Photographing a county or state fair anywhere can be a challenge, especially if you want to avoid the clichés. If you agree with that notion, then perhaps you should try it my way: embrace the clichés and get them out of the way. Just take lots of pictures and have fun. Push yourself to see them in new ways. Who knows? You may end up with the best cliché ever!
The Western Idaho Fair is kind of a hybrid: not quite a state fair but more than a county fair, which means it pulls in a lot of folks from all the counties around Ada, the seat of Idaho’s capital, Boise. The fairgrounds are only about a mile away from my house so it’s an easy bike ride for us when it comes to town in August. Nonetheless, we live very busy lives and often just can’t make it for more than an hour or two on the closing night. That’s a shame because I really enjoy those old-time fair attractions that involve animals, apple pies, and art, the kinds of things that get started when the gates open in the mornings. Even so, with just an hour or two I usually manage to come away with some good ones.
For all it’s tackiness and expensive beer and outrageously contrived culinary horror bombs, I’ll continue going to and enjoying the fair as long as I have a camera!