Ardelle Schneider’s photographic project Butterflies and Caterpillars offers authentic impressions of the current drag scene in the United States. Her photos address issues such as the meaning of identity and the construction of a self that goes beyond gender-specific roles and their constraints. Schneider accompanied her subjects in their everyday lives over a longer period, capturing private moments and public performances alike. She observed their transformation and dual nature as their self-presentation and self-image repeatedly collide with society’s expectations. Do our clothes change the way we act? Does our outward appearance reveal our character and affect the way others perceive us? What lies underneath these layers of tulle and makeup? In her intimate, sensitive photographs, Schneider brings out the nuances and complexities of the personalities hidden behind the garish masquerade. Her keen intuition and carefully tuned lighting allowed her to create images that ooze warmth, dignity, and power. This book is a monument to acceptance and mutual respect.