Photos of Carnival – Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia, camarote, che lagarto

The view from my perch in a Camarote at Che Lagarto Hostel

Photos of Carnival – Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

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It seems that during the week of Carnival “normal” finds a hiding place giving way to the colouful, the interesting and the down right crazy. However, it is a beautiful thing. The openness that is displayed during Brazilian Carnival really is what makes it such a great experience. It seems that the vast majority of people manage to set aside their preconceived stereotypes and simply settle in to enjoy the experience of being at Carnival.

The first couple of days of carnival I left my big camera in my apartment. Any time I even pulled out my small point and shoot camera people around me would warn me to be careful. On two separate occasions I had a hand dip into my empty pockets, so the risk was obviously real. On the final night of carnival, however, I came to the realization that I could not come to an event like this and not document it. In the end, with my DSLR and my huge 70-200mm lens I found that not only did I feel safe on the streets, but that people would open up to me because of it, give me extra space and sort of protect me on the side. Thankfully, I was able to complete a task I had always wanted to do, I managed to capture the people of carnival.

Here are my photos from Carnival in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.

Carnival Brazil Ladies, carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia

Ladies – Click to enlarge

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Lady selling chicken kabobs… yum – Click to enlarge

carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia, parangole

One of the better performers of the night for sure.

carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia, police

A police officer moving through the crowds

carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia, cross-dresser

All types come out for carnival – click to enlarge… if you dare

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One of my favourite people in carnival, a beer vendor – click to enlarge

carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia, singer

One of the few performers who didn’t have a bloco with her, a huge bonus in my opinion – click to enlarge

baby, carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia

Maybe not the type of event I would bring my kid to, but cute none the less – click to enlarge

Jammil, carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia

One of the more popular Brazilian artists, Jammil. I’ve heard people refer to him as the Brazilian Ricky Martin… with talent – Click to Enlarge

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You can’t go to carnival unless you’re dressed up – Click to Enlarge

bloco, truck. carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia

On of my favourite photos of carnival. The Trucks push through the crowds carrying the entertainment. The people in the coloured shirts are in the blocos. The price to walk beside the truck? Around 200-300 Dollars. – Click to enlarge.

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The King has arrived at Carnival – Click to enlarge

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The police standing guard as the mayhem runs rampant around them – click to enlgarge

David Guetta, carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia

It’s not only Brazilian acts at Carnival. Here DJ David Guetta preforms, Will.I.am also preformed this night.

carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia

If I would have know crowns were in this year I would have packed one – Click to Enlarge

Military police, carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia

The police line up on the streets in lines of four, they mean business – Click to enlgarge

Paracole, carnival, brazil, salvador de bahia

It’s great to be able to get so close to the acts. Anyone can get this close, regardless of where you are: I was, however, in a camarote. – click to enlarge

From Left to Right: Random french guy, Myself, Marcello from Wanderingtrader.com, and Marcellos Malaria of the Mouth victim (inside joke) – click to enlarge

What did I miss?

On Saturday I posted a photo of Salvador da Bahia from after Carnival.

What’s next?

The carnival stuff isn’t over yet, however I am going to get a little bit serious about it in my next article.  On Wednesday I will be posing an article about Race and Segregation during Carnival.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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10 Comments

  1. These pictures are awesome! I’m glad you chanced it and brought out your DSLR. I’m BEYOND jealous that you got to see David Guetta play. What a dream!!!

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    • He was great, stopped in front of our camarote for a bit. Super cool

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  2. Love the photos, especially the one with the guy in white hat and glasses dressed up. Great that you took the risk with the DSLR, it sure paid off in the end. Excellent job!

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    • That guy was as photogenic as they come.

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  3. Love the photo of the cops standing there while everything was blurred around them. Great photo man! You know you could do 5 of these photos essays and no one would get tired of them if on Carnival! lol

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    • In hindsight you’re right… I should have had it as part one and part 2!!! Damn….

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  4. Nice photo essay of the carnival enjoy it alot.

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  5. Fantastic photos! 🙂 You really captured the life of this amazing event. I’ve never been to Brazil so I love seeing it through your lens. 🙂

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    • Thanks Krista… it was a whole heap of fun

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