Happy Mardi Gras!

On Capturing Mardi Gras in Photography

Happy Mardi Gras! Today is Fat Tuesday and, as the saying goes, let the good times roll, or “laissez le bon temps toule.”

But how do we capture the spirit, look, and feel of Mardi Gras in photography?

  • visit New Orleans during the Mardi Gras celebrations

  • visit New Orleans (aka NOLA, The Big Easy, Crescent City, or the City of the Dead) any other time of the year, because there are always street festivals, parades, and street performances of all kinds, and it’s a jaw-dropping experience
  • if stuck at home (like we did in 2020-2021 because of COVID) come up with Mardi Gras decorations of our own to spread around the house; include Mardi Gras colors

  • or go beyond the colors, glitter and feathers, and capture a personal, perhaps more in-depth visual interpretation of Mardi Gras–and also the City of the Dead–considering its symbolism, history, and legacy
“Look Up!” B&W photography ©Alina Oswald. (title inspired by a quote from Angels in America)

Mardi Gras is about celebrations, glittery, glossy, and feathery costumes; and also about masks. And no matter how glossy and glittery masks are, sometimes they’re also grotesque and hideous looking, daring us to wonder who or rather what they are hiding. And why? There’s a certain feeling of mystery and secrecy, of fascinating danger, of unsteadiness that’s as scary as it is appealing and luring. That kind of feeling, together with the dark mystery already surrounding the city, itself (its over-the-ground tombs or its vampire legends and the very reasons New Orleans is also called the “City of the Dead”), offer a different, darker feel of the Mardi Gras celebrations.

Those of us living on the darker side of life, find this quite fascinating, especially when seen through a creative prism, in this case, through our own lens.

Here are a few examples:

“Half-Smile” in color

Sell Art Online

…or in B&W:

Canvas Art


Sell Art Online

During Mardi Gras or not, New Orleans is always a fascinating city, rich in culture, tradition, history, and art. Definitely a must-visit!

Product Photography. Mardi Gras Decorations. ©Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Product Photography. Mardi Gras Decorations. ©Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Wishing you a safe and Happy Mardi Gras (if you happen to be in New Orleans), and to all of you, a wonderful day.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald


    1. Thanks, Kelly! Yeah, I’ve just figured it out quite recently, myself. That said, I love New Orleans and masks, so, thought I’d post something about it. Appreciate your note 🙂


      1. I’ve only been in the Greyhound bus station of New Orleans. I was waiting for a connected to Louisville Kentucky, it was late at night at night so I didn’t go look around the town.
        I meet a country sing on his way to a rehab center and a few other characters it was interesting enough. I can’t image what Mardi Gras brings to life.🤔🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for sharing :-). Oh, you HAVE TO visit New Orleans, during Mardi Gras, or any other time of the year. It’s amazing! Great food (not healthy food, but delicious, lol!), amazing art and culture, and intriguing history, it’s really a must-see. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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