I don’t know anything about anime; it was never popular in Colombia where I grew up. But I do love seeing people fanning out about about stuff they love, and I love it more when I am ignorant about what they love. For the past two years, much of my photography has been about a series of images—take, for instance, the portraits I took at a Canadian sex convention for VICE. Anime North, the largest anime con in Canada, was the perfect place for this concept to come to fruition as no single portrait could possibly define the entire weekend there.
Each person I met at Anime North was not just nice, but extremely nice. Every single person I asked for a portrait said yes, and that never happens. Everyone was comfortable and proud of how they looked—there is nothing like asking someone for a portrait and they don’t even ask “How do I look?” or “Can I fix myself first?”
The approach for me is always to show what type of people attend an event, and that’s the reason I shoot in black and white. Color can distract the viewer from really looking at the subject. From showing that even superheroes take breaks for a nap and fast food to shooting the more provocatively dressed cosplayers being mobbed by smartphone cameras, the images, sans-color, come out more formal, classic, and easy to look at.
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