'Switcheroo' photo exhibit crosses couples and clothing
Hana Pesut is on a mission to get you to cross-dress — and she wants to take pictures while you do.
For the last three years the 31-year old Vancouver-based photographer has taken portraits of pairs — couples, friends or family — by first getting them to pose and then asking them to switch clothes and pose with the same backdrop.
What has resulted is a photo series called "Switcheroo."
To pay homage her cross-dressing subjects for their bravery, Pesut decided to self-publish a book of selected photos from the series. She raised partial funds through an Indiegogo campaign and fronted the rest of the money herself.
The compilation launched Friday night at the Black and Yellow Gallery, where selected prints will be on exhibit until July 19.
The swap-and-snap idea came to her when she was camping three years ago and wanted to see a friend who was always cloaked in black to switch clothes with a friend who preferred leopard print, tie dye and sequins.
At first it was really hard to get people to do it and then once I got a couple people to do, all of a sudden everyone wanted to do it.
Pesut took before and after photos and fell in love with the concept but had some difficulty convincing other people it was a good idea.
"At first it was really hard to get people to do it and then once I got a couple people to do, all of a sudden everyone wanted to do it," she said.
Pesut has documented over 200 'switcheroos' not only in and around Vancouver but also in other cities including Barcelona, Paris and Montreal.
Pesut even convinced her mom to try it with a friend. After the first photo was taken, she asked them to switch clothes and her mom was confused. She thought the photos were simply digitally altered to look like the subjects had swapped outfits.
Pesut wants people to draw their own conclusions about gender-bending, noting the series isn’t exclusive to male-female switches but also includes same-sex portraits. But she remains fascinated with how natural cross-dressing can be.
"A lot of these I have taken in public places and a guy will be in a dress and [people] won`t even stop and think anything of it," she said.
"It's fun to see how far people have come with what you can and can't wear."