7.5 years of Tall Tales Acrobatics

Once upon a time there were two acrobats. They were exceptional storytellers, using circus as their a tool. They asked me to make photos for their show called ‘Weg’ and I was hooked. Ever since we’ve been working together on creating images for their stories.

These two. The work ethic, the talent, the drive, the creativity, the endless practice, the constant growth. But also their kindness, their postcards, their open door, their positivity, their insights, their birthday songs. Proud to call these talented people my friends.

Get comfortable for the full history…!

The picture that we started with. At this time I had only worked with Tarek circus-wise. I didn’t know ‘hand to hand’ acrobatics. Apparently there is all this terminology that’s used? We quickly found a common language though. In the middle of this farmers field, avoiding the coming rain, dogs, and honestly: a lot of cow poop.

One of my favorites from this first shoot. They ended up giving me a sort of runthrough of the performance. And i cherry picked the moments I thought would work best on photo. The emotional intensity here is just amazing.

Of course Maartje could do aerial acrobatics too! Looking back at this shot, I feel even more now that this is so very Maartje. The mix of effortlessness, playfulness and also that little look over the shoulder.

To be honest, and Harm knows this well, I am not the biggest juggling fan. There are few exceptions to this rule, and he is one of the big ones. In my opinion it is quite hard to look cool while juggling, but HERE WE GO MISTER COOL.

We got to play outside in Dordrecht soon after. This was in the middle of an open street, we avoided a bus among other things ;) In case you’re wondering how my circuslingo has progressed, this is called ‘staan op handen’. Take that.

Harm do you think you could spiderman your way op that wall for me? It’s just such a gift for a photographer when the people you’re with go ‘yeah sure’ to basically everything you think of.

Our first indoor shoot. We puzzled our way through this, fitting circus into a room not built for it.

Again. This man just looks -so- cool. I think I’m going to change his contact in my phone to ‘mister Cool’.

This shoot was such a 1+1=3 moment. The couple asked me for ‘a black background’. At the time they were staying in this old monastery, with THIS attic. The black background got quickly overruled by me ;)

Ok maybe not fully dismissed the black background. This shot involved me climbing up on their circus tripod (I’m pretty sure that’s not its name but for me it is a big tripod) to get above Maartje. Loved this new angle it gave me.

Finally! After almost 5 years, we shot ‘Turbulentie’. I loved this act from the get go. The shoot was so much fun. Just to be clear, Maartje can hold Harm like this as well. Circus women are a force to be reckoned with.

They just slide into these characters so easily. The shooting of this became almost effortless.

Maartje and Harm wholeheartedly ignored my dislike for juggling and continued the discipline, now with Roel. How dare they. By this time I was even more intent on getting the ‘timing’ right. There’s a PEAK moment of beauty to be found in the shapes right?

They grew and developed even more. And made another show (One of these days) starring their juggling. Joris and Hannah literally walked into the picture and added their talents to the mix.

And we arrive at ‘Square Two’. Juggling down to a science. I had no idea, but you can apparently write juggling down. Kinda like how you write music. Or math. More like math according to Harm.

They are up to some cool stuff, soon to be revealed. I can’t wait!

This was a hard one to keep sortof within bounds. I left out SO MANY photos. There’s a ton of behind the scenes that kindof deserve their own gallery. There are probably shoots I forgot. But there will be more. More fun to be had, more creations to be shown, more time to be shared. I look forward to all of it.

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