Street Photography Location No. 6 – The County Fair
Not everybody who loves street photography is fortunate enough to live near an amazing metro area such as Naples, Italy like our friend Mario Mancuso. I know I don’t. So when I’m not traveling, on assignment or leading workshops, I’m always on the lookout for good street photography locations like the county fair. Florida’s county fair season is held during the wintertime because it’s so hot during the summer. But as summer heats up throughout the rest of the US, local county fairs are returning everywhere for their annual engagements, so it’s now “fair game” to all of you street shooters out there.
The county fair is an American heritage, and it actually still amazes me that they still exist. They are a great event, and nearly everyone can find one fairly close to home. The county fair has so much to offer a street photographer too, and they vary some from year to year, or from county to county. Most people live within driving distance of two or three different county fairs so you’re not necessarily limited to your “local” one. One of the best things about “event driven” street photography such as this is that almost everyone is in a festive mood, having fun and not really paying attention to you taking pictures. This is a big advantage to those who are just breaking into street photography and may be a little shy about pointing their camera at strangers.
Advantages of shooting at the county fair:
- Unlimited activity
- Nearly everyone has some type of camera
- Festive environment
- Everyday is different
- Every county fair is different
- Most people do not pay much attention to photographers
- It’s very colorful
- Great place to explore
- Great place to “try” street photography for the first time
- Great place to experiment with different street photography techniques
- Great place to find humorous situations
- Great opportunity for shooting at varied angles
- Large variation of subject matter from all walks of life
- A place you can take your family while shooting
- Lots of interesting people in costumes
- It’s fun
I have found the best times to shoot are Friday night and the weekends, but remember in Florida the county fair is held during the winter when the kids are still in school, so this may be different during the summertime. Go out, have fun, shoot, fear not!