Many of us have visited the fair as children, and photographer Henry Head returned to capture where he remembered having fun as a kid. With pastel colors and eerily empty scenes, Henry's series "Fair Play" explores the fair from a different perspective. Check out the photos here.
Henry is a photographer from a small tourist town called Branson located in the southwest corner of Missouri. He discovered he was interested in photography when he was 19 years old, wanting to document things he saw and people he met on a hitchhiking trip with his best friend. After being introduced to film photography two years later, his love for photography only grew stronger.
Last month, Henry wanted to go take candids of all the interesting folk who might be at the Springfield Missouri Fair, just 30 minutes from his hometown. When he arrived, the crowds were sparse and he was concerned that shooting at the brightest point of the day might be a challenge to meter the light correctly. He tells us a little about what shooting at the fair was like:
"Turns out the feeling of emptiness coupled with the glowing, taffy-like colors ended up giving all the photos a uniquely surreal and nostalgic feeling. Funny how those little spurs of the moment adventures can end up being the days you make some of your favorite work.”
This body of work was taken on one roll of film over the span of three hours. Henry went out with a couple of friends at the brightest part of the day and shot with an F-stop of 8 or higher to make sure he could get as much as possible in focus. About half of these photos were composed, and the other half, the candids, were taken from the hip or the chest. All photos were shot on his trusty Nikon F3 + 28mm lens.
Henry tells us more about the project and why he was interested in the subject:
"This work, titled “Fair Play”, was a spur of the moment idea that spawned from a conversation I overheard about the fair being in town. Part of what makes taking photos fun after years of traveling to interesting, far away places, is that you’re able to appreciate the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the familiar place you grew up in when you return. I grew up going to the fair and enjoyed the rides, greasy food, and the interesting people that crawled up out of the woodwork to get lost in the allure of dart tossing and screeching rollercoasters. My only goal was to capture what I saw from the perspective of my younger self."