Joseph Philipson Visual Journalism661.727.4057

Rochester Puerto Rican Festival

This past weekend I attended the infamous Puerto Rican Festival here in Rochester, NY. I say infamous because the Puerto Rican festival is known for it’s consistent outbursts of violence. The use of professional equipment in the festival was forbidden. I was fortunate enough to slide in with my camera but many people were interrogated and turned away at the security gates. Yes, the security gates, where every attendant was patted down and each bag was heavily searched. The entire lot was patrolled by private security and police officers. The atmosphere of the festival felt very, controlled and I found it hard to take photographs. Each time I raised my camera I felt as if I was going to be confronted by security and then escorted out. As a result, nearly all of these photos are hip shots.

Instead of focusing on the entire festival, I tried to pull quiet moments or unique perspectives on the festival.

I always look at people’s shoes. I find them interesting. As they say, you can learn a lot about a man simply by looking at his shoes. I found that the “shoe fashion” was extreme here at the festival. Everyone seemed to have a unique pair of shoes.


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