I am a photographer, and I do portraits of women as women and women as men.

I did the first one of myself in 1999, because I wanted to see myself as a man. I did not want to take off my male self once I had him. I wanted other women to have this experience as well, so I started asking friends. I left it up to each of them to express their male side through wardrobe and body language. Some came up with scenarios about the relationships between their male and female sides, and some just brought whatever they had for wardrobe at the time – their boyfriend’s hat, or their brother’s shirt, or they had their best male friend dress them. In the end, no matter how it came about, the two portraits seemed to express a relationship between two people.

Here are the images I have made, to date. I will be adding to this series.

More info: melaniegillis.com

Melanie 1999

I did this first one in 1999. It is a self portrait.

Hope 2006

Massage therapist and awesome rugby player.

Rachel 2006

She was a model at a nude photography workshop I took. We shot this in under an hour on our lunch.

Laura 2006

Multimedia artist and entrepreneur.

“Transforming into a man surprised me as it shifted my awareness to a part of myself I wasn’t used to seeing. ‘He’ is just as much me as ‘she’ is me. Seeing them together unified something inside me. I realized the relationship I was seeking was a union within. The whole experience felt like a love story capturing the moment we first met.”

Lorida 2006

She was the office manager at a law firm where I was doing corporate portraits. She said she had always wanted to be Stephen Tyler.

Sabrina 2006

Photographer and actor.

Marta 2007

Photographer

“Being photographed by a professional photographer is in itself a very exhilarating experience. And more so for a project like this one where you get to be a completely opposing version of yourself. It was a great and powerful feeling to be a man and quite amusing. I felt like I had to be in character, but that character was still me. When I look at the images, I feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. Like I had to work at being a man and I succeeded. I love looking at those photographs and I loved being a part of this project. Definitely my all time favourite session in front of the camera.”

Wynne 2007

Painter.

Wynne and I have posed for each other for years. Here she has a cucumber in her pants.

Carol 2013

Art director in advertizing

Kathy 2015

Educator and grad student. When we shot this at her home in Cartagena, Colombia, Kathy was due in two weeks.

“It was interesting how comfortable I felt as a man. Femeninity is a hard thing for me to deal with. Being pregnant during the photoshoot definitely added something to the experience.”

Sarah 2015

Sarah is a hairstylist and ironically she went for an unkempt look.