Remember how I insisted to you in past posts that cosplay is art? Well, ever since then I’ve been constantly wondering about the intimate art of drag but had no idea who to go to and how to start learning. Lucky for me, Aiden Zane and Lucia Saint invited me up to Lansing, Michigan to show me a thing or two about the transformation of drag. Despite them being from Atlanta and I from Chicago, the location we picked, set in Lansing was absolutely perfect for not only a photo shoot but an entire afternoon’s worth of fun and fabulous memories! Yet, it wasn’t all fun and games. The intricate art of drag queen photography was also a challenge and a learning experience.
Prepping For The Shoot.
Getting to be there from beginning to end was almost too surreal. The knowledge passed on to me during the prep period was phenomenal and extremely educational. While you’d have guessed that this period was like watching “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” up close, it was much more than that. As the boys decorated their gorgeous guy faces to resemble the image of gorgeous women, they shared stories with me and bits of insight. “Photographing in drag is not like photographing outside of it. You have to know what time of day lighting-wise will accurately accentuate the look.” Lucia explained dutifully while Aiden shared a more lighter thought recalling the many times he’d made similar poses from his drag look in everyday look, only to be quoted as it being very silly. As I watched in awe, I couldn’t help but snap pictures of the two hour long makeup applying process. All around me were piles of SugarPill pallets, wigs, and a variety of the most intriguing outfits ever.
It was phenomenal seeing the faces that I’d seen become these elaborate canvases for such phenomenal talent.
After that, it was time for a few selfies before we were out and about shooting! It was extremely entertaining watching them prepare themselves for the selfies because each and every shot they took during the shoot, needing no extra frumping or readjusting. Hair stayed perfect, makeup remained flawless. There were expert commenced outfit changes and all in all, things were impressive! Yet when it came to the phone photos, there was always a quick seemingly unnecessaryadjustment to be made. It was adorable. I even jumped into a few.
Ironically, the location of this shoot was literally right outside their hotel! There were moments when other hotel attendants would come by and wave or stare, but they didn’t care. They strutted around nearly deserted hallway proudly and I was beyond impressed. Admittedly, I was extremely nervous. I had been warned about the complexity of angles when it came to “Drag Queen Photography” but, between Aiden and Lucia and the renowned confidence, in the term learning experience, this session made my first session with them, my favorite.
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Afterwards, I had mentioned to Lucia that he had said something about dressing me up in drag when we spoke last. It was a joke, but it was also kind of like, “You know, why not?” The next thing you know, I’m getting my eyebrows glued down and standing face to face with an already perfected masterpiece. Honestly, it’s crazy. I’ve been in makeup artist chair’s plenty of times, but this was different. This was like the makeup brush was a paint brush and the pallets of makeup were everywhere and while I was getting “dragged up”, Aiden was wiping himself down of his fake lashes, makeup and eyeliner. It was amazing watching him do it because as he stripped down, and wiped his face… He did it in the most interesting way:
Half of his face first then the other half.
If I thought having no eyebrows was crazy, you could only imagine my surprise when fake eyebrows were involved! I was terrified but the finished product was gorgeous. I didn’t even recognize myself. Let’s not talk about how many SnapChats I sent out in drag just lipsyncing and smiling and making winking videos at everyone. It’s crazy, I knew that drag queens had to put a lot of effort into their look but I didn’t realize the amount of time, effort, focus and hard work it took to achieve some of the most amazing looks in history! I mean, for a few hours.. I could’ve sworn I was a different person!
The shoot itself with Aiden and Lucia was great! Check out their facebooks! They have albums and albums of beautiful photos of different looks! Rumor has it, they also have some really awesome stuff cooked up for their fans, so definitely check them out!!
What Have I Been Up To?
Well, specifically after this shoot, I photographed the lovely Victoria Churchill who is coincidentally also an author! Her book Dreams Of Crimson is everywhere! I heard it’s a vampire novel and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. She assured me personally that it is nothing like Twilight. (all the incentive I need!) Other than that, I started my first week of college and Jesus! Why didn’t anyone tell me it was that hard? Just kidding. Everyone told me it was that hard.
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