You would think after shooting dancers for so many years, my path would have led me to circus performers long before now. I’ve shot a few dancers that were also circus performers, but it wasn’t until a recent shoot (see below) that I really got familiar with a group of individuals in our local circus scene. Now, as a photographer, you’ve got to think Circus + Pictures has to be a good thing. And you’d be right. You’d also be right that I’m not the first (or the last) to think that. As spectacular as the performances are, I really didn’t want to tread over well traveled ground. But as time and circumstances (again, see below) went by, I increasingly counted this family of circus performers among my friends.
The photographer in me finally overcame my reluctance and the imperative to make some pictures took over. I began to notice a small overlap between the circus world and the world of avant-garde fashion of say, Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen, only with a little more contortion and a lot less money. I also wanted these pictures to be more portraits than fashion and more fashion than performance. Truth is, the notion of what they “should” be flew out the window after the first session. I did want to shoot them all on a black background. At least that stayed true to plan.