I have to admit I am a bit sad. This is the first year since 2005 that I have not made photographs at the circus.
When I was director of photography at the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, Va, one of my favorite things to shoot was the Cole Bros. Circus when it came to town. I think it made the rest of the staff happy because nobody wanted to get up at 6 a.m. for the tent raising.
Since that first time in 2005, I always made it a point to visit the circus when it came to town in the spring. I slowly gained the trust of the management and the performers and each year I got better and better access. One of the clowns in particular, Jahirt Bermudez, of Colombia, South America, who performs as Perolito, would always ask “Hey mister, do you remember me?” Personally I don’t know how anyone could forget him.
When I moved to D.C. in 2010, I began to photograph them as they passed through the area. I live in a great spot to cover them now since they are within 10 miles of me on numerous occasions.
But after 7 years of hanging out making friends and images, I was feeling that I needed a break. They probably did too.
Still it has been sad not to see them. Maybe next year…