St. Joseph’s Night. A huge night for the Mardi Gras Indians. But, you already know that. I’ve been going on and on about it for a long time. The other thing that you know is something about me. I like working on the edges of the main event. Of course, I take part in that. That’s what drew me to the scene in the first place.
But, it’s the edges.
The margins. The corners. That’s where the most interesting pictures are found. At least, they are, for me. It’s the time before. Or, in between. Or, even at the end. Musician Neil Young once famously said, “Whenever I find myself getting to close to the middle of the road, I head straight for the gutter where things are more interesting.” That was said very tongue in cheek. But you know what he meant. To me, these pictures are often more interesting than the parades. They give the reader a little more information. A moment in time. A look at the people before they are masked. Maybe they get you closer to the inside.
These pictures are a little harder to make. Right from the start. First, you have to find them. The pictures, that is. The picture called, “Everywhere,” is literally a drive by. I saw a flash of color and chased it. At least it was when I made the picture. Then, I got out of the car. You must talk to the people you want to photograph. The “Little Princess,” “Night time Portrait,” and “Getting Ready,” were made with a 16-50mm lens. Not some 300mm lens used from across the street.
My workflow, at this point?
I talk to the subject. After a few minutes, I ask permission. Then I took their pictures. I give them my business cards and asked them to contact me if they want pictures. For free. I make that clear too. Unfortunately, mostly they don’t. We live in the age of smartphones and selfies.
I dunno. I have a great time working this way. It’s right for me. The older I get, the more important it is for me to make my picture.