Mardi Gras Indians are a big part of New Orleans culture, but too often people look at the bright suits instead of the people wearing them, they focus on the beads and feathers but overlook the deep culture that compels these men, women and children to sew for months creating their beautiful suits.  Being a Mardi Gras Indian is about community, self discipline, artistry, tradition and remembrance.  It is about pride and family.  That is why I chose to shoot these portraits in black and white, to draw eyes away from the bright, dazzling colors and look deeper, into the faces of those who mask Indian.