Atlanta Fashion Police 2016

Dragon Con, Atlanta's annual sci-fi/pop-culture convention, has the most costumes, the best costumes, and the most diverse costumes of any convention I've ever seen. Atlanta Fashion Police exists to catalog that vast troupe of characters. My goal is one photograph of every costume, individually numbered to prove uniqueness. Costumes fill the five main hotels around the clock for five days, so the scale of the project is Sisyphean.

Various fan organizations, like Rebel Legion, Superhero Costuming Forum, or N7 Elite host large gatherings that bring scores of costumes from a particular source together at one time. I used to attend as many gatherings as possible, but data from previous years indicates that I collect more mugshots when wandering the lobbies. The gatherings actually slowed me down. This I stayed in the lobbies most of the time and announced my movements on Twitter, so that people could come to me.


The thousands of costumes I catalog each year are only a small fraction of the costumes present at Dragon Con. Each year, I aim to make my process smoother and faster, both to make my job easier, and to catalog more costumes. More mugshots means more happy costumers, and a more complete picture of costuming at Dragon Con.

The sign

The Atlanta Fashion Police sign contains an e-ink display that generates a unique, increasing identifier for each mugshot.

The 24 letters of the alphabet are mapped to the 24 hours of the day by removing "I" and "O", which could be confused for the numbers "1" and "0".


Once again, some helpful fans carried a second light for me, which makes the pictures look so much better. All camera gear looks alike to non-photographers, so some people faced the assistant's light instead of my camera.


Combination costumes are popular at Dragon Con, and the most popular combination is the Playboy Bunny. A party on Thursday attracts hundreds of them.
Starring in the Suicide Squad movie made Harley Quinn the most popular costume this year.
Vault Suits and NCR Rangers have been popular for years, but the release of Fallout 4 brought out power armor, custom weapons, and many NPCs.
People have always dressed as human versions of Pokemon, but this year added characters from Pokemon Go, and some original costumes to show team spirit.
I saw more costumes from Zardoz than from League of Legends. That's entirely from one dedicated group of fans.