Around every corner, standing on bridges, next to columns or just alone in the middle of St. Mark’s Square, the faces of Carnival posed for photograph after photograph. Sequins, feathers and yards of fabric made up some of the most beautiful displays which in turn made up some of the most dramatic scenes of the trip. As I had said in the last post, waking up early in the mornings was one of the best things we could have done. Every 10 feet a new costume, a new story, stood, waiting and posing for the next person to take their portrait. It was here, in the morning, when the sun was just starting to come up, that the most unique and intricate costumes would come out of the old stone buildings and put on a show.
Everyday at 11am and 3pm there was a costume contest on the main stage of St. Mark’s Square. These people ranged from the adorable 2 year old who was dressed up as a prince and had to have his mother walk him up on stage, to the group of study abroad students dressed up as the cast from Lord of the Rings and finally to the man who was dressed to the nines and had been participating in Carnival for 22 years. This festival was for everyone, young and old, male and female, singles, couples or even whole families.
To try and describe the beauty and mystery that the faces of Carnival brought not only to the camera but to one’s memory is nearly impossible. I found myself getting sucked into costume after costume, wondering what the story of the person hiding underneath might be. Why that costume? Why that mask? What do they look like under the costume? It was questions like these that followed me around after photographing each individual or couple, dressed up like a fairy tale. I took what seemed like a million photos of these beautiful people and wanted to show you what this fascinating festival looked like through the eyes or at least into the eyes of the faces of Carnival.
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