It’s the time of year when you can smell corn dogs and deep fried snickers on the air. The time of year when you get to put aside being an adult and take a ride on a tilt-o-wheel….fair time. The fair is always one of my favorite places to shoot photos – you never know what you will find!

Last week I went to the Williamson Country Fair here in Tennessee. The Williamson County fair is a small fair that reminds me of the fairs of my youth. Lots of agricultural exhibits and a very local flavor with bluegrass stage and a fried green tomato (yum) food truck!

I went on a weeknight when the traffic was light and there was also rain in the forecast. I thought the rain might keep people away and I was right. While I did want to photograph people I also wanted to get an empty fair feeling. The feeling of what happens when the crowds go. I got my wish! It was an amazing night. At one point big raindrops fell and lightning circled and all the rides shut down. I was able to capture my empty feeling and I was happy! But not every fair is going to give you that feeling. So here are some ideas of what to shoot at a fair.

Empty Fair Feelings

5 Things To Take Photos Of At A Fair

The Rides

This is obvious. Bring a tripod and do some long exposures at night. Capture the motion. Play with your shutter speed to capture different levels of movement.

The entertainment

I loved this fair had an escape artist. I’ve always wanted to shoot an old school circus with clowns, bearded ladies, and escape artists. It was amazing to watch Lady Houdini escape from the water torture chamber.

The People

Don’t be afraid to take pictures of people having fun, enjoying the food, and riding rides. I walked around three hours and not one person asked me why I was taking photos.

The Music

Most fairs have live music. Usually local bands but sometimes national bands. The fair is a good venue to try your hand at concert photography. Usually, you can walk right up to the stage and snap your pictures.

 The Games

I love fair games and they offer an endless supply of amazing pictures.

No matter the reason for attending the fair just make sure you take your camera along for the fun. If you go with your family or friends you will capture amazing pictures of them laughing and enjoying time together. If you go alone and just want to explore with your camera you can take your time and capture all the cotton candy glory around you.