St. Joseph’s Day


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Inside the Wild Tchopitoulas Tribe with Queen Kim.

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Waiting for her turn to walk.

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On the parade route.

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Big Chief of the Wild Squatoulas

St. Joseph’s Day. Yes. March 17th is also St. Patrick’s Day. In New Orleans, we celebrate both. On Saturday, there was a huge St. Patrick’s Day parade that wound around Uptown on Magazine Street and St. Charles Avenue. I photographed that some. It’s a really big deal. Instead of all the traditional Mardi Gras type throws, the float riders also toss cabbages and potatoes. Stuff like that. They also throw beads. That wasn’t my big day. I enjoy being out in Central City celebrating St. Joseph’s Day on what the Mardi Gras Indians call Super Sunday. It really is super. It’s a day when the Uptown and Downtown tribes meet and parade fully masked. It’s a great event. In many ways, it’s New Orleans at its best. It’s serious culture. It’s great music. It’s street food. And, you know how much I like street food. It’s a day when everybody gets along. And the weather? Mid to low 70s. No humidity. Clouds drifting by. All in all, a wonderful day.

The pictures. They dovetail very nicely with my Central City project since the parade takes place within the boundaries of Central City. You also get to compare my most dominant style of shooting… all in one post. The “Inside” picture is a good example of my blurred, more painterly look. Slow shutter speeds and a pretty good depth of field. And, as you know, I like to get in the middle of things. The Wild Tchoupitoulas invited me to be in their section of the parade. In bigger news, because I “presented myself” to them which means I introduced myself and asked if I could photograph them, they invited me to document their creating their costumes for 2014. That’s a year-long project and quite an honor. I am very humbled.

“Waiting” is an example of my own decisive moment. In case you are wondering, I asked their parents permission if I could photograph these two girls as they waited their turn to walk in the parade. After that, it’s just hang out for a few minutes and wait until something happens.

“On The Parade Route” is simple documentation. I made the picture first and asked their names and tribe later. I earn great street cred doing that. I see people from different parades and second lines, and we know each other and are happy to see each other. My world grows.

“Big Chief” is my idea of a portrait. This is a version of what some people call an environmental portrait. I guess his environment is his costume. Obviously, we worked together on this one. However, when I wrote down his tribe I got it very wrong, It took a little googling to get the spelling correct. Squatoulas. How hard can that be? Well.

Oh yeah. I made lots of pictures. Over the next week, I’ll publish more of them. Stay tuned for a lot of colorful pictures.

 

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