Photography studio, gallery and training complex

An Unexpected Bonus

On Monday evening I took a call from a lady with a very nice french accent enquiring, I thought, about studio hire for the following day. Once we’d synchronised her french – or French-Canadian as it turns out – accent and my Black Country accent to a point where we could understand each other better (there was, to be fair, rather a lot of background noise at her end), I realised she actually wanted to book a shoot for the following day (Tuesday).

As luck would have it, the studio was available between 11 and 12:30 and so I booked her in, asking for the client’s name. “Cirque du Soleil“, she replied.

The next morning, the lady with the nice accent came in, along with the person I was to shoot – a new member of the team who needed publicity images for various press releases. I always enjoy photographing people involed in the performing arts, whatever the level, because they are usually fun and creative shoots, plus the subject is rarely camera-shy as proved to be the case on this occasion. This means the images are often successful from the first shutter click and the shoot is more productive than when one has to spend time “drawing out” the subject.

Because the images were intended for various international media, we shot a range of different styles and outfits, some more conservative than others. At the end, they asked if I was busy the next evening (Wednesday). I replied that I had a client meeting booked at 6pm, but that this might be moveable if necessary. So they offered me two free tickets to the opening night show of “Alegria” at Birmingham’s NIA. A couple of emails later and I managed to re-arrange my appointment (thank you, Rachel!) and arrange a babysitter.

The show was, as I’m sure you will know if you have ever seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, absolutely spectacular! Funny one moment, and jaw-dropping the next. We loved it.

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be professional of me to show any of the client’s images from the shoot here, so instead here’s a stock image to give you some idea…

One doesn’t get too many “perks” in this industry – the pleasure of doing what you love is usually enough anyway – but this was a very welcome and unexpected bonus. And to top it all, I received a message the next morning saying “How was the show? Your photos are great! Thanks!”

My sincere thanks to Gen and Claire at Cirque du Soleil.


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