Texas Monthly Magazine, based in Austin, sent me to do a photo story on the clowns of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus. I spent a week backstage in Houston at what use to be called the …and a week in Buffalo. It was a great, once in a lifetime assignment since I always wanted to be a clown when I was a kid.
I had mounted a 2400WS strobe head in a large softbox and mounted it on a boom. I rolled it around taking portraits of the clowns that were waiting to go on. Some were resting, or changing clothes, some were applying their make-up, and some were just “clowning around” for the camera.
What makes this story funny is that for the week my assistant and I were actually in clown make-up and joined in with the clowns. One of the things we did was to be part of the seventeen clowns that piled out of a tiny car and were met with mallets being swung by dwarfs…what a gas!!!
I shot the clown portraits while in costume, and found it to relax the other clowns by being a member of the tribe!!!
Here are just a few of the portraits.
Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskjoeB@gmail.com.