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

No one puts on a costume and doesn’t want to be noticed. The entire purpose of dressing up is to visually represent something and be noticed as that thing that you are representing. In this simple way the connection between photography and cosplay is obvious, as one one would not want their authentic Anime costume, which they spent hours meticulous detailing, to go unnoticed or unappreciated. Due to the rise in popularity of conventions such as comic con and Armageddon the way in which these people, referred to as cosers, are photographed has developed into three distinct genres, which all have a different purpose in the way in which cosplay is promoted. 

In 1939 the first World Con event was held in New York. This event led to key relationship between space and cosplay. This is where the location or a specific place inside a venue is used as a sort of photobooth, where a cosplayer can have their picture taken. Perhaps in a faithful rendition of a popular scene from a show or just to showcase their costume. Two popular photographic genres, the staged competition shoot and the so called, hallway snapshot, were the first specific styles of cos photography which developed at this time (Mountfort, Peirson-Smith, & Geczy 2018) Another important tool, which seems sort of obvious, was the changes in camera technology which helped formulate and shape cosplay today. From the 1950’s black and white 35 mm cameras to today’s smartphones and the internet. The capability of photography has often been a driving force, where new technology has meant more choice in the way someone’s picture is taken. With devices becoming handheld, one does not need to be a professional photographer, or have to set up an elaborate shoot to capture someone’s picture in good detail.  Chafin (2017) talks about the first comic con, which happened in 1970 at the Grant hotel. A three day event held at seedy hotel, a far cry from the multi billion dollar event which happens today. Where cosplay has become one tool which the entertainment industry uses to promote their films, television and comics. The fashion runway shoot, the third style of cos photography, is perhaps a leading tool in this field (Mountfort, Peirson-Smith, & Geczy 2018) 

-Hallway snapshot 

A spontaneous photo taken in a non organized area. The most ubiquitous form of cosphotogrpahy, based around fan expectations. These can be set up by a simple exchange, such as a raised eyebrow or a raising of a camera, to get the consent of the coser. New smartphone technology has allowed regular attendees to cosplay events, to be able to take decent photos and the internet allows for the wide circulation of those pictures on online platforms. The sharing of cosplay photos is a crucial element to the art. Not so much as to add a competitive element but simply as an exaggeration of the initial purpose. To be noticed. One potential use of the hallway snapshot, could be to understand the current trends and styles which are popular at these events. Having the ability to take your own photos at random times, without too much preparation or organization, could result in showcasing a wider display of the current popular characters from both movie, TV, anime and magna (Mountfort, Peirson-Smith, & Geczy 2018) 

Fashion studio shoot

An organized event that strongly resembles a typical runway shoot. Where fashion models don costumes and parade about, allowing professional photographers access. They utilize elements such as fast zooms, catwalks and repetitive shooting.  This is an event more likely appealing to photographers, who see the organized set up as a chance to take quality photographs. Though the fashion shoot can be as much a performance, as it can be a shoot. The fashion shoot is often design for promotion, either of cosers or cosplay events (Mountfort, Peirson-Smith, & Geczy 2018) 

Staged competition shoot 

The privileged shoot amongst cosplay circles at events. This is because the staged shot allows coser’s to showcase the level of labor that went into their particular costume and to demonstrate props. The fashion shoots, while perhaps a more professional event, are not seen as genuine. The models are looked at like clotheshorses, who are simply wearing the costumes. Where as with a staged competition shoot, you have dedicated cosplayers, who could be seen as the genuine article. There are also specific places in which these photos can be taken. Against backdrops which relate to the shows or in places which allow for action shots (Mountfort, Peirson-Smith, & Geczy 2018) 

References 

Chafin, C. (2017, July 19). San Diego Comic-Con: The Untold History. Rolling Stone. Retrieved from https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/san-diego-comic-con-the-untold-history-194401/

Mountfort, P., Peirson-Smith, A., & Geczy, A. (2018). Planet Cosplay: Costume Play, Identity and Global Fandom. Chicago University Press

Jenkins, H (2012) Superpowered Fans: The many worlds of San Diego’s Comic-Con Boom: A Journal of California, Vol. 2 No. 2, Summer 2012; (pp. 22-36) DOI: 10.1525/boom.2012.2.2.22

Figure 1. Hallway snapshot. From “bored panda” by Vaičiulaitytė G, 2018 (https://www.boredpanda.com/best-cosplay-san-diego-comic-con-2018/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic)

Figure 2. Fashion shoot. From “Ikkeibp” by, Cur, 2018 (https://expo.nikkeibp.co.jp/tgs/2018/public/en/event/cosplay.html)

Figure 3. Staged fashion shot. From “Film Jackets” by Film jackets, 2019 (https://www.fjackets.com/categories/Superhero-Costumes/

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