by Jeff Seltzer
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Carnivals is a selection of images of people who work at carnivals by photographer Jeff Seltzer. Jeff explains the project:
The images were captured during the summer of 2005 at three different local carnivals almost as an accident: I was just taking some family snapshots, when I noticed one of the workers looking-on with a very stoic expression. Interestingly, I saw many of the same workers at all three venues. Some see irony in the portraits – a sense of depression among the workers. I see a bit of this, but mostly just portraits of hard workers trying to make a very tough living – the carnival might be fun for attendees, but not for the workers. Many people have asked how I was able to get the workers to agree to some of the pictures (only a couple are candids). The answer is easy: “I’ll play your [rip-off] game of chance for $5 if you let me take your picture.” Almost no one said no.The muted colors in Jeff's images, taken at dusk or night without flash, are sympathetic without being garish or patronizing, and reveal a sensitivity rarely shown when documenting this subject.