People Of Mardi Gras 2021
People of Mardi Gras is an ongoing series / work in progress where I try to tell the collective story of Mardi Gras through portraits and photos of the people attending. It is the people that make Mardi Gras what Mardi Gras is.
I started this project year or two after I got into photography. It started off as just bringing my camera to parades and shooting photos. Then I started getting into portraiture and loved the idea of a person’s face telling a story. So, I started asking strangers if I could take their portrait, with the idea that I could tell multiple individuals’ story with a portrait, that I could tell the entire collective story of Mardi Gras in a series of portraits. It's still that, but as the years go it's become a way for me to try new photography techniques, play with different gear, and celebrate Carnival my own way. Some people indulge in food drink and partying during Mardi Gras, I indulge in street photography.
2021 was a weird year. We dressed our houses up, we dressed up, and we stayed home, something very un-mardi-gras-like The carnival spirit still shined through the darkness that was pandemic. I mostly drove around and met people in front of their houses and took their photo and interviewed them. One day I drove up to St. Charles and took pics of folks outside the big house floats on St Charles. On Lundi Gras when I was driving around I would come across random revelers costumed out just walking around neighborhoods. On Mardi Gras day one of my neighbors through a "porch concert" which at the time I recall was nice to hear live music, me and my partner ended up getting popeyes and sat on a blanket on the nuetral ground of Norman C Francis. Pretty surreal year.
Check out my instagram page @peopleofmardigras
Why am I just now posting 2021?
It's a photography workflow technique. I shoot all on film, so after Mardi Gras the rolls of film sit in my freezer until about a month or two before the next years carnival. Then I start developing them. I do this specifically so I forget what I shot. There’s a certain phenomenon that happens to photographers when they are making pictures. It’s a certain type of feeling you get when you make an image. It’s hard to describe unless you yourself caught the photo-bug and have experienced the joy/obsession of it. Allot of photographers mix that feeling up with the image itself. Just because I got a good feeling taking the image, doesn't necessarily make it a good image. So, hence why I like to wait a year. I've also found that it gets me in the carnival spirit going through my images just weeks before Fat Tuesday.