I’ve spoken with a number of award-winning photographers who claim that fairs and festivals are the absolute best place to find inspiration for art and amazing photographic images. We’ve all heard of Mardi Gras, the running of the bulls in Spain, and the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. I thought made we could take a look at a few of the more obscure public spectacles that may contain your next great shot or connection:
Milan Image Art Fair – May 3-6
The MIA Fair in Italy showcases some of the best design, fashion, photographic and video art in the world every year at the Superstudio Piu. Each artist is given his/her own booth. Not only is it a one-of-a-kind collection for art enthusiasts, dealers, and collectors, visitors get to view hi-res images and virtual booths. A meta-photographer could capture some interesting work here, or just network with some important industry figures.
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival – January 5th – February 5th
Nearly every year since 1963, the Chinese town of Harbin has celebrated ice and snow sculptures in a big way. Chisels, ice picks, saws and even lasers are used to hack up and sculpt giant blocks of ice taken from the surface of the Songhua River. These ice sculptures are then decorated with spectacular lights and arranged in architectural city-like configurations.
Pushkar Camel Festival, India – November
This is a five day camel and livestock fair in the town of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India. It is the largest camel fair in the world and a major tourist attraction, featuring competitions like the “longest mustache” and the “bridal competition” and a variety of trading exhibitions and music. Nearly 100,000 people attend.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – October
This yearly hot air balloon festival lasts for nine days and features around 750 hot air balloons. It is the largest live hot air balloon collection in the world and boasts every possible balloon design imaginable, including ones that glow in the night sky.
Pakistan Flower Show, Karachi – February
Pakistan Flower Show is an annual flower show and a festival held every year in Karachi, Pakistan. It held at the Sea View Park in Karachi. It is organized by Horticulture Society of Pakistan. It was established in 1948 and held every year in February.
Frozen Dead Guy Days,Nederland, Colorado – March
This annual celebration features coffin races, a slow-motion parade, “Frozen Dead Guy” look-a-like contests, polar plunges, dances, art markets, snowshoe races, and snow sculpture contests, all in the name of frozen winter. It was founded, supposedly to celebrate the 1994 discovery of Bredo Morstel’s cryonically preserved corpse. These are just five of dozens upon dozens of incredible festivals all across the world. It would take a book to list them all. These six were selected because of their particular relevance to photographers who could use some inspiration. Happy hunting!