Palette Magazine

Catch a glimpse of the gender-blending photo shoot from Photo Circus in Key West

By Andrew Printer

Lacey Ginger Camper;
Lacey Ginger Camper;

One of the lesser known events in Key West — where grown-ups play pretend and showcase their more playful sides through costumes — is the Photo Circus. Dreamed up by Shawna Lacy Wynd, a longtime island resident and popular entertainer known locally as Frenchie, the annual event also provides professional photographers with access to a pool of diverse models, many of whom are local performers or aspiring models looking to update their portfolios. This year’s shoot, with its gender-blending theme, was held at the Little Room Jazz Club and Wine Bar. Catch a glimpse of the magic that takes place when four photographers, two makeup professionals, 15 models and a videographer jockey for space and light — only in Key West!

At 6'2" Lacey Ginger Camper easily towers over the other models and photographers. She began the day in the violin room in a formidable Cabaret meets Ringling Bros. top hat and tails. She kicked off the shoot clearly poised to rule the gender-blending three-ring circus.

An old suede laborer’s cap and circa 1950s sunglasses were accessory enough for Kevin Mitchell and Austin Hopkins, who decided to make their first visit to Key West a memorable one. While most of the other models adorned themselves with feathers and fur, the Ohio couple opted for simpler garb and a more subtle approach, stealing away to a quiet, warmly sunlit corner of the club to enjoy an improvised dance lesson.

Frankie Pointer arrived late in the day, but came ready: in a form-fitting dress shirt and tie. She channeled no-nonsense masculinity, but it didn’t stop her from savoring the perfume of a feathery pink corset lying abandoned on the wine bottle room floor. Even with feathers, there was nothing frilly about the looks Kathleen Donavon brought to the circus. For her first ensemble she melded tight black bondage gear with crow feathers and perched regally on her overstuffed throne.

Elle Taylor and her partner Brian Glassberg brought several suitcases bursting with costume jewelry, sequined suits and wigs. A professional performer, Elle wasted no time entertaining the other participants with some bar-top somersaults while she waited for her turn in front of local photographer Mike Freas’ lens.

Zack Andrade-Konrad, Sean Callahan and Helena Fire Wynd settled into a classic family portrait configuration. Konrad’s outfit was sleek, black and elegant with a hint of danger expressed through a single studded leather cuff. Callahan came with dozens of campy items, but in the end opted for a faux fur coat, steam-punk top hat and silky Lady of Guadalupe trousers. Meanwhile, teenage Wynd chose a sensible shift dress, setting herself apart from her over-the-top elders.

Bob Bowersox and Melody G. Moore are fixtures of the local theater scene. Not surprisingly, they were able to pull a good selection of costumes and accessories from their personal wardrobe. Here, the real life couple chose an understated, aristocratic look. They sipped Champagne as they observed the lights, camera and action unfold. Despite the colorful chaos, Priscilla Arce maintained a quiet, elegant presence in her Gatsby-inspired look throughout the afternoon. And once all four photographers had finished working with her, she too relaxed with a well deserved cocktail.

To see more photos of the Photo Circus visit our Facebook photo ablum by clicking here Photo Circus Album