We packed up our kids early yesterday morning and headed over to the circus. I had emailed the circus folks to ask for permission but we never heard back so we had no idea if we'd be allowed to shoot or not. We were fully prepared to sneak around and take photographs under the radar.
However, as soon as we arrived a woman came up to our cars and invited us inside for a little performance that they were putting on for our local news channel. We were so stoked and the kids were in heaven. After the performance, Laura asked the folks in charge if we could take some shots in their circus tent. They were happy to give us permission and let us have free reign. This tent is the coolest little circus tent I have ever seen. So intimate, charming, and vintage - it really transported us to a different time.
Once we finished up shooting inside, we moved outside and were honored with the presence of Nino the Clown. Nino is played by Giovanni Zoppe who is a 6th generation circus performer and runs the circus with his siblings. I used to have major clown phobia until I met Nino.
Giovanni was so incredibly gracious and actually brought me back to his trailer to meet his wife Amy who did an incredible performance up on some crazy high ropes that morning. We also got to meet his son Julian who is just 14 months old and the cutest little clown ever. The fact that I got to go into the trailer of a family of circus performers is probably the highlight of my year. I read "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen this past summer so I'm a bit circus obsessed lately.
They even offered to have us back to shoot some more photos with the kids on ponies and on tight rope platforms. Unfortunately, none of us have the time to make it back as the circus leaves at the end of the week.
If you are local to the Metro Phoenix area, you should definitely check out the Zoppe Italian Family Circus in Chandler. They have performances twice a day through January 2nd. We have tickets for the New Year's Eve performance and can't wait! (And a note to other animal friendly folks like myself, the only animals involved are some very lucky dogs and a happy little pony).
A huge thank you to Laura Winslow for being so amazing to work with - not to mention up for anything! Thank you also to the Zoppe family for allowing us to shoot and creating some really fun memories for our kids! Lastly, thank you to Mia of Dolce Vita Mia for letting me borrow your little model :)
We still have several more pieces to shoot so these will be available in the shop in a few weeks.
Photography - Laura Winslow Photography
Flower Headband - Dolce Vita Mia
Pink Hat - Gracylu Originals
Circus - Zoppe Italian Family Circus