Related: Read our reviews of "Undressing the Art of Playing Dress Up"
“I want to shed some light on Cosplay Deviants as a company and what we do here at CosplayDeviants.com that sets us apart from similar sites. CosplayDeviants.com does not hire models, we hire cosplayers, nerds, geeks all the like who are comfortable with their bodies and enjoy posing for a camera. All of our models choose their own characters to portray because they themselves are actual fans, thus putting an extra layer of depth and dedication into each photo set and video. Our models are part of a community where they are approachable, they not just hired eye candy, and our members see this which is why our forums and webcam chats are constantly full of members and models conversing as equals. This level of honesty is what keeps our members coming back and what helps us create a genuine "naughty nerdy" experience.”
LaPrade: “Are the photos in your book submitted from the models themselves or does your company manage the photographers to ensure quality control?”
Troy Doerner: “Models submit their own photo sets and most commonly work with their own photographers. However if a model needs assistance setting up a photo shoot we do everything we can to locate a respectable photographer for them. Unlike other websites we pay photographers separately so the shoot comes at no cost to the model.”
LaPrade: “Can you clarify more about this joke between you and a college professor that started the inspiration for the website?”
Troy Doerner: “I was in a class where we were discussing online economics and how piracy will kill the online subscription method. He believed that the only way to profit from the growing market of internet sites was with physical merchandise, I disagreed, stating that subscriptions had the highest return and created the initial CosplayDeviants.com to prove my point. I shot the first few sets myself and posted them to our website, then handed out business cards at Dragon Con 2007. By the end of the show we had 35 subscribers, and it just grew from there.”
LaPrade: “Did you intend to make the photos look more like art nudes or more like Playboy for nerds?”
Troy Doerner: “I have built the company around Playboy's model of class, and we have always tried to keep that level of professionalism and beauty in all of our sets. So much so we have rules in place banning images that could be deemed 'pornographic'.”
LaPrade: “Many of the models have tattoos. Was that an added bonus or a slight hindrance in some cases?”
Troy Doerner: “The models' tattoos add to their personality and really helps their fans identify them.”
LaPrade: “There are male cosplayers out there, do you intend to broaden your reach to include male models?”
Troy Doerner: “We do feature males on our site and have a dedicated gallery for their work. The publisher however wanted the book to feature our female models.”
LaPrade: “Is there any hidden social issues in this collection of photos, such as the feminist question about male/female gaze?”
Troy Doerner: “Not that we've dealt with. We treat all of our models and staff equally regardless of gender / sexual orientation / origin planet. We've always had the stance that our content is not forced down your throat, and there are plenty of other places to go on the internet.”
LaPrade: “When you were just starting out, did you find it difficult to find models willing to assist you with this project?”
Troy Doerner: “No, we initially started with a small group of girls who were all local to our home office. Since then we have opened up applications and receive anywhere from 10-30 applications a week.”
LaPrade: “Would you do anything differently with this publication?”
Troy Doerner: “Ideally, if we do a second volume I would love to show more "behind the scenes" stuff, and give people an idea of the inner workings so to speak. Many of our fans have no idea how a shoot takes place, or how a model may look while shes preparing for a set, etc. We initially had model interviews in the book as well but they were also cut by the publisher.”
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