If you follow my Tales of a Dream website, you will notice that we are very circus inspired and are planning a few more shoots with our children.
While I was prop shopping on-line - thought it might be cool to get an elephant or tiger cut out for our circus photo shoot - I came across some disturbing articles...elephants being mistreated by bullhooks, how baby elephants are being 'trained', elephants and tigers killing their trainers and in return being killed. I had actually googled Ringling Circus and was planning to take my kids to one of their shows and asking if we could photograph a show with behind the scenes shots. After I researched for several hours, I knew that I would never take my kids to a circus with wild animals and that our photo shoots would focus on clowns, acrobatics & play.
So, I went on to research "cruelty free circus" and came across Midnight Circus!!! I liked their page on facebook right away (which all of you reading this should too!) and kept up with their news feeds. I didn't realize some of the pictures I had admired from Marc Hauser were of performers from that very circus.
Saturday was my son's 8th birthday and I thought what better gift can I give them, than taking them to see THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS. I remember all the excitement as a little kid when my dad took me to the circus when it came to Eisenach during East German times. I wanted my kids to have these kind of childhood memories. Not sure who was more excited, my children or I. So, I contacted Jeff Jenkins - The Ringmaster to make sure I was allowed to bring my camera and was so thrilled when I found out, I was allowed 'to shoot away'.
Having not seen a circus performance live for many many years, I was giddy as a child. To see all the excited children, their laughter and applause made me a little teary eyed at times. This is the kind of world I want to live in! Every time I looked over at Linus, he was mesmerized and I don't think he blinked one time. Malina had a great time as well but she was a little overwhelmed with all the kids and commotion.
Somehow I managed to loose my own top hats while we were there but at least, if someone asks me where my top hat is, I can say 'I lost it at the circus!'
On the car ride home and this morning, my kids are still talking about the amazing experience! Even my husband was thoroughly impressed and said he'd go see it again tomorrow. I would love to volunteer my photography services to the circus and simply can't wait for another show...
Midnight Circus is raising money for Chicago parks. They have raised over $70,000 to date - make sure you check out www.midnightcircus.net and go see a show!