Las Sirenas de Coney Island (The Mermaids of Coney Island) is a snapshot project that captures a day at the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade. It is said that the Mermaid Parade is the largest art parade in the country and one of the most freeing experiences. My favorite part of the parade is that it encourages creativity, where all the participants have carefully curated their costumes, from wigs to eyelashes and tails to seashells, there are hidden gems everywhere just waiting to be seen.

Spending a day at the parade with my instant camera, I'm like a kid at a candy store. Colors and smiles flash everywhere and people are inviting of having their portraits taken and willing to give a moment of their time. For a New York minute, it doesn't matter where you're from, the only things that matters is how creative and unique your costume is and will you stand out in a parade of mermaids.

Images taken on Fuji Film Wide 300 camera using expired instax wide instant film, during the Mermaid Parade in 2018.

All Photographs Copyright ©2020 NATALI BRAVO-BARBEE.

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