The Greatest Show On Earth! A Circus Infatuation

Many people wonder what drives our themed photo days and it really is related to our interests of the moment. Which is exactly why we decided to do a circus themed photo shoot with the help from our stylist encouraging the theme as well.

photo of a sexy ring master

Ring Master, Paula, from SLISP’s Circus Photo Day Sept 2012 ©, do not crop

Besides our childhood memories of the circus, we also have had some great adult experiences. In January 2011, we went to the WPPI Photo Expo in Las Vegas and while we were at the MGM Grand we saw our first Cirque De Soliel performance, “KA”. It was absolutely mind blowing with the set and choreography. The performers were fantastic, but unfortunately they have a no camera policy, so I decided to not risk having my camera thrown into the pit of fire (yes, they did this to audience members who didn’t follow the rules) at the show.

a circus fire tamer create photo

Mama Meg West, as a body painted fire tamer from SLISP’s Circus Photo Day Sept 2012, styling by Paula RR ©, do not crop

When we got home we immediately added some circus themed shows, our favorite was Carnivale , of a boy who joined the circus during the Great Depression. We watched documentaries and other movies before being told by our friend to read the book “Water For Elephants”. At the time I had no idea they were making a movie about it but the book was fantastic!!

the tattooed circus side act

Holland as the tattooed man, circus side act from SLISP’s Circus Photo Day — we made temporary tattoos

circus dog clown Boxer
Charlie the Boxer, as a circus clown from SLISP’s Circus Photo Day Sept 2012 ©, do not crop

When the movie came out I was thrilled to see it in the theaters!! It made me wish I had the ability to time travel and see an original circus the way that many people did when there weren’t Tvs, iphones, laptops, and the easy entertainment we have at our finger tips today.

2 cute circus clowns

Circus themed photo day circus clowns, Annie & Coco, from SLISP’s Circus Photo Day ©, do not crop

child and her boston terrier circus performers clowns

Annie the Clown and Boston Coco the Clown from SLISP’s Circus Photo Day Sept 2012 ©, do not crop

In Sept 2011 we were honored with the request to photograph the Klotzbach/Pulvermacher wedding in Wisconsin. So we drove up Route 66 and gave ourselves a couple extra days to explore the midwest. Just a couple hours away from our wedding location was Baraboo, Wisconsin, home of the Circus World Museum. It houses the largest collection of circus artifacts in the world. It also happens to have props from the movie “Water For Elephants” for you to see. I instantly turned into a kid again!! Here is a video of our Circus World Experience!! Enjoy! If you’re in Wisconsin I highly highly recommend stopping by and you check it out. There are so few museums with American History like this.

On our way home we visited Holland’s grandmother in Oklahoma and listened to her reminisce about the importance of the circus in her life. She lived during the Great Depression in Oklahoma and the circus coming to her town was the biggest event of the year. By the end of our short visit she asked us to please look for a circus poster for her to hang on her wall while we were traveling and visiting antique stores. We did just that!

circus performer

circus performer Jenn from SLISP’s Circus Photo Day, styled by Paula RR ©, do not crop

circus show audience member

Alisha, enjoying some favorite snacks at Circus Vargas

In early spring of 2012 we got word that the circus was coming to our town (San Diego)!! We had a childish excitement to see all that Circus Vargas had to offer.

girl suspended in air at circus vargas

A circus Vargas Performer suspended upside down in air, hanging by her foot

Circus Vargas was an animal free circus with traditional circus acts like tight rope walking, clowns, trapeze artists, hoops, etc … I would recommend it to any family concerned about animal welfare and circuses. They were absolutely stunning and if we had kids we would have enjoyed watching them watch the show. BTW if you watch the beginning of Water For Elephants, Jacob the senior is trying to go see Circus Vargas.

a tight rope walker does a back flip

A circus vargas tight rope walker performs a back flip

circus performer with hoola hoops

A Circus Vargas performer with hoola hoops

trapeze performers perform with a black light

Circus Vargas trapeze performers with black light in pitch black room

By early summer Holland and I decided we would love to host a Circus Themed Photo Day  in San Diego to our creative clients. We just weren’t sure when, and after some thought we felt that September before Halloween season would be perfect. So we did!!! Our stylist even did body paint artwork for those who liked cirque creatures a little more than the traditional circus.

body paint like a purple carousel horse

A body painted purple Carousel Horse from SLISP’s Circus Photo Day Sept 2012 styling by Paula RR ©, do not crop

It was fun, we hope that we will be able to do another fun themed Circus Day up in WA State next year (we’re moving there this Dec. 2012).

Boxer and circus performer

Holland as the Tattooed Man, a circus performer with his Boxer Charlie from SLISP’s Circus Photo Day Sept 2012 ©, do not crop

If you enjoy animals performing and are in Sarasota, Florida, we would recommend watching this documentary about the Circus Rosaire, which is basically an animal rescue for exotic animals bred in captivity who need homes. The family trains the animals and performs with them as a means of providing food and a healthy lifestyle for the animals (& themselves). I truly believe they are one of the few that provide a good life for the animals with positive training and treats. Please watch the documentary, at one time I felt that all circuses who had animals were probably abusing them, but with my experience meeting amazing dog trainers who use positive enforcement only like Pam’s Dog Academy in San Diego, watching documentaries that show the need for exotic animal rescues, and watching about this family circus I am in support of helping the animals in need who cannot be in their original animal wild atmosphere.

circus acts

animal friendly circus performer KT & Charlie from SLISPs Circus Photo Day, ©, do not crop

Some like watching the circus

Some like reading about the circus in a book

Some Like It Shot

5 thoughts on “The Greatest Show On Earth! A Circus Infatuation

  1. This is just wonderful!! Fantastic photos…(love Charlie kissing KT!) Beautiful body painting. Interesting facts on the Circus performances. Just wonderful!!

    • Thanks Sue :) Can’t wait to come back to WI and see Circus World when they are doing performances. The train ride to the parade in Milwaukee would be awesome to see too.

  2. She also sings a couple of nice songs here as she bids adieu to Paramount in her next to last film for them. When The Greatest Show on Earth came out and was doing great box office, Charlton Heston related a story that DeMille came over to him on the Paramount lot and gave him a newspaper clipping and said he would never get a better notice ever, no matter how long a career he had.

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