Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose. – Tennessee Williams
As with most things, plan ahead. Check the weather forecast and make sure to bring appropriate outer wear such as a jacket or raincoat, etc. Wear comfortable footwear that can handle crowds well and that you won’t mind walking around in all day.
Eat well before you head down to the Mardi Gras. Then, eat more throughout the day to help keep you going until late night.
Bring some friends that want to party and that you will want to party all day/all night with.
Establish a meeting place in case everyone gets separated. You won’t hear or feel your cell phone in the noise and chaos of the crowd.
Buy your beads at discount mart or online - otherwise expect to pay dearly for the good ones (i.e. those that will entice a show). I recommend buying an entire package of nice ones. None of the ladies will know that you got a volume discount.
Buy your beer at a discount mart or a grocery store. Then fill your cooler and keep it in your car/truck. Park your vehicle just a block or so outside the Strand area and have a back pack or tube style pack to carry your beer into the Strand. Otherwise, be prepared to pay top dollar for your beverages.
Be prepared. If you might need some antacid, aspirin, caffeine, or other medicine to feel like partying late into the night, take some with you. Don’t be a party pooper and want to leave early because you weren’t prepared.
a) You will not be fast enough to be able to photograph very many flashers – the whole thing just happens too fast.
b) If you try, you will miss out on seeing two pair for every one pair that you actually photograph. There are plenty of quality amateur photos on the internet. Your photos will not likely be any better than those readily available so don’t waste your time.
c) The high quality chicks won’t let you take their picture for fear of ending up on the internet. If they even see your camera, most of the best looking women won’t show while you are around. If you want to see the highest quality goods, come with plenty of nice beads and no camera.
d) Your camera will be at risk of being dropped or knocked from your hands in the chaos that is the Mardi Gras.
e) You will miss out on a lot of other Mardi Gras sights and sounds trying to get photos. Forget about it. Be in the moment – party NOW. That is what you came to the Mardi Gras for.
f) Exceptions. If you are one of the lucky few to be able to enjoy the Mardi Gras from a balcony above the crowds, then you will be able to get plenty of good photos. You just can’t do it from the ground. Also, look for women wearing masks. They understand how it all works and they came prepared to flash confident that their anonymity will remain intact. I predict women wearing masks will become the norm in the future.
That's it. Now, have fun and be safe.