Cirque du Soleil shoot in Seattle

I spent 2 full days this week in a shoot sponsored by Cirque du Soleil helping to promote their new show that in town called Corteo.  They hired 4 photographers and 40 performers to roam various parts of Seattle handing out flyers and CDs to promote the show and my job was to photograph them in action.  The performers were a mixed crew with a wide-range of talents that are oh-so-different from my usual walk of life.  Let’s be honest, when you’re in the software business, you don’t often encounter people that do sword-fighting, acro-balance, clowning and interpretive dance for a living.  So needless to say, the scenes I got to capture were absolutely stunning and to say I was nervous was a bit of an understatement. How do you get hired to shoot something like this and not be nervous?!

I ended up capture about 1200 images in total and loved every minute of it despite it being 12+ hours each day of activities.   I learned some ultra-valuable lessons along the way:

  1. For this type of photo-journalism style shooting, I didn’t need my long lenses at all. I used my Canon 10-22mm lens exclusively.
  2. A flash was critical as filling in shadows on people faces was one of the most important elements that would either make or break the shot.
  3. Shooting in E-TTL and either in Aperture or Shutter priority was also critical. If I chose to shoot full manual, I would have missed a lot of shots.
  4. I had to abandon all fears of getting up close and interacting with people.  In order to capture facial expressions of the crowds and give a sense of "being there", I had to get ultra close.  Leave your self-consciousness at the door!
  5. My new extended battery grip proved valuable for exactly the reasons I bought it — more comfortable position when shooting portrait and double the battery capacity.  With 24 hours of total shooting time, I put this f’er through the paces and it performed flawlessly ๐Ÿ™‚
  6. SterlingTek batteries rock!  They are nearly 1/10th the price of Canon branded batteries and are nearly double the capacity.


Come to the show, please?Angels need a break sometimesPull me up!

You can see the other 28 shots that I’ve gone through so far on Flickr.