Thursday, September 6, 2012

The circus came to town...

Its been a long while since I posted anything new on here so here goes.  Thank you all for still sending me your messages and words of encouragement in what is proving to be our toughest year ever.  I also apologise in advance if any of my pics are looking less than perfect but I've had huge technical problems since we left Australia (my PC basically died :( and is still in the process of having a new motherboard installed) I'm now using a very basic laptop which belongs to my darling husband but which is really not great for what I do.  Sooo enough of the tech talk and lets get to the fun stuff 'the circus'!!

A few months ago a wonderful little circus rolled into our village for 3 days 'Circus Sijm'. The kids begged to go so off I rode to get the early bird tickets at 11am. Arriving at the car park where the tent was set up my first thought was 'wow its tiny' my next thought was 'mmm I wonder if I could ask about doing a mini photo project with them'?  As this type of situation always causes me to get butterflies in my stomach I decided it would be good for me to push myself and ask the question.  A quote from a favourite photographer friend of mine Samm Blake:  from the greatest uncomfortableness comes the greatest growth'  I hope this works for me.

 I purchased our tickets, took a deep breath and asked the man sitting in front of me 'would it be possible to do a mini photo project with them?'  His response was immediately  'yes, no problem, we've have had this kind of thing before with other photo students spending a day/night with us'.
 I left him feeling excited about the challenge ahead and ideas started to fill my head.

Friday I met up with them again at their next venue which was Bergen, a village not to far from us.  They had been allocated a very challenging block of earth with little grass and minimum room.  I spent the whole morning with them all photographing and watching them set up the tent, seating, stages it is a lot of work to get everything looking just right and welcoming for the patrons.

Chatting at morning tea they shared some of their experiences of circus life. Coming from varying backgrounds and nationalities including Holland, Poland and Italy they all share the same love of life as a performer.  When I left at lunch time they had everything set up and ready for the evening show that night.  People started arriving half an hour before the show eagerly looking around and excited to enter the big top fairy floss in their hand. 

I have always loved going to see a circus ever since I was a little girl, the thrill of sitting in a big tent and the anticipation of what was to come.  I did however stop going for a while as I feel strongly about the mistreatment of animals,  forced to perform unnatural tricks and then kept in small cages not able to defend themselves.  I'm so thankful that those types of circuses are becoming a thing of the past. 

So what did I gain from my day at the circus?  I learned that approaching strangers for photographs isn't my strongest point but that once I break the ice I actually quite enjoy myself.  I would also love to do more of these type of projects 'a day in the life of ' and push my comfort limits forcing me to grow and produce photographs that are part of or that tell the viewer a story, something I often struggle with during a shoot then looking later at the pictures tell myself  ' coulda, shoulda and woulda' . 

After a short break during the show they return with more magical moments and laughter fills the big top.  Then the ringmaster finishes with a powerful statement which visits my thoughts often since  ' don't spend your whole life dreaming, live your dreams! '

A very big thank you to Alex Sijm and the fellow performers for allowing me to be part of your lives this day xx.

Please enjoy my encounter with Circus Sijm.

B x


A few shots taken on my ipod the night we went as a family.