Mikkel Aaland: County Fair, 1976 – 1980

Squeezed in between the traditional smells is the photo booth.

“You fit in the darkroom. A dollar-sixty-five an hour and the job is yours.”

“These portraits were made in a portable studio that was hauled from fair to fair between 1976 and 1980. The studio was complete with darkroom and a shoot­ing stage and it took a crew of three to run it: a shooter (me), a front person to handle customers and a darkroom person to develop and print the 4×5 inch negative. The entire process, when going smoothly, took about fifteen minutes. Because our prices were so reasonable, we often had lines of customers that lasted from ten in the morning to midnight. To give you an idea of our volume: on a busy day in Pleasanton, I shot over 450 portraits, averaging three people per print, meaning 1,350 mostly smiling faces.” Mikkel Aaland