Top 10 drag photo shoots!?
It's really hard to pick favorites considering all the queens I have worked with (especially in the past year), but I picked some of my favorite looks from the past year and wanted to share it with you! Here are 10 of my favorite shoots, the shoots that had the most of you gagging, or were otherwise notable.
You'll find a little roundup of what each is currently working on (or where you may know them from) so please, check them out, especially if you can catch the Seattle artists at gigs! You won't regret it.
James was a top 3 finalist on the Boulet Brothers' Dragula Season 2, an appropriate venture after killing the game in Seattle the past few years. James has an incredible diversity in looks and always has me gagging. Even a mess of glitter looks stunning on that mug.
Follow him on Instagram, and catch him in collabs with VELO like Killin' It ft. James Majesty and Raven, and Zombie ft. Chi Chi LaRue. And for yet another link, find James Majesty's shirts at Drag Queen Merch, featuring a few photos of mine!
Stacey Starstruck is one of my favorite queens to work with - between her own abundance of creativity, she's down to try anything and the results show. Find several of of our photos in full-page spreads in Allegory Ridge Issue No. 1.
Stacey is now part of MX, the resident cast of Seattle's new Queer/Bar, alongside Robbie Turner, Abbey Roads, and Lucy Paradisco. Stacey is an incredible performer and I'm always excited to see what she's up to next. One of my favorite memories is Stacey performing to Kesha's Woman sending an explosion of gold around the club with a twirling wig-reveal. #SheDidThat
And who said you can't shoot a queen in natural light?
I managed to catch Kimora looking expen$ive AF at one of her last shows in Las Vegas before she moved to LA - it was LV Pride 2017 and she was pure sex on that stage.
One of the most quotable queens from RuPaul's Drag Race Season 9, Kimora's look is stunning in real life. Her mug is flawless which helped to somehow manage this photo in a grassy spot under a tree in Las Vegas' Sunset Park.
If I didn't know she was lip-syncing here, I'd assume Trixie Mattel was saying, "UNHhhh..."
Trixie is one of my favorite queens from Drag Race, the perfect mix of humor and honesty. Shooting her performances in Dragapalooza was only rivaled by hanging out with the cast and Trixie playing All the Small Things at the back of the Egyptian.
Trixie is my ride-or-die for All-Stars 3, for the record.
Shea Coulee is let me take her photo in this strange, dark room with bare lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling, and I think it came out pretty sickening. Fresh off of RPDR Season 9, Shea absolutely killed it on stage at her Tacoma Pride 2017 performance.
This photo got reposted by about a dozen fan accounts, and rightfully so - I love, love her look here (and can't wait to shoot some more.. formal.. photos).
Karmen Korbel accidentally became a drag queen. By that beat, you wouldn't think it could be quite so sudden or "accidental," but she did happen upon the art after her coworkers all did drag (many for the first time) together, and she really enjoyed it.
Arson is one of my favorite drag artists simply for versatility and local influence. Arson made the skirt in the look above and has been flaunting some unique fashions re-inspired by thrifted materials (and sometimes thermal mylar blankets that crunch with every step).
I'll save the excitement for you as I interviewed Arson in Episode No. 2 of Up Contrast. You can find Arson at many events around Seattle, including her own creation, Rapture, or pouring Elmer's Glue on herself to the Pussycat Dolls' Stickwitu at Kremwerk. Follow Arson on Instagram!
Anita Spritzer is new(ish) on the scene, quickly picking up a variety of shows in the Tacoma and Seattle area. I'm honored to conduct Anita's first drag photoshoot, and can't wait to watch her serve looks, sing live, and make a unique splash on an already thriving drag scene.
Some recent highlights: granny Anita with a walker, a mashup of Gnarles Barkley/Britney Spears in a straight-jacket, and a dangerously close rendition of Mariah's New Year's faux pas. Follow Anita on Instagram to keep up with her show schedule!
Vanity White is "Seattle's guitar-playing drag chanteuse," performing a one-woman show at Barça called Vanity White Wednesday. It's a mix of sophistication and crass humor and I can't get enough of Vanity's looks or character.
I've run into Coco on almost every trip to Vegas I make and caught her performance at Las Vegas Pride on camera. Ever since, I've been an even bigger friend and have made a new friend, too.
Coco is, hands-down, the sweetest and most gracious drag artist I have ever worked with. I knew she'd be funny as hell and enormously talented as a performer - her RPDR and AS2 days proved that as well as her gigs I saw - but I didn't realize just how much fun I'd have with Coco until we were shooting her looks here in Seattle.
What I love about Coco is how true to herself she is and how vocal her posts are about the state of politics and our world today. It's amazing to see a queen leverage her platform in an unapologetic way.
Check out my Drag page and Coco's Instagram to see more from our shoot. We did two looks that were recreations from the Janet Jackson State of the World tour, and this one, an original look by Perry Meek.
So, drag fan. Who was your favorite? Who would you like to see in front of my camera? Leave a comment, share this post, and don't forget to give these artists some love for their creativity.
Dylan is a Seattle-based portrait photographer passionate about social justice, the male form, and finding the right time each day to switch from iced coffee to whiskey. He's on Instagram @dylanmaustin.