Half-Drag Portraits Of Drag Queens In And Out Of Makeup Show Their Striking Transformations

A different kind of beauty.

We often say there are multiple sides to each person, but nothing gets this message across better than portraits by New York City-based photographer Leland Bobbé.

In his fascinating project titled Half-Drag ... A Different Kind Of Beauty, Bobbé features some of Gotham's most prominent drag queens and offers a refreshing perspective on gender fluidity. 


Honey Davenport — one of the 65 drag queens featured in Bobbé's photography series.

Instead of solely focusing on their extravagant stage personas, Bobbé taps into the vulnerable side of his subjects by portraying them half-in, half-out of their makeup, wigs, flashy clothes ... basically, everything these men use to transform into their feminine alter egos.

"My intention is to capture both — the masculine and the feminine side — of these subjects in one image. I wanted to explore the cross over between males and females and break down the physical barriers that separate them," Bobbé writes in his artist statement.

Heidi Glüm — the clear split between the subject's natural and drag sides outlines the compatibility of their dual identities.

Bobbé says he was inspired to create such series after spotting a burlesque model whose costume was completely divided into male and feminine sides. He invited him to pose for a studio portrait and being fascinated by the result, decided to pursue this idea further.

"Once I shot my first image and it was posted to Facebook I started reaching out to other queens. I looked at lots of tagged photos and sent out friend requests and messages. Almost all of the queens I contacted ended up shooting," the photographer told PetaPixel

After debuting in 2012, Half-Drag received worldwide success and appeared in various publications, including the Italian Vogue. According to The Blot, Bobbé also received letters from teenagers saying his project empowered them to feel more comfortable and secure in their skin.

Azraea — Bobbé says he didn't use any digital manipulation techniques to compose these side-by-side portraits.

Jordan Fox — according to the photographer, it took the models about 1.5-2 hours to get ready and only 45 minutes to actually shoot the portraits.

Miss Fame — check out more of Bobbé's gender-bending portraits below!

Maddelynne Hatter

Kittin Withawhip

Magnolia Applebottom

Onna Rampaige

Maddox Madison

Pusse Couture

Sabel Scities

Sherry Vine

Titania Steele

Vivienne Pinay


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