Saturday, July 7, 2007


A post-Independance Day thought: we Americans think that this is a country where you can live as freely as you please. And who better to exemplify a footloose life than a carny. Here he is, at night, at the carnival and at his trade.

This term may not be familiar outside of the US. It is a person who works for traveling carnivals, like the one that just passed through my town. They are paid low wages and live in trailers. Some I have seen appear to be young, out for adventure. Many are middle aged and unattached, both men and women, drifting alone. The older ones almost always look unhealthy. The tradition is that they are skilled in cheating naive fairgoers, although now legal regulation is much tighter. I did some quick research on where they go in the winter and couldn't find anything.

Street portraits are a favorite of mine and I think that this is one of the better ones I've done in a while. IMHO, that is, and, well, the lighting could have been better. I'm leaving today for a week at the brilliant Maine Photography Workshops, taking a one week introduction to portrait photography with the gifted photographer and teacher, Bobbi Lane. There probably is enough inventory on my laptop to keep posting STL pix for the week, but if not - shocking idea! - I may just have to take some time off. If all goes according to plan, I'll have better work to show you after my return.

Step right up and try your luck. You could win a prize.

TOMORROW: a picture of another carny and some thoughts on a carny's life


Sasha said...

Oooh, I do like this photo. And good info for those unfamiliar with Carnies. Have fun at the workshop.

Victoria said...

The last carnival I went to in Joplin had an advertisement for Carnies. I nearly applied before better sense told me that it may be smarter to finish school.

I love this shot, though.

iBlowfish said...

Interesting story and I really like the picture too.

Felicia said...

Nice portrait. What a life! I have a small stuffed bear from the fair that I spent about $10 to get and I don't even want it!

Unknown said...

Many carnivals Winter in Gibsonton, Fla as it is zoned for such usage.

Mitch said...

Oh my God, I love this guy! That'a a great shot.

Happy New Year from the frozen winter wonderland of Minneapolis!

May 2008 bring you good health & happiness,
- Mitch