26th March 2015 Written by John Ma Trending Fun

The Kiss

If Fair Day was a family affair, and the Harbour Party was a grown up’s shindig, then The Party was one big sloppy kiss! Much like the ‘Parade Portraits’, The Kiss is all about the people and their moment. And as the title suggests, it’s all about kissing.

Throughout this eight part series, I hope I was able to bring a little love, passion, and fun into your world. I hope this has shown the world what the Sydney Mardi Gras was like, inside and out. And I really hope that we can go out like these guys and share our love with the world.

So no more from me. If we’re gonna use our mouths, then we should use it to kiss someone we love. And for whatever reason if you need inspiration, then look no further! Because don’t these guys look like they are having fun?

JohnMa Kiss 1

© John Ma


JohnMa Kiss 2

© John Ma


JohnMa Kiss 3

© John Ma


JohnMa Kiss 4

© John Ma


JohnMa Kiss 5

© John Ma


JohnMa Kiss 6

© John Ma


JohnMa Kiss 7

© John Ma


JohnMa Kiss 8

© John Ma


JohnMa Kiss 9

© John Ma

This is the end of the official coverage of the 2015 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, but if you need more you can head here, theres lots more to see!

And until next time… Much love and happiness!

23rd March 2015 Written by John Ma Trending Fun

Twinkle Twinkle Little Party

JohnMa 01 Invasion

Zombies © John Ma

Oxford Steet was laid to waste. Fish and chips and kebabs refuelled tired bodies as the hordes of party zombies descended onto the Hordern Pavilion.


JohnMa 02 GoodAndEvilAndStringCheese

Good, Evil and String Cheese © John Ma

The bodies flowed through the gates. There was a nagging feeling that serious choices had to be made that night.


JohnMa 03 Union

Union © John Ma

Aussie girl meets Brazilian girl. They fall in love and decide to get married. The ceremony took place on one of the floats in the parade. Imagine what their kids will look like.


JohnMa 04 Entourage

Entourage © John Ma

Some rolled deep.


JohnMa 05 Razzle

Razzle © John Ma



JohnMa 06 Gaga

Gaga © John Ma


JohnMa 07 BigRooms

Big Rooms © John Ma

There were lots of big rooms like this and all of them boiling with human energy.


JohnMa 08 TheMenu

The Menu © John Ma

On full display.


JohnMa 09 NeonPeaces

Neon Peace © John Ma

They came in neon and peace.


JohnMa 10 Deuces

Deuces © John Ma

Two is better than one.


JohnMa 11 Bodies

Frenzy © John Ma

It was like a feeding frenzy.


JohnMa 12 Victors

Victors © John Ma

He is a winner.


JohnMa 13 Jocks

Jocks © John Ma

Fully sick jocks!


JohnMa 14 Unicorn

Unicorn © John Ma


JohnMa 15 Rider

Rider © John Ma

Some were just riding it out.


JohnMa 16 Teleporter

Teleporter © John Ma

If you let it, you can imagine it’s a teleporting machine.


JohnMa 17 Pray

Pray © John Ma

Sometimes this happens when I stand up on high places. I hope I granted him what he prayed for. I gave him the only thing I could, and took his portrait in this raving mass of Mardi Gras excitement.


JohnMa 18 MadMaxine

Mad Maxine © John Ma

Definitely teleported here.


JohnMa 19 Twinkle

Twinkle © John Ma

I caught one twinkle.


JohnMa 20 Selfless

Selfless © John Ma

Some friends are just so selfless when they are taking selfies.


JohnMa 21 FairyFloss

Fairy Floss © John Ma


JohnMa 22 DanceFloor

Dance Floor © John Ma

The struggle and hassle of walking through the crowd is easily justified by what you’ll find. I found him in the middle of the buzzing balminess.


JohnMa 23 Pasties

Pasties © John Ma

Sometimes when you lose a pastie you just have to make do.


JohnMa 24 Fairytales

Fairytales © John Ma

Someone playing with the teleporter again.


JohnMa 25 RockOn

Rock On © John Ma

By now I had no idea which one of the big rooms I was in. The Party kept on and I held on.


JohnMa 26 Poof

© John Ma

And like magic, she appeared again.


JohnMa 27 Casualties

Casualties © John Ma

There were bound to be some casualties, and not everyone was going to walk away unscathed.


JohnMa 28 DumpOut

Bump Out © John Ma

I honestly can’t remember the party ending. But if I had to imagine it, it would be like this.

18th March 2015 Written by John Ma Trending Fun

The Parade Portraits

The passion, pride, and performance of Mardi Gras is encapsulated and personified by its people. In and out of it - watching and playing in it. It is the people that make up the whole thing.

I love photographing humans. The results always astound me. Mardi Gras is my rabbit hole. I won’t ruin this with words. This is all about character, so I’ll let character speak for itself.

JohnMa 01 OldVic

Old Vic © John Ma


JohnMa 02 Invaders

Invaders © John Ma


JohnMa 03 PomPoms

Pom Poms © John Ma


JohnMa 04 BladesOfGlory

Blades of Glory © John Ma


JohnMa 05 BangBang

Bang Bang © John Ma


JohnMa 06 NoHands

No Hands © John Ma


JohnMa 07 Footpath

Footpath © John Ma


JohnMa 09 Folks

Folks © John Ma


JohnMa 10 Pipes

Pipes © John Ma


JohnMa 11 Madame

Madame © John Ma


JohnMa 12 Ghosts

Ghosts © John Ma


JohnMa 13 Dos

Dos © John Ma


JohnMa 14 Gimps

Gimps © John Ma


JohnMa 15 Traditions

Traditions © John Ma


JohnMa 16 WarPaint

War Paint © John Ma


JohnMa 17 Partners

Partners © John Ma


JohnMa 18 CrewCut

Crew Cut © John Ma


JohnMa 19 Girls

Girls © John Ma


JohnMa 20 MardiGras

Mardi Gras © John Ma


JohnMa 21 Slip

Slip © John Ma

JohnMa 22 Melodrama

Melodrama © John Ma


JohnMa 23 Eve

Eve © John Ma


JohnMa 24 78ers

78ers © John Ma


JohnMa 25 Pixie

Pixie © John Ma


JohnMa 26 Feathers

Feathers © John Ma


JohnMa 27 Pink

Pink © John Ma


JohnMa 28 Looks

Looks © John Ma


JohnMa 29 Pigtails

Pigtails © John Ma


JohnMa 30 Umbrella

Umbrella © John Ma


JohnMa 31 Shatter

Shatter © John Ma


JohnMa 32 Glory

Glory © John Ma


JohnMa 33 Sweetness

Sweetness © John Ma


JohnMa 34 You

You © John Ma

These portraits represent just a few of the characters from the parade, if you're keen for more, you can check them out here

16th March 2015 Written by John Ma Trending Fun

Mardi Gras 2015: The Parade Route

JohnMa 01 Backdrops

Backdrop © John Ma

I was late reaching my media bay when the Parade officially started. Being ushered by security and event organisers, I rushed up the empty parade route of Oxford St. Not far behind me was the very beginning of the parade, and behind them was the setting sun that silhouetted the city. The energy had been building up all day, and as the waiting crowd caught sight of the marching paraders, the noise in the air wasn’t just cheers, it was a delight.


JohnMa 02 Fiver

Fiver © John Ma

Every float and participant was in one way or another, trying to touch and engage with someone. Some did it physically, some did visually. But either way their invitation was undeniable.


JohnMa 03 Unisons

Unison © John Ma

As you can see, some of the floats stuck very closely to their routines.


JohnMa 04 Neptune

Neptune © John Ma

Greek mythology would be so laid back if this guy had been a part of it.


JohnMa 05 Strokes

Strokes © John Ma

The Different Strokes Dragon Boat team.


JohnMa 06 Zoom

Zoom © John Ma

The night was zooming by and I didn’t want it to end too quickly.


JohnMa 07 Ruffles

Ruffles © John Ma

Luckily some of the paraders were less frenetic and took their time making their way along the parade route. Clearly not letting the hype ruffle their ruffles.


JohnMa 08 Baton

Baton © John Ma

It’s pretty safe to say that no baton was ever waved so eagerly before, nor after, this shot was taken.


JohnMa 09 Uniform

Uniform © John Ma

If you have a thing for men in uniforms… You’re very welcome. But for those who are a part of any long established institution where truly expressing yourself can be a difficult thing - This will hopefully give you some encouragement.


JohnMa 10 Glisten

Glisten © John Ma

Epically Drag.


JohnMa 11 Closets

Closets © John Ma

The metaphor was proud and clear and the colourful doors rolling down Oxford St provided a wonderfully surreal setting for me to photograph.


JohnMa 12 BeachBums

Beach Bums © John Ma

Lifesavers have been part of the Mardi Gras institution for a long long time. Budgie smugglers and little bikinis, twirling and twerking, shaking and grinding… I’m cool with that. 


JohnMa 13 Firebugs

Firebugs © John Ma

Emergency services was out in force, waving the flag high and representing the proud.


JohnMa 14 Precipitation

Precipitation © John Ma

Abstract installation art with a chance of local precipitation?


JohnMa 15 Twirl

Twirl © John Ma

There was so much twirling going around. And around. And around. And around…


JohnMa 16 CleanUpCrew

Clean Up Crew © John Ma

I don’t know who hired these guys to do the clean-up, but they did a pretty shitty job.


JohnMa 17 FollowTheGlitter

Follow The Glitter © John Ma

If there was any bright side the terrible job done by the Clean Up Crew, it was that finding your way to The Party of all parties was really really easy. Follow the glitter!


JohnMa 18 Maniacs

Maniacs © John Ma

Before we could get to The Party, I first had to dodge a horde of maniacs that were grabbing and running away with anything that wasn’t tied down.

13th March 2015 Written by John Ma Trending Fun

Mardi Gras 2015: Before the Parade

JohnMa 01 WaveIt

Wave It © John Ma

This year is my first year back after many years away from the event. I forgot how much I loved Mardi Gras and it reminded me of how much I had missed it.

The day started in the early afternoon. I went to Mr. Crackles to get my fix then headed down Oxford. When I got to Hyde Park, which is where all the floats were getting ready and warming up, everyone was getting into the spirit in the most passionate way!

This is one of the flag bearers. He was happy waving his flag. His happy, big green flag. His simple contentment made me happy and I think it made everyone else around him happier too.


JohnMa 02 Sparkles

Sparkles © John Ma

It ain’t no Mardi Gras without sparkles! I didn’t put any on and I still woke up the next day with sparkles in my bed.


JohnMa 03 BlownUp

Up © John Ma

Gusts of winds came up Liverpool St, carrying the balloons into my face and the perspective gave me this shot. This is just one of many more that I couldn’t fit them all here so I’ve curated them into an extended series on my Facebook page.


JohnMa 04 Victoria

Victoria © John Ma

Opera on Oxford.


JohnMa 05 HangOut

Show Off © John Ma

Clearly he was just trying to show off and objectify himself to the public. And clearly it worked.


JohnMa 06 But

Angles © John Ma

Drifting through the frenzy of people I felt someone tug on my arm. I turned to find a big toothy smile saying something to me that was drowned out by the music. And before I could ask her, she spun around and posed. Seeing the fun we were having, the girl in the bowler hat jumped into my frame and wanted a piece of the action. I kindly obliged, being the nice person I am.


JohnMa 07 Daffodils

Daffodils © John Ma

The Parade hadn’t started. These were just warm up poses.


JohnMa 08 Score

Score © John Ma

I think a lot of us can relate to this girl.


JohnMa 09 BBall

B-Ball © John Ma



JohnMa 10 Feast

Feast © John Ma

Gimps don’t just eat. They feast.


JohnMa 11 Line

The Line © John Ma

The girl in front of me growled with a heavy Irish accent at the people inside the cubicles to get out. And next to me was a tiny girl wearing a wrestling uniform. Her uncle, I think, was the wrestling club president. Surreal and uncomfortable is the simplest way to put it. 


JohnMa 12 DrumAndBags

Drums and Bags © John Ma

Ancient sounds and celtic garbs filled Hyde Park on a Sydney weekend. And kilts are just so cool!


JohnMa 13  Droogs

Droogs © John Ma

Viddy well, little brother. Viddy well…


JohnMa 14  Blush

Blush © John Ma

Kinda sorta made me blush.


JohnMa 15 Champagne

Champagne © John Ma

The city can be a fast moving, unblinking, cold hearted bitch. But Mardi Gras turned it into a bubble bath.


JohnMa 16 TopCop

Top Cop © John Ma

The top cop completes the final inspection.


JohnMa 17 TheBeginning

The Beginning © John Ma

The start of the parade down Oxford Street for the 37th time.


JohnMa 18 PotOfGold

Pot of Gold © John Ma

The end of the rainbow is here. Let’s go find that pot of gold.