costumes

Current work in progress can be seen here:

News: Since its inception in January 2014, this project has received both a grant from Arisia Inc. (the folks behind the annual Arisia SF convention in Boston), and a grant from the International Costumers’ Guild’s (ICG) Marty Gear Costuming Arts and Sciences Fund. The project has also received donations from individuals who have contributed through the site, and a very generous donation of flash lighting equipment from an individual. I feel extremely honored that the project has received such support from these communities / people. Thank you so very much, from the bottom of my heart; I can only hope and endeavor to ensure that this projectwill be able to live up to everyone's best expectations.

Project Description: Cosplay (i.e., costuming and portraying a character, typically from - but not limited to - Japanese anime or computer games) has become a popular subculture hobby in America, as evidenced with events such as San Diego Comic Con and Anime Expo drawing 100,000+ and 50,000+ attendees over a few days.


While cosplay photographs are now fairly ubiquitous on the Internet, and even show up in the mainstream press (sometimes due to a few outrageous and sometimes quite scantily-clad cosplayers) little focus has been paid to the people behind the costumes.

In this project, I am photographing cosplayers / media-genre costumers both in and out of costume. The title “Transformations” refers to how cosplayers transform themselves from their “mundane” daily appearance and temporarily become the characters they portray.

Traditional-style portraits are taken with an eye toward gallery exhibition, using mainly 4x5 large-format film cameras. The main focus is on the characters themselves. In the final project, portraits in costume (up to life-size) will be paired with portraits of the cosplayers without costumes, often in typical daily attire reflecting their “regular” lives, occasionally also with text description or recordings.

I am looking for cosplayers / costumers who know how to play their characters well. There is no requirement of costume type (Recreation, Original, Anime, SF / Fantasy, Historical, Steampunk etc. are all acceptable), or of age, gender, race, etc.

Non-commercially-purchased and self-made costumes are preferred, and the costumes and the presentations must be well done.

Large-format film is quite expensive, and sadly, my discretionary budget is miniscule. For anyone wishing to graciously help out in funding this venture, I gratefully accept donations (no amount is "too small"):


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photos Richard Man web design Karisu