I did do one of the readings, but as these are all my own thoughts I will not be citing it.
How would I describe the relationship between cosplayers and photographers?
Questions like that can be difficult to answer in this format, I want to say “Photographers capture the work of cosplayers for others to enjoy”. But the current word count is 41 and a general rule is aa minimum of 500. As such, I feel further explanation is necessary.
I think the vast majority of creative types wish to have their work experienced by others as best they can be. As such many pieces of art are reproduced and sold on the market, books, video games, etc. are given large production runs so many people can enjoy them. There is the financial motivator as well obviously, but that is generally not a concern beyond production when it comes to cosplay as much of it uses copyrighted imagery and designs. However, this doesn’t mean that cosplayers don’t want others to see and appreciate their work, quite the opposite, as many cosplay outfits are made by and for the person who wears it. But the people who will typically understand what the outfit means and why it’s significant and appreciate those things. However, say you’re wearing ne of the Moon Knight costumes, not everyone will get that, not even every nerd, and you’ll only run into so many who do at Armageddon Expo in two weeks. At least until the Disney+ show comes out that is. That being as it may, you will often want pictures of your outfit taken so the maximum number of people can appreciate it.
That’s where the photographers come in. The best way to document something visual in the real world is to photograph or to film it. What’s interesting though is that this relationship is symbiotic, even when the photographers are not being paid. Many will take the photos simply due to being impressed by the quality of the costuming. Not only that a good photoset even of cosplay of a copyrighted character can be very good for a photographer’s portfolio and can be used as an example of their skills with a camera and thus lead to more business in a professional context and compliments/adoration in a casual context.
For both parties there is sentimental value in having pictures of a convention that one has attended, for nerds, it can be a very nice experience to be surrounded likeminded people with similar interests and mutually partaking in them. It’s the kind of thing that one would often want to remember. Take a picture, as they say, it does, in fact, last longer and once you have it you can mean as much as your subjective memories might allow.
Once a picture is taken it is often posted online and may well go viral, letting millions of people see and appreciate both the photography/cinematography and the work that has gone into a cosplay outfit and performance. This can lead to all kinds of opportunities for both the cosplayer and the one responsible for their work being captured for all to see.
Put on a happy face, you never know who, nor how many might see it.