Compelling Portraits of Circus Performers

We spotted these fascinating photos of circus performers in Andrew Shaylor’s Behance portfolio and have been dreaming about running away to start our own misfit troupe ever since. The UK-based photographer states on his website that he started out searching for the proverbial Bearded Lady and Siamese Twins — figures most of us have only encountered in places like the movies — but quickly discovered that those characters are a creation from the past. “There still exists a handful of small family-run circuses, but very few show with performing animals and the advent of political correctness has meant circuses have now become a little sanitised,” Shaylor explains.

That doesn’t mean his subjects are any less magical and mysterious, as you’ll see in our gallery past the break. Shaylor has also documented the lives of rockabilly enthusiasts, boxers, and tattoo fiends. Click on for more black and white visions of circus folk.

Image credit: Andrew Shaylor