GALLERY: Photographer Captures Philly’s Mummers Spirit

With a nod to Richard Avedon, Joshua Pelta-Heller snaps strutters and spectators on a blank canvas.

Mummers2014-7037-pierre-400x400

These portraits of the Mummers were inspired by one of my biggest photography influences, Richard Avedon, who sought to highlight his subjects’ personalities, often by isolating them against a plain backdrop and removing the distraction of environmental contexts. I felt that the residents of the Philly community and the members of the Mummers brigades would lend themselves well to a collection of images in that tradition, particularly for the exuberance and spirit that each person brought to the portrait. This series is intended to be a part of a broader ongoing project.

WMMR DJ Pierre Robert happened to walk by as I was shooting at 17th and JFK. Robert characteristically celebrates Philadelphia and Philadelphians in the spirit of every cultural occasion in which he’s involved, and so I decided on the spot to include him in my celebration in kind.






Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.