We at arkadymac.com hope to present 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 groups who have, in their own way, kept cosplay alive and well throughout the years. The community itself still has any challenges to overcome, but we want to show how it continues to evolve with the energy and dynamism of the people who live and breathe within it. It is our hope that by doing so, 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 unique, symbiotic relationship between the people in front and behind the camera. Both are essential to bringing a character being portrayed to life, and the results of their efforts are nothing short of works of art. For our third feature we present Katherine Louize as Cammy White of Street Fighter, photography by Kuroyuki Kanade of A|E_imAginE |alec.egido|
“Strong and sexy,” is how Katherine describes Cammy White, the character she chose to cosplay from the Street Fighter franchise. As an avid gamer, it only made sense she look to the games she enjoys playing for inspiration for her cosplays. “I love Street Fighter,” she tells us with glee, “and Cammy is one of my most favorite characters.”
“Cammy is super challenging to cosplay,” Katherine admits. “I don’t do pretty daring characters, but for her I tried it for a change.” “I didn’t do it just to elicit reactions from people,” she says. “For me, portraying her is my way of showing respect to her and to the people who love Cammy as much as I do. I did my best to portray her, so there is nothing wrong about me cosplaying her.”
Cosplaying for over four years now, we ask her why she continues, why her passion never wanes. “I cosplay because I want to bring my favorite characters into reality,” she tells us. ” Learning how I can portray my characters better then receiving compliments from others for it is a big fulfillment, and I am happy with it.” Katherine says it’s not about how many characters one has been cosplaying. “It’s about how happy you are when you cosplay. Happiness is priceless by the way. It is all about improving yourself and loving what you do.”
Asked who keeps her going in cosplay, Katherine doesn’t take long to answer. “My friends are my inspirations, and I cherish the moments we have had together. I can’t imagine that from being a congoer I became a cosplayer and got to meet such awesome friends and we got to enjoy ourselves every time we cosplayed. Some could no longer stay and some have left me behind, but my memories of them will stay with me like photographs. People change, so we have to accept them even if they make us lonely when they leave. Time and life do not wait for anyone, so we just have to be happy.”
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 the things I wanted to do. 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.
“Cosplay has been a part of my life, so I cosplay when I still can,” she replies when we ask how long she intends to continue with her passion. “I’ve been cosplaying for about four years now. I really don’t know how longer I will be able to cosplay, but I’m still enjoying what I have now.”
When asked to describe Kuroyuki Kanade, the photographer for this project, Kat had this to answer: “Kuro is a nice and epic photographer. His creative style and ideas lead to perfection. The fact that it was our first time to work on a project didn’t pose any problems with our partnership at all. Before I met him, I was a little curious about him as his shots were unique. It’s like he has a different view of everything. I can really feel his dedication to photography.”
To her photographer, Kat wishes to say: To Boss Kuro,Thank you for the successful shoot last time even though it was a shoot of many firsts. I enjoyed being with you together with Shun and Lin. Choosing you as my photographer for my Cammy cosplay is one that I’ll never regret. I knew from the start that it’ll be very challenging, but we got to work together and now I’m glad I was not mistaken. Thank you, and more shoots to come.”
And to those who have been there for her, Katherine has this to share to them: “I would like to thank my cosplay and photographer friends who keep on supporting me in every kind of cosplay that I make. To all people who keep on motivating me to improve,I’m really grateful. And to everyone who gets to read this, thank you, and I hope to see you at future conventions.
Many thanks to Katherine Louize and Kuroyuki Kanade for allowing us to share their work. See more of them at A|E_imAginE |alec.egido| Rest assured we’ll be featuring more of them soon hereon our website. 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