How would you describe the relationship between cosplayers and photographers?

The collaboration between cosplayer and photography is the most significant foundation of representing animate/Otaku culture in cosplay events transnationally, for example, Wonder Festival (Japan), Comic-Con(The U.S.) and Armageddon(New Zealand) or even school clubs. Although they were born in different era, both performance, social network, business interest, and cultural contexts are inevitably interconnected. This is the aesthetic combination of fantasy and realism that anime fandoms and conventions are highly expected. Cosplayer insists on many preparative elements such as costumes, make-up, and accessories like wig and props based on their target medium. Copying details such as posts, facial emotions and body movements also embodied their loyalty to fictional characters(sometimes more creative than the original context, such as intertextual cross-over). However, live-act performance demands a perpetual seat in cyberspace which it’s considered borderless, in order to expand the interaction and popularity of both presenters and the medium. As photography was normalized and cameras were more accessible in the mid-’50s, cosplay performance was benefited as they were captured and being exposed widely than temporary live-actions. Especially the issues of body image began to come into play (Flatt,2015). Through producing, uploading, sharing and selling photos and home-made videos, cosplay becomes more variable and diverse in borrowing and reinterpretation. Both performers and photographers collaboratively study and invent performances in character via and creative camera technology (cinematography and editing etc.) in pictures.  Langsford (2016) explained that Photoshoot generated a ukiyo, ‘floating place’, where the fantasy places (re)created in cosplay shoot photography.  Mountfort (2018) stated that”The dominant visual genres that evolved out of convention spaces are those of studio-based fashion photography (whether actually taken indoor or out, against physical props or blue-screens) and the snapshot.” It’s because the outcome of photography influentially promotes websites and cosplayers (including their cosplay suppliers) across the globe. Therefore, commercialism brought cosplay and photography as one genre in performance. 

Sophie Tse 16912888


Flatt, T.F,(2015)Cosplay in the USA. Honors College of Middle Tennessee State University. Retrieved from:

Langsford, C.M, (2016)Floating Worlds: Cosplay photoshoots and creation of imaginary cosmopolitan places. vol 13( 1 )DOI:

Mountfort, P. (2018) Cosphotography as Fan Capital. Retrieved from:

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