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The Magical World Of Underground Night Personalities

Samantha Fielding spent three years photographing the glitzy and secret world of drag performers, fetish artists, burlesque dancers, and contortionists.

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British photographer Samantha Fielding has photographed and interviewed night performers, drag queens and kings, burlesque dancers, and fetish artists. Her ongoing project and book includes photographs from London, Berlin, Paris, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

"Night is a time for reinvention," Fielding told BuzzFeed. "No one understands this better than the underground performer, bursting free from the limitations of routine and shedding the skin of an everyday identity, they become someone else.

"For the night-time performer especially, there is a certain isolation that comes with putting their vision and endeavour out there. The irony is that they find exhilaration and purpose in their respective acts or identities, and yet they are often judged and mocked as oddballs, outcasts, or freaks."


Ayumi La Noir, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Fielding grew up in the south of Spain where her mother owned nightclubs. "From a young age I was curious of the glitz and glam of the drag queens that had a nightclub next door," she said. "Stunning and tall, they always let me sit and watch them put their makeup on. I feel at home in this world."

Ben Bo Decker, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

"My main source of income was through set stills," Fielding said, "[but] after having two kids it’s a little harder to be on set a million miles away for 15 hours straight, so I had to find a way to keep myself busy and creative. I met a burlesque dancer by the name of Jessabelle Thunder that asked me to photograph her. Let's just say the rest is history."

Cynth, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

"I want my book to cover all walks of performance artists from burlesque to drag, fire eaters to contortionists. I have given myself three years to travel to London, Berlin, Paris, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. I started out photographing burlesque dancers and it just snowballed from there. I realised that there are so many categories in burlesque, let alone all of the other types of night performers. I became more familiar with their world and what they portray within their acts."

Boom Boom, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Charlotte Viktoria, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Syban, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Christopher Wonder, Los Angeles

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Ridge Gallagher, Los Angeles

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Courtney Cruz, Los Angeles

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Cynth, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Kandy Konk, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Marnie Scarlet, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Marnie Scarlet, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Missy Fatale, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Boom Boom, Los Angeles and London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Virgin Xtravaganza, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Bambi Blue, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Cynth, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Arcane Sin, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com

Maxi More, London

Samantha Fielding / performerthebook.samfielding.com