Clowning around

The best thing about photography is that it forces me to do things I would ordinarily never dream of doing, although when I think about it there’s usually a good reason I haven’t done whatever the thing is before now!

We recently had a competition at my Camera Club with the theme of ‘funny faces’ and while it was tempting to take a daft photo just for a laugh it’s not really my style. I am, I’m fairly sure you’ve noticed, quite a serious photographer and many of my images contain a strong story. So I decided to do a self portrait dressed up as a clown, but portraying that people who look happiest on the outside can often be the most unhappy on the inside.

I sent off to Amazon for some face paints and a wig, followed some online make up tutorials, then settled myself at my dressing table. Forty five minutes later there was water, paint and tissues everywhere and I looked like an extra from Bride of Chucky – it had all looked so much easier on YouTube 😁.

The wig I’d sent for was made in China and I soon discovered that Chinese people have much smaller heads than me, even though I wear hats for children aged 11. The only way it would stop on my head was via 5 million bobby pins and it shed like a mangy orange dog. I then nearly blinded myself by stabbing my eye with a glycerin filled dropper, although the silver lining was that I then didn’t need artificial tears because my peepers were watering for real 😆.

Tears of Clown

After taking 30 years off my age in post production, I ended up with this image which I’ve called ‘Tears of a Clown’. I think it works for the most part, although the judge on the night said I had a wonky right eye (which, in fairness, I actually do!).

Without photography, I would never have dressed up like Bobo or had my first bash at face painting and while it’s not an afternoon I ever wish to repeat it’s added another string to my bow – I’m now available for children’s parties for a fee 😆.

Doing things I find difficult or challenging keeps life interesting and forces my brain to think in creative ways. Not all of my resulting images work, but at least I’ve had fun and picked up new skills along the way.

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