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Make your coffee table groan under the weight of this epic photographic jaunt through Mobile's premier cultural celebration—Mardi Gras!
Make your coffee table groan under the weight of this epic photographic jaunt through Mobile's premier cultural celebration—Mardi Gras!
Make your coffee table groan under the weight of this epic photographic jaunt through Mobile's premier cultural celebration—Mardi Gras!
181 backers pledged $15,085 to help bring this project to life.

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Bon Temps: Alabama's Mardi Gras, photographs of mayhem

$15,085

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Pledge at any level, and you've got a chance for a free book! We're entering everyone who gives to our Kickstarter campaign into a random drawing for a freebie! That's right, if you've already given, you could score one more. And for those who haven't pledged yet, any pledge, even at the $5 level, buys you a chance at a bold, beautiful book of your own.

 

New Orleans has long been associated with Mardi Gras, but in Alabama, we don't care to play second fiddle. Mobilians proudly claim to have established the country's first Mardi Gras traditions dating back to the 1830s. Mardi Gras here is a month-long, glitter-and-gold-leaf, gumbo-fixin’, celebrity-impersonating, waiting-in-the-wings, spotlit, alcohol-swamped, gimme-sumthin-Mister, drum-rolling, siren-wailing, shoulder-to-shoulder blowout, and we want to show it to the world.

 

Mobile has been at it since Joe Cain a.k.a. Chief Slacabamorinico made his appearance, and the Order of Myths first processed from the intersection of Royal and Government Streets in 1868. The event has become Mobile’s premiere cultural tradition—a celebration of excess preceding the fasting and penitence of Lent. It culminates on Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season. Today’s Mardi Gras is an economic bonanza accommodating hundreds of thousands of revelers over three weeks of parades, balls, and partying. It contributes $200-million to the local economy. With dozens of mystic societies, traditions run deep. It’s so old that you may think you’ve seen it all, but in Bon Temps: Alabama’s Mardi Gras, we’re confident you’ll discover something new.

We know because we've been photographing Mardi Gras in Mobile since 2008. We've shot over 100,000 images, and we haven't scratched the surface of everything this celebration has to offer.

 

 

Since the beginning, we wanted to create a book that honors the oldest tradition in Alabama, but producing a book is time-consuming and costly. We have so many amazing images that the resulting book was bound to be colossal—over 250 pages of brilliant, dynamic, hilarious pictures of Mardi Gras. The only way to create a book that big at a price that is comparable to other photography books is a high-volume off-set production. That costs real money. These days, even publishing houses shy away from expensive, image-heavy projects because there is no guarantee a book will sell enough to cover the cost of producing it.

 

 

 

 

 

*The design of the book is subject to change.
*The design of the book is subject to change.

Bon Temps: Alabama's Mardi Gras will be an impressive 250+ page book honoring Mobile's tradition of over-the-top frivolity. As the slogan goes, Mobile's a city born to celebrate.

Casebound in linen with foil-embossed cover and custom end sheets, the book will showcase a collection 250 sometimes shocking, sometimes silly, always vivid images of Mardi Gras. 

The book is projected to be 8.5"x11" to keep costs down. We'd like to make it bigger, but we'd need lots of support to make that a possibility.
The book is projected to be 8.5"x11" to keep costs down. We'd like to make it bigger, but we'd need lots of support to make that a possibility.

Y'all, this book has it all—kings, queens, commoners, float-builders, costume designers, hooligans, revelers, police, dancers, marching bands, king-cake bakers, widows, donkey-riders, smoochers, vendors, horses, maskers, mistresses, S.O.B.s, debutantes, children, old ladies, and page after page of regrets and redemption.

We are honored to be working with Mobile's illustrious Eleanor Inge Baker on the foreward and chapter introductions. You might recognize Eleanor from pages of ACCESS Magazine, Mobile Bay MonthlyMobile Press-Register, Lagniappe, and the Alabama Writers' Forum, or perhaps you've seen her riding grandly through the streets of downtown Mobile on a Mardi Gras float. In collaborating with us on the writing of this book, Eleanor's goal is to keep you entertained and educated throughout.

This campaign will finance the editing and design work and contribute to the printing and distribution of the book.

We've been working on this project for so long that there were times I thought we'd never finish it, that we'd never have a book to reflect just how unique this celebration is. Only last year, I gave up and told Jeff we should just forget about it. It's easy to get discouraged. Then Mardi Gras came around again, and I remembered that it is a magical event, and there are lots of revelers out there who are as enchanted as we are. Now we're determined to get this book off the ground and in your hands by Mardi Gras 2018!

We've already put in hundreds of hours of shooting, editing and designing, but there is still work to be done.

  • Cover design
  • ISBN
  • Printing
  • Warehousing & Distribution

Our hope with this fundraising campaign is to get 500 people to pre-order the book. I broke a sweat typing that statement. I don't even know 500 people. But you're more popular than me. You're a special person—witty, smart, the life of the party. I'm not exaggerating. You—yes, you—can help us by sharing this page with your vast and diverse circle of friends. It's the only way we can reach our goal. Otherwise, I'll have to close the book on this book forever. I seriously have to move on with my life.

It's up to you. Be a hero. Save this book from the hellfire of the unwanted. Click the handy buttons below to share our campaign. Show Mardi Gras some love!

 

On Twitter? Pledge allegiance to Mobile's Mardi Gras. Let the Bon Temps roll! http://kck.st/2jtCsp4 #BonTempsYall

 

 

 

 

 

This is not air-brushed. We really look this youthful and exuberant.
This is not air-brushed. We really look this youthful and exuberant.

We are freelance photojournalists and the founding members of the Loose Affiliation of Misfit Shutterbugs. The mission of our ultra-exclusive organization is to find joy in everyday life—others’ and our own.

We are visual storytellers, skilled at looking for both the big picture and the small details that document the Gulf Coast community. When not photographing Mardi Gras, we provide editorial, commercial and wedding photography services to our loyal and discerning clients such as:

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, National Parks Magazine, Preservation Magazine, Maxim, Le Point, EdWeek, Science Magazine, Alabama Journey, Mobile Bay Monthly, Coastal Living, Southern Living, Municipal Sewer and Water Magazine, Pumper Magazine, Portable Restroom Operator Monthly

Want to know more about us? It's all here

 

Eleanor adds class to our team. Boy, do we need it.
Eleanor adds class to our team. Boy, do we need it.

Though Eleanor Inge Baker has never before attempted to pen a volume of this magnitude, what she lacks in experience she makes up for in enthusiasm. She made her debut in Mobile in 2001 as Lady Eleanor Jane Inge, wore bright red lipstick everywhere she went, and after that first season of Mardi Gras revelry, gained a new appreciation for the penitence of Ash Wednesday. 

A lover of Mobile, Mardi Gras, family, and anyone with a story to tell, Eleanor finds joy writing about the lives of notable Mobilians for the Port City's own ACCESS Magazine. She graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor's degree in English, and then earned her MFA in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.

Eleanor lives in historic Oakleigh Garden District with her husband, Stephen, and two children, Buck (5) and Hallie Inge (3). Collaborating on this project with her friends, Meggan and Jeff, is one of the greatest honors she has received to date. 

Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!

 

Get your dog, cat, or favorite non-human acknowledged by name in the book. There is no cheaper way to honor your pet in print.

Because your name’s worth a little more than your pet’s, get yourself (or any other human) acknowledged in the book. We cannot adequately describe the tremendous pride you will receive.

Get the e-book! Our digital version is specially formulated for your full-color tablet, so you can get the same great content without the blood of so many trees on your hands.

+ acknowledgment in the book

Early promotion! Only 50 available.

The book will retail for $65. Order early and save $10!

Mardi Gras is all about excess, so enjoy the good times in style. Get the splendiferous 250+ page Bon Temps book, printed on 100lb stock, casebound in linen and signed by Jeff & Meggan Haller and Eleanor Inge Baker.

+ acknowledgment in the book

Get the splendiferous 250+ page Bon Temps book, printed on 100lb stock, casebound in linen and signed by Jeff & Meggan Haller and Eleanor Inge Baker.

+ acknowledgment in the book

Treat yourself like royalty—be photographed for the book! We want to forever immortalize your face on our Lords of Misrule page—a mosaic of headshots photographed by Jeff and Meggan Haller.

We'll host two photo sessions in Mobile, Ala. (one in March and one in April). Get yourself gussied up and show your Mardi Gras love!

+ one signed copy of the Bon Temps book

+ acknowledgment in the book

Get FOUR signed copies of the Bon Temps book.

+ forever immortalized on our Lords of Misrule page—a mosaic of headshots photographed by Jeff and Meggan Haller at one of our two photo sessions

+ acknowledgment in the book

You'd have to be crazy to donate this much money.

You'll get: 

+ a slide show and discussion of Bon Temps by Jeff & Meggan Haller and Eleanor Inge Baker for your school, company, or organization within 150 miles of Mobile, Ala. (Date determined by mutual availability.) 

+ a very special, surprise guest (or guests) of our choosing to ensure you have a great time in case you have doubts 

+ forever immortalized on our Lords of Misrule page—a mosaic of headshots photographed by Jeff and Meggan Haller at one of our two photo sessions

+ four signed copies of the Bon Temps book 

+ acknowledgment in the book 

+ induction into the Loose Affiliation of Misfit Shutterbugs. Membership in this esteemed society is one of the humanity’s highest honors. 

Backers, post your best Mardi Gras memories in the comments and maybe you'll find them in the book. If we use your memory in print, we'll give you full credit and be sure to let you know!

Interested in fine art prints?

We've made it easy as moon pie to purchase prints of your favorite images from the project. Order online here.

We want to hear from you. 

Get in touch through the comments, FAQ, or find us on the web:

bontempsbook.wordpress.com

keyholephoto.com 

facebook.com 

keyholeweddings.com

Risks and challenges

The challenges ahead pale in comparison to the challenges we've already overcome...like walking the parade route backwards, navigating a sea of children begging us to give them moon pies, getting beaned in the head with beads, wearing tux and tails while shooting, receiving anonymous phone calls warning us to give up (to anonymous caller: of course we know who you are because...Google). The biggest challenge has been editing 100,000 pictures and putting together a book we can be proud of. That has already been accomplished. Hallelujah!

With the photography and design work nearly complete, there's not much risk ahead. We put this kick-a** campaign together didn't we? The main hurdle will be meeting the established deadlines, but we're confident we've built in plenty of wiggle room, and we'll work hard to mitigate any production delays.

We guarantee* we'll get this book into your hands by Mardi Gras 2018, or we'll pull the Folly & Death float by hand and give the mules a year off.

*not an actual guarantee

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    MYSTIC MENAGERIE

    Get your dog, cat, or favorite non-human acknowledged by name in the book. There is no cheaper way to honor your pet in print.

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    4 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    MIRTHSTAKER

    Because your name's worth a little more than your pet's, get yourself (or any other human) acknowledged in the book. We cannot adequately describe the tremendous pride you will receive.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    8 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    MOON PIE REBEL

    Get the e-book! Our digital version is specially formulated for your full-color tablet, so you can get the same great content without the blood of so many trees on your hands.

    + acknowledgment in the book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    $
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    WORM CATCHER

    For our earliest supporters—save $10!
    Get the splendiferous 250+ page "Bon Temps" book, printed on 100lb stock, casebound in linen with embossed cover and custom end sheets, signed by us (Jeff and Meggan Haller and Eleanor Inge Baker)

    + acknowledgment in the book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 50 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    GOOD TIMER

    Get the splendiferous 250+ page "Bon Temps" book, printed on 100lb stock, casebound in linen with embossed cover and custom end sheets, signed by us (Jeff and Meggan Haller and Eleanor Inge Baker)

    + acknowledgment in the book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    94 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    LORD OF MISRULE

    Treat yourself like royalty—be photographed for the book!
    We want to forever immortalize your face on our Lords of Misrule page—a mosaic of headshots photographed by Jeff and Meggan Haller.

    We'll host two photo sessions in Mobile, Ala. (one in March and one in April). Get yourself gussied up, and show your Mardi Gras love!

    + one signed copy of the "Bon Temps" book

    + acknowledgment in the book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    LEADING LADY

    Get FOUR signed copies of the "Bon Temps" book.

    + forever immortalized on our Lords of Misrule page—a mosaic of headshots photographed by Jeff and Meggan Haller at one of our two photo sessions.

    + acknowledgment in the book

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    12 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    OUT-AND-OUT FOLLY

    You'd have to be crazy to donate this much money.

    You'll get:

    A slide show and discussion of "Bon Temps" by Jeff and Meggan Haller and Eleanor Inge Baker for your school, company, or organization with in 150 miles of Mobile, Ala. (Date determined by mutual availability.)

    + a very special, surprise guest (or guests) of our choosing to ensure you have a great time in case you have doubts.

    + forever immortalized on our Lords of Misrule page—a mosaic of headshots photographed by Jeff and Meggan Haller at one of our two photo sessions.

    + four signed copies of the "Bon Temps" book

    + acknowledgment in the book

    + induction into the LOOSE AFFILIATION OF MISFIT SHUTTERBUGS. Membership in this esteemed society is one of the humanity's highest honors.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)