Mark Ridout
Photography, Canada
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Brief Summary
My parents were both members of a traveling circus. They lived in a small trailer. I got used to sleeping outdoors at an early age where I developed my love of nature photography. My father was a contortionist and my mother was a sideshow fire breather. I was born a few years before they broke up over an alleged affair between my mother and a dwarf horse rider. My father was always sensitive about size issues and there had been rumors that the dwarf was small in stature only. My father left town and was killed a short time later when the suitcase he had folded himself into for a nap at the airport was inadvertently dropped out of an airplane for an American Tourister commercial. The suitcase survived. I performed in the circus as a sideshow act where my tall height and thin form earned me the stage name ?Giraffe boy?. An argument between a Yugoslavian strongman and a knife throwing Italian over my real height resulted in unfortunate lacerations and racial slurs. As a teenager I was separated from my mother when the circus went bankrupt after a show in Sarnia. My mother had set the big top ablaze during a botched fire breathing demonstration. I was left to fend for myself and I utilized my skills to excel as an employee at a local burger restaurant where my spatula flipping exploits were legendary. During my days off, for extra money, I took photos of children siting on tired Donkeys. The trauma of my early life has left me afraid of people who smoke or insist on the use of a trapeze. I?m good with animals and children, I?m afraid of whips and I love sleeping in a tent. Aggressive Donkeys make me uneasy.
Awards and Recognition
I once won a red ribbon at our local fair for the best picture of a tomato.

My grade 8 teacher gave me a star sticker for a photo project I handed in.

My Mom loves everything I shoot

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