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This Photographer Turned Her Studio Into an Antique Circus

For her latest project “Melancholy Circus,” Finnish photographer Suvi Sievilä used her extensive collection of props to turn her studio into three different rooms of an antique circus.

“I have a lot of props in my closets after being a professional photographer over 13 years,” Sievilä tells PetaPixel. “I find inspiration all the time from flea markets and many of my ideas have born while walking there.

“It’s kind of my passion to make my own projects with very low budgets. I got the idea of Melancholy Circus in a flea market when I held one pink dress in my hands.”

The photographer says that when she held the 1920s-style dress in her hands, she immediately saw in her mind three people, three rooms, and three stories.

“With this series, I wanted to illustrate everyday life with different kinds of problems that people have,” she says. “Even though I distanced these circus characters far into the past, the topics of these pictures are fully present today. While making this series, I thought about different roles that we carry with us.”

“Tears of the Clown.”
“Sleepless Nights of the Prima Donna.”
“Unstable Times of the Rope Dancer.”

“I have never done anything like this before,” Sievilä writes on her blog. “I’ve never set the scene for my photoshoots to this extent. There were enough things to fill four cars.

“In these photoshoots, I used nearly all the props I had in storage from over the years and creating each room was a small nostalgic trip into specific projects.”

The set in Sievilä’s studio.

“I have never managed to create such a light in my pictures,” Sievilä writes. “Combining natural light with the flash has, over the years, been one of my great stumbling blocks. But in this project, the importance of creating the right mood forced me to create the light I saw in my mind. I have been humbled into silence in front of all that inspiration has taught me this time.”

Here’s a 3-minute behind-the-scenes video showing how the three photos were made:

Sievilä is the same photographer who built an “ice dress” for a photo shoot back in 2017. You can find more of her work on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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