Woman in costume with striped collar

Undeniable Vibrance

By Melisa Cardona on May 10, 2016

A camera is a time machine. Through its lens and shutter I’m allowed to step beyond the constraints of temporal reality and capture, for an instant and an eternity, a moment that in its beauty defies description.

Woman in costume with striped collar

These portraits are part of a new personal tradition, one born of awe and appreciation. For the past three years I’ve made a practice of inviting vibrantly clad friends over Mardi Gras morning to share food, commune, and document their handmade artistry before they set out for the height of Carnivale festivities.

Man in costume with gold headband
JJ Jungle

Their effort and dedication in designing each minute detail of their attire is breathtaking. It only makes sense to honor such an exuberant creative impulse with crisp portraiture, homey Colombian chicken soup, and perhaps a little liquid boost before hitting the streets.

Woman in costume with pink mask
Bear Hebert

I truly believe these profiles are important for people to see. This is New Orleans culture. This is tradition. This is who we are.

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