Konk Life (USA) : Behind The Scenes: Transformation Photo Shoot of a Drag-Queen
INTERVIEW WITH Annibel Williams Photographer
Guy deBoer | GD We have a spread in this week’s issue of a transformation photo shoot of a drag-queen. When was it when you decided this was something you wanted to shoot?
Annibel Williams| AW When I first came to Key West about four or five years ago, I went to my first drag show. I had never seen a drag queen before in my life, and I was just completely amazed by these guys who could look as amazing as women. My profession has always been about photographing women and making them look the best they possibly can. I just decided I needed to shoot the drag queens and make them look like real women instead of just glitzy women
GD Let’s talk about your subject in the photo who is a gentleman named Ben.
AW A few years after my move here, I was at the Key West Closet Ball. Ben was in the show. I was just completely blown away by how he looked. He was like a woman, but he had his chest showing so you knew he wasn’t a woman. I was totally inspired by it and wanted to do a shoot of him.
GD How does a man do the transformation?
AW He had a black tutu on and some high leather boots, but he had pasty on his nipples, so you knew he was a man. He also had an amazing blond wig on and just looked sensational. I wanted to take him out and shoot him like that instead of with the fake chest.
GD Let’s talk about the transformation photo shoot of Ben to Aurora and how you captured the moment.
AW Aurora was the shot that I did last of him, because I like to take people through a process and get them relaxed at the beginning. At the beginning, he was wearing a skirt, top and blond wig he had made himself that had some red bows in it. Later on in the shoot he changed into the black tutu. It was so hot during the shoot that the makeup was running down his face the whole time, so he had to go back into the car and redo all his makeup, but it was still a fantastic day.
GD What were some of the stages during the transformation?
AW We first of all started by making him look like a woman with the makeup, hair and chiseled jawline. !ere had to be so much makeup on him to cover up stubble and all the things like that. It’s very different from the makeup on a woman.
GD What about the techniques he used to change his body?
AW He has a good body already, but he does put a corset on to get more of a waist. He also puts on high heeled shoes which make him look like a tall model. !e technique to get his chest to look the way he does is hilarious. He fills his pantyhose with dry rice and then cuts the panty hose and knots it.
GD How did the final end result turn out?
AW Positioning people is really important. It’s one of the ways you get a really good photograph of someone. I had to position him in a way where he looked very feminine.
GD How can someone check out your work, Annabel?
AW I have a website called www.annabelwilliams.com and if you go to that you can also check out my blog. I write blogs about all the shoots that I do around the country. I have been training professional and amateur photographers for about the last 20 years, and I am more than happy to teach people how to take photographs.