I came across a store in North Hollywood, Enchanted Deva’s Last Wish Revenge and Treasures selling everything from pirate scarves to scabbards. I’ve been in interested in transgressive sub-cultures, groups who’ve adopted alternate personas that come to life with the costumes they wear.
I went to a pirate get together at Enchanted Devas where I met members of the Port Royal Privateers and Brethren of the Coast. Inspired by Hollywood and historical texts and the tales of Robert Louis Stevenson, these LA pirates are devoted to their identities: they make scrupulous reproductions of 17th century waistcoats and make deals on E-bay for just the right pantaloons. Some free booters manage to make money off their pirate personas, performing reenactments at tall ship festivals and the like. But for most, pirating is a way of expressing themselves in a manner they otherwise couldn’t in the modern world.
As with the super heroes I’d photographed, I chose a context that allowed for a contrast of the spectacular and routine. I asked the part-time buccaneers to wear their pirate regalia and go about their workaday lives.