Hungry for a corn dog? Anthony Blasko documents carnival goers at Florida Strawberry Festival

Covering one specific festival in Florida in 2018, Anthony Blasko’s new book is a fascinating peak into a quotidian culture.

3 October 2022

A lot of American culture can be mystified by stereotype, legend and mythology across the globe. One such phenomena is the good old fashioned American carnival, something distinctly ‘Americana’ and strangely engrossing. One such photographer who taps in to this is Anthony Blasko, whose new book Florida Strawberries– published by Stanley Barker – documents the carnival goers of Strawberry Festival in Florida. “I first came to the Strawberry Festival in 2013 while I was traveling around Florida photographing,” Anthony tells It’s Nice That. “I returned in 2017, this time shooting on a Pentax 67 at dusk and once I got home and started printing, I decided to return the following year and shoot for the duration of the festival.” Most of the book was shot in 2018, but there are a handful of images from 2017.

Admittedly, the project is quite simple in nature. Anthony doesn’t expand much, and what you see is what you get. One thing, however, that is particularly of interest is the packaging of the book, which is enshrined in a paper wrapper. Anthony notes that to be the work of his publishers, but the beautiful cover art is one by painter Shaun Morris. “We played around with a few different ideas for the cover, and an image never felt right,” Anthony says. “We talked about having Shaun paint a lot of strawberries, but I liked the idea of having just one. I love Shaun’s paintings.”


Anthony Blasko: Florida Strawberries (Copyright © Anthony Blasko, 2022)

Lighting is another beautiful element of the book, which Anthony keeps incredibly consistent throughout every photo. “I chose to shoot mainly at dusk, the shifts in light in the last two hours of the day are a great time to be shooting,” he explains. “There’s no substitution for the colour of film.” As for the people themselves, Anthony didn’t want to prescribe too much of a quota on who he had to photograph. “Like all large gatherings, the fair has all types of people,” he explains. “I’m just looking for interesting faces in the crowd.”

So what does Anthony hope viewers take away from the book? “I hope people enjoy it and it makes them hungry for a corn dog,” he quips.

GalleryAnthony Blasko: Florida Strawberries (Copyright © Anthony Blasko, 2022)

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Anthony Blasko: Florida Strawberries (Copyright © Anthony Blasko, 2022)

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About the Author

Joey Levenson

Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. He was part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.

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