Striking Behind-the-Scenes Photos of a Carnival Community in Florida

"He discovered a true community, but a dying industry."

Flavorwire photographer favorite Hunter Barnes, who shoots exclusively in analog and black-and-white film, captures the strange and forgotten communities in America. His newest book Tickets, released by Reel Art Press, looks at the carnival community in Gibsonton, Florida — a famous sideshow town that the folks in the carnival call home during the winter months/off-season. There, you can visit the International Independent Showmen’s Museum, which houses industry artifacts donated by practicing carnival workers. More on Hunter’s involvement with the community from the publisher:

Hunter initially tracked down Ward Hall, who had left home as a teenager to join the travelling sideshow and later started one of the last of the traveling sideshows, The World of Wonders. Hall introduced Hunter to the community, enabling him to spend time with the families who lived there. He discovered a true community, but a dying industry. Hunter was invited to travel with them to the Bangor and Skowhegan State Fairs in Maine. After some initial time spent showing them his work, Hunter was welcomed into their world and this book and exhibition is a first-hand, often surreal account of one of the last of the tight-knit travelling carnival communities.

Tickets by Hunter Barnes is now available. An exhibition at Milk Gallery in New York will run from November 3 to December 3.

©Hunter Barnes
Published with permission of Reel Art Press
‘Tickets: Photographs by Hunter Barnes’