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Dragula star Fantasia Royale Gaga stuns in vintage pin-up photoshoot by Ricardo Diaz

Dragula star Fantasia Royale Gaga stuns in vintage pin-up photoshoot by Ricardo Diaz

Fantasia Royale Gaga
Ricardo Diaz

Out has the exclusive premiere of Fantasia Royale Gaga’s new photoshoot with photographer Ricardo Diaz.

Best known for competing on season 5 of The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula and starring in reality series such as Hot Haus and Miami Dolls, Fantasia Royale Gaga is slowly growing in popularity and becoming one of the most exciting showgirls, drag performers, and trans entertainers of her generation.

In a new photoshoot lensed by Venezuelan-born, Los Angeles-based photographer Ricardo Diaz, Fantasia truly embodies the concept of a “voluptuous, vintage pin-up aesthetic married with a modern touch.” A preview of this new photoshoot has been shared exclusively with Out, and Diaz shares details about his collaboration with Fantasia and other LGBTQ+ creators.

Scroll through to see Out’s exclusive preview of this photoshoot with Fantasia Royale Gaga (@fantasiaroyalegaga) lensed by Ricardo Diaz (@officialricardodiaz).

Fantasia Royale Gaga

Ricardo Diaz

“This was the image we were all originally gunning for. It took a lot of moving parts to make it happen,” Diaz tells Out. “This is my first time hiring James Junk to do graphic design, and I loved the effect he added to it. It was by far the most expensive image to create on this shoot.”

Mikey Avina, who made the set design, has created huge sets for Kim Kardashian, Doja Cat, Paris Hilton, and other celebrities,” the photographer adds. “Randy Ramirez assisted him in set dressing. Rita Wolkotrub edited this from Bali, working overtime on this rush order, for James Junk to be able to turn it into a stunning newspaper ad. I photographed and wrote the copy for the image, which I think is pretty funny.”

Fantasia Royale Gaga

Ricardo Diaz

“Every season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula for the past four years, I have handpicked my favorite contestants and invited them to shoot,” Diaz says.

Fantasia Royale Gaga

Ricardo Diaz

“For season 5, my picks were Niohuru X and Fantasia Royale Gaga,” he highlights. “One was the winner, and the other made it to top 5, [but] both gave me some of my favorite works to date.”

Fantasia Royale Gaga

Ricardo Diaz

Diaz notes, “I needed every single person to make this happen: Fantasia, Mikey the set designer, Randy the assistant, Rita the retoucher, and James the graphic designer.”

Fantasia Royale Gaga

Ricardo Diaz

“It took a small village to make these works come to life,” he explains. “This is my first shoot with a new camera, and I had to call in so many favors to be able to bootstrap this fully self-funded project.”

Fantasia Royale Gaga

Ricardo Diaz

Diaz says, “I really enjoy respecting and allowing the artists on my sets to take full reign of their visions. My job is to [combine] them all together into a collective fever dream of a mosaic.”

Fantasia Royale Gaga

Ricardo Diaz

“The best part of it all is that I was creating with my friends,” he explains. “We shot all of this in my driveway in Los Angeles. My loft was the green room, and we shared cold beers and warm cigarettes on my porch after our shoot with my landlord.”

Fantasia Royale Gaga

Ricardo Diaz

Diaz reflects, “It’s moments like those when it all becomes worth it. All the sleepless nights trying to speed edit with my retoucher based in another continent, the worried stress of trying to figure out how to pay for a backdrop and my rent within the same few days, giving my earmarked food budget away to my friends to be able to cover a measly day rate for them on set.”

Fantasia Royale Gaga

Ricardo Diaz

“It’s all these hurdles you have to jump through as a budding queer artist that no one sees…”

Fantasia Royale Gaga

Ricardo Diaz

“…but that’s okay,” Diaz concludes. “Because at the end of the day, all I want you to see is the pretty picture we all sacrificed to paint for you.”

Photographer RICARDO DIAZ @officialricardodiaz
Set Designer MIKEY AVINA @mikeyy_15
Production Assistant RANDY RAMIREZ @randyyram
Retoucher RITA WOLKOTRUB @marvorista
Graphic Designer JAMES JUNK @jamesjunk.co

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim experiences and explains queer multiverses. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.