If you walk up to folks on the street and try to take pictures of them, they’ll usually tell you to get lost. But, if you walk up to people at the State Fair—where everyone is in a good mood and dressed expressively—and you happen to be wearing a conspicuous sort of State Fair ID-tag, they’re happy to let you snap away! They’ll go to a studio, stand in front of a convenient wall, or take their shirts off to display their tattoos; nine times out of ten.
So that’s what we did. Over the past five years, a group of photographers has gotten together to go to the State Fair (now called “Expo,” sorry to say) to set up a studio and snap away! Everyone’s there: Lowriders and Model T buffs, gang-bangers and 4-H boys and girls, Native Americans in full tribal regalia, mariachis in matching outfits and gleaming instruments, Hispanic New Mexicans from the North, South, East and West, the State Police, Anglo goat breeders and cowboys, African American gospel singers, Chinese acrobats, prize rabbits, prize chickens, prize geese, prize bulls, with all their owners and judges. All of New Mexico is there and we have been so lucky to be there too, snapping away!
If you haven’t been to the State Fair, you don’t know what you’re missing!
John W. Boyd, Project Coordinator