Aerial Portraits – Casey, Kate, and Svenja

One of the most rewarding parts of doing these aerial photoshoots has been the ability to provide objective proof to people that I very much cheer for on a daily basis that They Are Awesome. Sometimes it can be really hard as an aerialist or circus performer to feel like you’re ‘enough’–whether that’s in relation to flexibility, strength, artistry, or any number of other metrics that we use to sabotage our self-confidence. I think this is especially true for many students once they reach a certain point and the ‘holy crap, I can do this’ feeling starts to wear off–once you stop taking videos of yourself to share, and you start taking them so that you can see what you’re doing wrong.

I don’t know about any of these fine ladies, but I know that I am often my own greatest enemy as a performance artist–add an injury in there and you’ve got a recipe for mental disaster. In those moments I’ve found it really helpful to go back to captures of moments when I felt really on top of my game so that I can remind myself that even if I don’t feel like it in any given moment, I am that badass looking person and not actually a lumpy imposter. Hopefully these wonderful ladies experience neither injury nor that nasty, not-enough feeling, but if they do they can go back to these photos. I can confirm that every one of them was a total superstar!

I love the diversity of these three photoshoots even though all of them did silks, and two of them chose the same general color scheme. Looking at them all together really shows the diversity of skills within silks–I don’t there there was a single totally overlapped skill between the three of them, which is incredible. Casey chose skills that were very visually clean and enhanced her strength and flexibility. Svenja chose tricks to ‘show length and expansion,’ and Kate chose really soft looking skills that look deceptively simple (silks pro-tip: the less wrapping there is, the harder the trick).

Casey went for a Very Badass vibe in her shoot, which was a delightful surprise since she’s such a bubbly person. I almost didn’t recognize her when she came in! It was super fun to shoot her ‘dark’ side.

This one might be my favorite from her shoot. It captures her newly unlocked flexibility (go girl!) and is just so visually clean while still getting that intensity across.

So, let’s talk about length! Svenja has The. Longest. Legs. It’s incredible and she has such gorgeous lines (but trouble finding long-enough shirts), no wonder she wanted to showcase length and expansion.

Her length actually presented somewhat of a challenge for the both of us–for me, since I didn’t have an assistant to make sure everyone was facing the right way, I had to get her in place and run backwards a goodly distance to make sure I could even get her in frame (never mind in focus) with my 35mm prime. For her it was holding position long enough for me to get the shots I wanted. Aerial photoshoots are exhausting, no surprise there, but she was a total champ holding these positions for so long!

I love the two above shots of her so much, with the bottom one being my favorite of her shoot. Since they were relatively simpler positions they allowed her to relax and let her personality come through. The top one really gets her regal bearing (which she would absolutely say she does not have), so it’s no surprise she played an evil queen in one of our recent shows.

This one was Svenja’s favorite of the shoot. She loved the simplicity of it. I love how open it is, and her soft grip on the fabric.

Kate’s photos had a much softer feel to them compared to Casey and Svenja’s, both through her wardrobe choices (those curls!), and her poses. She really showcased a different side of aerials with these! I love that she didn’t choose necessarily her hardest or most flexibility-showcasing tricks (though she has lovely splits and is really working that back), but chose skills that were really visually interesting.

I love the above photo. It’s so visually simple, and really enhances Kate’s natural grasp of aesthetics on fabric.

The above pose we discovered in class one day on the way to another skill and I love it! It suits her so well. That’s one of my favorite things about working with students at a more advanced level–they have the ability to stop and explore on the way to any given skill, coming up with new material in turn!

This last photo is so delightful! I love her smile and her hair reminds me of the happy troll dolls, haha!

Thanks for letting me work with you ladies! It was a pleasure!

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