The Crazy South

Recently I went with a group of friends to a “Trade Show.” I was excited to do something new (you know the adventurer inside me) while my friends were excited about the sights this “Show” would have to offer. Still wondering what a “Trade Show” is? The best way to describe it is to think of a southern “Flea Market,” something like a “Swap Meet” in So-Cal.

My friends were excited about the chance to go and see all of the animals and the “Giant Underwear.” I personally was more excited about the people who were going to be there. From what I had been told about every southern personality would be present at this Trade Show. I was ecstatic about the prospect of seeing people come out of the woodwork, the traditional southern hick, the true american patriot, the man who had more fingers than teeth, the swamp rat, the american rebel, and the one who sold moonshine on the side. In my mind I was about to experience the true south and I was going to document it with my camera!


We arrived at the show at 6:30 a.m. and proceeded to work our way through the crowd. The show had a line over a mile long waiting to get into the parking area, and I could finally see why. Arrayed in over 20 long columns were hundreds of vendors hawking their wares to the passing crowd. I say vendors, but that might be to fancy of a word. Imagine a large garage sale where anything and everything was up for sale then multiply it by 20 you wouldn’t be far wrong from what most of the vendors—as well as the whole trade show—looked like. There were a few exceptions where the vendor actually had real products to offer, but they were less frequent than those who were just cleaning out their garage.


The first place my friends wanted to go was to the animal section. The closer we got the more we could hear the squealing of pigs, braying of donkeys, clucking from chickens, barking of dogs, and screeching of geese. There were even some turkeys and pigeons there. As we got closer their excitement became palpable, you could almost feel it radiating off of them. While they were getting excited I was becoming relaxed and comfortable. The smells were familiar to me and the sounds comforting. I was going home. Having grown up on a dairy farm I had many experiences with animals and I had come to miss it a little.

Eventually in our wanderings my friends and I came across a small goat. Instantly I asked the lady if we could hold the goat, and if I could take pictures. She was fine with it… my friends were a little hesitant but complied.

had many other fun little things like a Rooster on a leash, little puppies for sale, baying hound dogs, and other animals up for trade, but for me the people were what I had come to see. I was more entertained by the strange folk than anything else there. I was flashing my camera around everywhere, asking random strangers if I could take their picture, explaining I was a photographer. I was having such a good time until my camera battery died… I was crushed. Later I realized it was just giving me an excuse to come back another time.




In all the trip was amazing and the memories of it are great. When I came home I looked at my photographs I had taken and I discovered what was probably one of the best portraits I have ever taken. This man had allowed me to take a few pictures of him and the results speak for themselves. I just have to say I am even more determined to go back and get more shots like these ones.




Show Hide 2 comments

Tim Ng - May 5, 2011 - 8:05 pm


It was a pleasant surprise to see your comment on my “weblogsite”! Wow, this site is freaking awesome though… I love your pic of the old southern man. You make people look so amazing… you should take pics of Becca and myself… we’re amazing but not photogenic so a bit of JG photography would take care of that it seems 😉

Hope you are as well as your photos portray!
Love you man,

georgejsg - May 6, 2011 - 10:29 am

Thanks Tim.

If I were in Idaho I would do a shoot of the both of you for sure, but it looks like I am staying in Alabama for a while. Please keep in touch and we will meet up again some day.

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