A team of Devon based businesses teamed together to make my dream as a photographer come true at the end of 2017!
Since I first started out on my career path some 25 years ago I have been inspired by female photographer Diane Arbus. An American Photographer who died the month before I was born. Not only was she a female photographer for me to look up to in an otherwise male dominated industry, but she also found beauty in people who would otherwise be deemed too ugly or obscure to be photographed by the rest of society. Her work has had such an impact on my own career, and each of her images make a statement about what is wrong with society, that I decided I wanted to do a shoot dedicated to her, using the same principles in modern times. Creating a set of crazy circus images - all with hidden concepts.
I set out to create a set of 20 Circus themed images, each of which makes a statement about the society we now live in. I also wanted to encourage other photographers, in particular female photographers to use their skills in Photography, Art and Photoshop, to create artistic and unusual images which explore their imagination and ideas. I feel this is particularly important in this day and age, when people see Photoshop as a tool to make models look more pretty and thinner - when in actual fact it can be used as another art medium to create exciting imaginative images.
I put the word out in Devon using social media that I would like to create such a project, and if any other local businesses would like to help to get involved they should get in touch.... the response was OUTSTANDING with hundreds of people getting in touch!
The first company to get involved was The Prop Factory - A Exeter based company who create and provide prop hire not only to events and weddings but tv and film productions. This was great! The props that Carmen and her team provided us with were incredible - I now had Circus Props! I just needed somewhere to set them up!
The next to get in touch was Sarah & Mark Bell - owners of new 'The Lucky 7 Club' based in Paignton. This is a music and arts based private 'speakeasy' style club based in Paignton - with stunning decor; the perfect backdrop to a colourful circus setting.
As word spread, I then heard from Torbay based stylists and make up artists; Be Lush, Sammy Bond, Hair Addiction, Bronzed Beauty, even Students from Plymouth University, were getting in touch - and Nicky Simpson was on board to help with video.
I had a hula girl, contortionist, models and other acts getting involved, my team of models - the DP girls, started to help with planning and making props, and even my mum was on the case helping making costumes!
Heidi at Onyx Aerial and Fitness in Newton Abbot even offered to train up one of my models Rosie (who was also my floor manager) to do Aerial Ribbon acrobatics.
I am also delighted that BDM Publications who are a Devon based publishers and the creators of, Adobe Photoshop, Digital Photography and Creative Photography Complete Guide Magazines, plan to publish some of my tutorials from the circus shoot, encouraging photographers Internationally to try their hand themselves at creating exciting circus images of their own.
It is important to me to encourage other young photographers and artists out there to explore their skills, to create their own styles and not to conform to stereotypes - but to use Photography and Photoshop for art, not just to make models look skinny. This is the influence that Diane Arbus had on me - and I want other young people to feel the same determination in their careers as I do.
Next year I will be hosting 'Circus 2018' Workshops around the UK. Both myself and my amazing travelling circus models will be heading off to give photographers the opportunity to not only photograph some of my team, but also to learn new Photoshop skills from me which will take their creative skills to a whole new level, and encourage them to take their photography to a whole new dimension.
Some of the Artworks and Images you see here will also be on sale with Saatchi - for sales please visit:
We have also made a video about our shoot day, please take the time to have a look - we love it! https://www.facebook.com/vlboulter/videos/1061451860664205