We at arkadymac.com hope to show the vibrant and dynamic community that has emerged from cosplaying here in the Philippines, which is why with our new segment, Cosplay Community, we will be featuring the cosplayers, photographers, craftsmen, organizers, and other people and groups that have, in their own way, kept cosplay alive and well throughout the years. The community itself is far from perfect or organized, but we want to show everyone how dynamic and energetic it has become. It is our hope that someday, more people will be more understanding and more appreciative of this hobby, this art, this passion for cosplay.
For our first few features on the Cosplay Community, we want to present great cosplayer-photographer collaborations. In the community, there has long been a special and symbiotic relationship between the people in front and behind the camera. Both are essential to bringing a character being portrayed to life, and their efforts are nothing short of works of art. For our initial offering, we present Katherine Louize as Aoki Lapis, photography by Keru Beru.
As an anime, manga and game enthusiast, Katherine Louize has had a lot of inspiration for her cosplays. She says she particularly loves tsundere and yandere characters though. Starting out in 2010, Kat says cosplay changed everything about her. “Even my biggest weakness turned into strength,” she shares. “I wasn’t good at expressing myself, but now I can show everyone what I can do.” It was never easy and she found it challenging. “Before, I lacked confidence. I doubted myself on whether I can do things. Cosplay has changed my personality and outlook on life,” she says. “Being positive in all ways and pushing things beyond limits are things we should share.” Kat has since been happy to discover that she had become a positive force to the people around her. “People around me are telling that they got inspired by my work that they tried cosplay and photography too,” she tells us.
She fondly remembers her collaboration with photographer Keru Beru in her Aoki Lapis cosplay. It is a fruitful project, as the photo above, Shine Bright Like a Diamond, got featured on the Cosplay Gen website, Best on DA: volume 35. Here she cosplays Aoki Lapis, a Japanese Vocaloid. She is portrayed as a fairy who has no memory of who she is. She belongs to a race of fairies capable of transforming the music into power and her voice is said to have the power to give life when she sings. “When Aoki Lapis had her exposure and released her first song, I ended up hearing all of her songs,” she admits. “She’s cute and jolly but a little stubborn like me. I like her upbringing, her voice and how she projects herself. Vocaloids are wonderful because they evolve and they keep growing like their cosplays do.
She tells us of Keru Beru, the photographer for this project. “Keru Beru and I have been friends for almost a year. For me he’s a nice cosplay photographer partner, a nice friend, easy going and a perfectionist. Yes, a perfectionist photographer, because he keeps his time and schedule settled before the shoot. He keeps informing me regarding the location, poses to make, and the weather. When we are on a shoot we even collaborate to make things smooth and enjoyable. Even when the poses are hard to make, it’s nice to see that we still manage to pull them off. He wants thing as perfect as possible and I like him for being so dedicated to his passion.”
To her photographer, she has this to say: “To my grandson Keru (I usually call him by that), thank you for being a nice and epic photographer partner. Thank you for the trust during and after the shoots and what I like most is that positive aura you project and even now I still feel it. I’m happy that one of your shots has been chosen and included in top 20 of Cosplay Snapshot. Thanks for everything, and I hope things will never change as time goes by. I’ll keep on supporting you on more projects to come.”
Many thanks to Kat and Keru Beru for allowing us to share their work. See more of them at Nice(1) Photography. Thank you for dropping by, and do visit us again for more cosplay features here at arkadymac.com.
Xtian Mack took up AB English Studies, Major in Creative Writing at UP Diliman. Currently works for a medical transcription company. He is the Creative Director of The Cosplay Cafe: arkadymac.com, doing photography, writing, and reporting for the website. His line of photography specializes in cosplay event coverage, having covered 300 events in a span of 3 years. Loves cute and furry things.
View all posts by Xtian Mack