Becoming Jade...

In December I started a typological photography project exploring the process that drag queens go through when transforming themselves from "man on the street" into the epic glamazons we see performing in bars and on TV.

My first participant was the lovely Jade Elektra, I couldn't have asked for a better model to start the project with, Jade even did a write up about mental shift that takes place as Jade comes to be through each layer of makeup.


Becoming Jade

The process of becoming Jade Elektra, for me is more than just putting on the make up. It is almost like a ritual that draws upon all the feminine energy that has influenced my life. I often say that Jade is a hybrid of my mother, the girl I was once engaged to and "Ginger" from "Gilligan's Island". And the funny thing is....I don't quite feel like I am her until I have the earrings on. Must have something to do with me playing in my grandmother's clip ons back in the 70s when she wasn't around. Everyone does drag for different reasons. I think I do it because it allows me to express the other parts of me....freely. I'm a 6 foot 4 black man. But somehow I become smaller and dainty when I dress as Jade. I am very aware of my physicality as a female. And I love it. Not a huge fan of the shoes, but I love being female....even if its just for stage or a performance.

-- Jade Elektra.


Shot with a beauty dish almost directly overhead and a reflector for fill angled up from the floor.

The final print I made is 70x40in.

Are you a drag queen that's interested in being photographed for the project? Email me: