About the Project

Cosplay 50: The United States of Cosplay

Cosplay 50: The United States of Cosplay

I am an internationally awarded and exhibited professional travel photographer from Ohio. I started attending conventions with my children a few years ago and immediately fell in love with Cosplay and Cosplay culture. I started photographing Cosplayers on the convention floor and although I created some great images, I knew I could create spectacular portraits of people if I could somehow bring my entire studio with me on location to the conventions. I rented out my first room in 2017 and the rest is history.

By combining two of my greatest loves, Cosplay and travel, I created this personal project named Cosplay 50: The United States of Cosplay. I am attending conventions in every state and photographing the incredible Cosplayers that I find there, with the goal to assemble the amazing images into a coffee table book at the conclusion of the 50th state. I have already completed 32 states.

I scour the convention floor to find exceptional examples of Cosplay. I invite those I find to my studio for a FREE thirty-minute photography session. This appointment must be scheduled. I use different lighting techniques and backgrounds, so every individual gets a unique, high-quality portrait of themselves (and we have a lot of fun in the process!).

You receive ONE fully retouched, print-resolution JPEG after the convention. This image can be printed and used for personal purposes and has no watermark on it. I also send a high-resolution JPEG with my watermark on it for use on social media. If you use it, please tag me (@SusanOnysko) as that is how others hear about me and the project.

During your session I also have you complete a model release on my iPad, a copy of which is emailed to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take behind the scenes photos and video of our session to use on social media?
Yes and Yes! Please tag me (@SusanOnysko) to get the word out! I very much appreciate it if you email me ([email protected]) copies – I will post and tag you back!

How and where will my Image be used?
Images go on business cards, social media, my website, and flyers that I pass out at conventions to show others the work I do. They go into slideshows on Cosplay and lighting techniques that I present at various organizations as well as in magazines and gallery shows on the project. The endgame is the book. I was thrilled to have exhibitions of my Cosplay images included in the Fotonostrom Gallery in Barcelona, Spain in Fall, 2017 and Winter, 2023!

Can I purchase the images taken or prints?
At this time, I cannot edit more than one image for each Cosplayer. I pick the best image of our session and fully edit that one, sometimes spending many hours on a single image. I do not offer Cosplay prints currently, but do offer prints of my travel images.

I have many images of myself in this Cosplay, can I come as a different character?
I specifically pick Cosplayers out for the Cosplay they are in so that’s the one I want to photograph. I may still photograph you in both, but please just ask first. Thanks!

I am attending the convention as different Cosplays for multiple days; can I stop in again?
Most likely. Please work with me to sign up for an appointment slot each day.

How do I get the image that was taken?
The images are too large to be emailed so we make them available via our “Cosplay 50” App (both iOS and Android). Be sure to register in the app with the same email address that you used on the model release. You will receive a notification when your photo is ready. Three versions will be available for download: the proof, a normal-sized/watermarked version, and a square version for Instagram.

I am working at the convention all day, is it still possible to come in
Yes! We open early and stay late for those working at the convention whenever possible, please just ask.

It takes a while to get the images to everyone. When I started this project, I accepted everyone and would have lines out the door and hundreds upon hundreds of photos to edit per convention. By implementing appointment slots, I am slowly playing catch up. I try to post a mixture of new convention photos online while working on past conventions in the background.

Every aspect of this project is unpaid and fueled by my passion for it. Please have patience and the images will come.

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