Week 9 – Cosplay

According to Mountfort (2018), what are the three main genres of cosphotography and what are their dominant features?

From imitating Japanese anime characters’ appearances to those of Marvel characters and so on, the popularity of cosplaying is getting popular and popular. Some people, including me, are wearing costumes of villains, ghosts, and superheroes on Halloween to enjoy that days with their friends although they are not the biggest fans of specific characters. Before getting into what are the three genres of cosphotography, I will figure out why ‘cosplay’ becomes the popular genre in order to understand why both photography and cosplay are influencing each other.

Suckling (2016) explains seven reasons why cosplay has become so popular globally. To begin with, the fans who are obsessed with sci-fi and fantasy TV show and film characters were started to publicize them commercially by wearing those characters’ costumes (Suckling, 2016). Costume play and cosphotography are take for granted that they have rooted on fandoms with regard to their features of imitating particular characters. Besides, there are six reasons left which played significant roles towards costume play’s popularity – superhero film franchises; firmly formed cosplayers’ communities both online and offline; fans’ desires to make reality into fantasy; lots of open-minded people who usually do cosplay which give impression that there is no age, sex and appearance limitation for cosplaying; emerging confidence and courage by role-playing superheroes and cute anime characters; and lastly, cosplay is simply fun (Suckling, 2016). Therefore, cosplay refers to the icon of respecting diversity and freedom which attract people into cosplay world.

When there are cosplayers, there are a number of photographers who take pictures of it. Therefore, the term for photography of cosplay is “cosphotography” (Mountfort, Perison-Smith & Geczy, 2018). Mountfort et al. (2018) states that there are three prominent cosphotography genres – first, a number of staged costume festival on the runway; second, “the hallway snapshot” (p.50); and third, “studio portrait” (p.51). One of the features of these genres is that they contributed on the camera technology development. For instant, from 35mm shots to smart phone cameras (Mountfort et al., 2018), cosphotography played its role for the camera which captures clearer and sharper picture for the public. Better and higher quality of photography not only satisfies cosplayers desire to become superheroes, but also critics’ evaluation of those photos and cosplayers (Mountfort et al., 2018). Moreover, the spontaneity of cosplayers is dominant in cosphotography (Mountfort et al., 2018). Those cosplayers wear make-up, put on a wig, and pose like their favourite character. They enjoy being taken photos by cosphotographer on their own initiative. Sometimes, cosphotography influences people to be impressed by futuristic fashion and science fiction through such as Morojo’s dress in the twenty-fifth century (Mountfort et al., 2018). It is impressive that cosphotography could be the vehicle for people to encounter new genres and make them enjoying it.

To conclude, cosphotography contributed to the technology development in terms of quality and popularity. Although cosplay seems like minor people’s genre who are into anime, sci-fi, DC, Marvel et cetera, it accepts and allows any people to become the superhero and other attractive characters and get away from the exhausting real life.

References:

Mountfort, P., Peirson-Smith, A., & Geczy, A. (2018). Cosphotography and fan capital. In Planet Cosplay: Costume Play, Identity and Global Fandom (pp. 45-74). Chicago, IL: Intellect Books.

Suckling, L. (2016, August 16). Cosplay: What makes it so popular?. Retrieved from https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/life/83198636/cosplay-what-makes-it-so-popular

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