Dia le los Locos

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Yesterday’s parade gave me an entirely new perspective about shooting “on assignment.” The sun was high, about mid-day, when the droves of ROYGBV human-creature hybrids flooded the streets of San Miguel. Armed with a too-heavy bag, no water, and no idea what I was in for, a friend and I staked a spot behind the ropes near the beginning of the parade. Once the first group came rolling past, we realized we were only in the way, sticking out like sore gringa thumbs. As the costumed participants hurled candies from backpacks we ducked under the ropes and began to follow the parade. This quickly led us to the realization that all of San Miguel was lining these streets, and once we had squeezed ourselves out of the standing crowd, there was no way for us to get back in, safely behind the roped lines.
So along the route we went, dancing with strangers, and caught in the chaos, I gave up my viewfinder. I figured no matter where I shot or how carefully I tried to compose, there would be at least a dozen people in each frame and I had little to no control over what would happen between deciding to click the shutter and actually getting the photo.
So, in the midst of a dehydrated claustrophobic freak out, and photographing people which is generally what I aim not to do, it is safe to say that I was thrown 100% out of my comfort zone. My “photographic box,” as it was deemed in critique on Saturday, was shattered and though I am not completely happy with the photos, I am happy to have had the experience.

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