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Louisville Turners Revue: Nightmare

It's been a while since I've been back at Louisville Turners to photograph a review.  I'm so glad that I made Nightmare my first show back!  Nightmare, a Halloween themed show, was organized, hosted, and performed entirely by the kids at Turners and they created an incredible show! 

The MC's for the night were none other than a clown whose biggest fear was zombies and a zombie whose biggest fear was clowns.  This made for some funny commentary between acts that kept the crowd entertained while the stage was being set for the next act.

I have probably said this a thousand times but, it has been a joy to continue to photograph this group of self-proclaimed circus freaks.  Over the last three years I have watched this group of young performers develop and grow their skills as aerialists and it is truly impressive to see what they can do now.  I am truly excited to see what they all have in store for their annual showcase coming in early 2018, Bayou!

Click the link and check out the pictures below and more!  Turners Circus Revue: Nightmare

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Louisville Turners Circus 67th Annual Circus: Stagecoach

Two weekends, eight shows, over one hundred performers and volunteers, and three months of practicing with even more months of planning and preparing, is what it takes to put on Louisville Turners annual circus performance.  For sixty-seven consecutive years, Louisville Turners has enamored the Louisville community with high flying aerial acts, stunning ground acrobatics, and simply awe inspiring fire routines.  This year, Turners invites you to travel back to the 1840's and tag along on their journey by Stagecoach to the Wild West in search of gold and a better a life. 


Turners' annual circus is one of my favorites to photograph.  Because there are eight show times, I have the opportunity to experiment with different vantage points, lenses, techniques, and more throughout the course of the two weekends.  This gives me the freedom to push my own photographic boundaries without fear of not adequately covering the show.  The first couple of shows I will photograph the same way I would as if they were the only two shows; after that, it's play time.  For the rest of the shows, I'll put limits on myself like only shooting with one lens, incorporating lens flare, or a compositional restriction, just to force myself to get out of my comfort zone.  Usually, I end up with some of my favorite photos from doing this.

The photo below came from forcing myself to go to a different vantage point than I normally shoot Ladders.  This apparatus has been one I feel like I've struggled to get a great shot of over the last few years. For the most part, I've always stood directly in front of the ladders and focused on one pair of performers for a while and then moved on to the next pair and so on. I decided to switch things up a bit and moved over to the side and grabbed a wider lens. I love seeing all three ladders in the front row in this one shot! This is probably my favorite Ladders photo I've ever captured!

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If you have not gone to see Louisville Turners Circus' Stagecoach, I highly encourage you do so this weekend.  Four more shows from Friday through Sunday will be performed at their gym on River Road.  For more information follow this link

Below are some of my favorite images from the first weekend of shows.  The full gallery of photos from Stagecoach will go live on Monday, March 20th.  Follow the link below to be notified as soon as the gallery is live!

Louisville Turners Circus: Stagecoach Gallery

Louisville Turners Revue: Fireside

Circus season is back!  Louisville Turners hosted their first revue of 2017, Fireside.  The evening was full of performances from mostly students and just a couple of instructors at Turners showcasing their skills on silks, lyra, and pole.

This was the last showcase before Turners' annual circus; A.K.A. my last chance to get back in the groove of photographing a live aerial arts performance.  There were some definite signs of rust early on in the show but, all in all I captured some great images of these talented performers!

Next stop, Louisville Turners Circus: Stagecoach!

Click the link and check out the pictures below and more!  Turners Circus Revue: Fireside

Behind the Scenes: Aerial Beasts

I look forward to every time that I get to work with CirqueLouis.  Whether it's at a show, shooting promotional material for their next show or website, or working one on one with a performer, photographing this bunch of self-proclaimed "Circus Freaks" is always some of the most fun I have behind the camera.  While these performers are strictly business when on stage, behind the scenes they are full of laughter, constantly building each other up, and creating a positive environment that allows everyone around them to succeed.

As shown in the final images, each Aerial Beast is extremely strong, flexible, and beautiful.  As any of the performers will most likely tell you, doing these moves in a show is one thing and doing them for a photoshoot is a whole different animal in itself.  It requires an entirely different level in endurance and strength when they have to hold each move for several seconds or even minutes in some cases.  Because of this added level of difficulty, I had the pleasure of getting several "blooper" images.  While the final images capture the strength and beauty of each of the Aerial Beasts, these capture the non-performance mode side of these amazingly talented women.  

CirqueLouis Aerial Beasts - AER Portrait

The Aerial Beasts photoshoot was one of the most fun photoshoots I have done.  Things were off to a great start right upon arrival when we found out that the gym's heaters were not working.  Of course the Aerial Beasts were just overly joyed to be photographed in a cold gym on a concrete floor and in very little clothing! (Note Jessica bundled up for the initial lighting tests.)

Cold gym aside, the rest of the shoot was nothing but laughter and general goofing off with a little bit of seriousness mixed in.  These amazing Aerial Beasts are such a joy to work with and I can't wait to continue my Fitness meets Art series with them in 2017!

Check out the final images from the Aerial Beasts photoshoot here.

Fitness Meets Art - CirqueLouis' Aerial Beasts

Photography, like most other things in life, is never truly mastered.  There are always skills that need honing, new techniques that can be learned, and not to mention having to keep up the ever changing technology in the photo world today.  For me, creating personal projects is the best way to try out new things before bringing them onto a shoot for paying client.  It's my opportunity to experiment, fail, and learn from my mistakes, so that when it comes time to put incorporate something new into a job it goes off without a hitch.  In the past, these projects have typically been their own standalone collection of images.  With the recent inception of AER Portrait and with the help of my amazing friends at CirqueLouis, I have created the beginnings of a new photo series: Fitness meets Art.

From very early on in my photographic journey, I have been inspired by ESPN's Body Issue images.  Fitness meets Art will have a similar theme as the images for this series will focus heavily on the bodies of performers.  This series is all about showcasing the strength and conditioning that is required to pull off the amazing moves that aerialists, dancers, and other performing artists showcase during a performance.  This series will be sub-divided into three collections: Focus, Flow, and Flight.


Focus is all about capturing the level of strength and fitness that these performers have achieved in order to perform all of these truly breath-taking moves in the air and on the ground.


Flow will showcase the graceful and precise motions carried out by dancers and ground performers throughout their performances.


And last but not least, I cannot forget about the performers that soar high above the stage.  Flight is all about capturing the beauty and strength that is put into every aerial routine.

The Aerial Beasts of CirqueLouis were the modes for the first in a collection of the series Fitness meets Art by AER.  The Aerial Beasts are a group of women who have dedicated their passion and drive to performing aerial circus arts in the Louisville area.  The training for some has lasted a majority of their lives; others have a newer start but train hard with a personal work ethic unmatched.  All learn and perform with a devotion to their art form and the way it’s presented to their audience.


"CirqueLouis was honored to be chosen for a collaborative art project for the brand new concept photography company, AER Portrait.  Working together with Alex, founder and photographer of AER, we are capturing the difference aspects of training our performance art - from ground to air, practice to performance, and everything in between."

- Abbie Springer, Co-Founder CirqueLouis


I'm excited to see this series grow and develop over the next several months.  Check out the amazing Aerial Beasts below!