In 2013 I had the honor of documenting Big Chief Juan Pardo emerge from way Uptown with his tribe of Indians, family, and musicians. He stopped traffic, crossed paths with Big Chief Bo Dollis (R.I.P. Bo), and didn’t stop or bow down for anyone….
There is something so special about the Mardi Gras Indian tradition. Wether what you love is the tradition, beauty, or something personal I urge you to always GIVE BACK to any of the cultures you document. So many people travel from far and wide to photograph Indians and Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs but never end up making a print or online gallery for the people they shot. I promise you this: the amount of effort made to GIVE BACK is far outweighed by what you GET BACK. Trust me!
I made a nice hard cover book for Juan and his family and made a few prints. I wouldn’t think twice about doing this for him or anyone else now, it’s just a new habit I don’t mind having.