Sourcing a subject
I contacted a number of 'cabaret gay' clubs in Birmingham, Derby and Burton via email and phone and after a number of weeks trying I was successful in locating 'Miss Dina Colada' (AKA David) who is based in Swadlingcote, Derby. David works as a hostess and singer in a number of establishments in the surrounding area (see above video)
David has been doing this style of entertaining for the last 12 months and is growing his business steadily with word of mouth. He is actively involved in a number of charities in the area and helps organize Leicester gay pride with his partner.
When we met, I was keen to understand what sort of images would help represent the character of Miss Dina Collada. He talked about his various influences and inspirations, one of which is Miss Cookie Monster who is based in London.
ADD in Pics of Cookie Monster
Influences and research for shoot
David La Chapelle
The images of Alan Cumming below, portray a vibrance and exhibitionism associated with the Drag Queen genre.
La Chapelle appears to use bright colours, alternative subjects and high key lighting to produce these controversial yet stunning images. The focal point is the model and their actions and body positioning create the main focus on the image. The clothing, make-up and set all contribute to the final image and each picture is individual and portrays a different character.
The top image uses a very simple set (pink brick), with a single swing positioned in the centre. The model is the main focus of the image and as a cheeky touch, there is a small dog at the bottom right. The interpretation of this image could be 'a walk in the park', with the model as the dog walker who has decided to play on the park swings. The clothing and 'swing' is incredibly suggestive and I imagine the the purpose of this image is to delight as well as to shock. To delight and to shock is exactly the image that I want to create when photographing my model.
The bottom image is set in a warehouse/garage and portrays the image of a man in drag walking with purpose across the concrete floor. The red dress and the lack of a back to it draws the eye to the image and makes it the main focal point. A wind machine will have been used to generate the floating effect of the dress that produces a sense of movement in the picture. As before, the image is designed to shock and delight the viewer as it is very suggestive without exposing too much flesh!