Costumes! Feathers! Colors unknown to mother nature!—this gallery highlights one of my passions as a photographer—crowds. It’s one of the prime attractions of New York for me. The photography I do by way of earning a crust for nonprofit, editorial, and corporate clients is almost entirely of people in their working environments—people doing everyday things. But where people gather in large numbers, the air is electric. And with so many creatives so densely packed in the New York City's five boroughs, large gatherings make for vibrant, exciting images. My subjects here are costumed and made up in unusual ways, sometimes in extraordinary, extravagant costumes. I think that that through their costumes they’re giving voice to some aspect of themselves that they may not express in their everyday lives, often showing something about their enthusiasms, concerns, natures, and cultural backgrounds. Their expressions range from bright and cheerful to dark and menacing, from displays of pure exuberance to messages supporting social causes like LGBTQ pride.
I photographed these in New York City in and around the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, the Pride March, the Easter Bonnet Festival and Parade, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, and the West Indian American Day Parade. I like to get to parades early, when everyone's energy is high in anticipation, so I can photograph participants and onlookers as they prepare. I always try to get in the middle of the marchers, and photograph up close, using a wide-angle lens, and I think the photos reveal that intimacy. Many of the subjects are active participants in the photos; some are unaware of me. All have stories to tell. COVID-19 has curtailed the parades in 2020; so until we’re able to enjoy each other’s company again, these photos help us remember what it was like, and what it will be like to be swept up in the magic of these gatherings. Come take a walk on the wild side.