New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana

I knew from the beginning that my around-the-country-trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop in New Orleans.  

First of all, my good friend Becca lives there.  She was a fellow photographer with me in school (we had a pretty wonderful senior show together back in ‘09).  She’s now a lovely musician and artist, not to mention a beautiful and fun lady.

I’ll also be seeing my friend and old housemate from my Providence days, Vanessa.  She’s also quite an artist.  Plus, she makes some wonderful mix cds, black bean chili, and dinosaur shaped cakes.

I’m actually in a group show in Baton Rouge during the month of September as well.  "Cool Jumbo, Holy Mess" will be at the Ephemeral Gallery in Baton Rouge, and the opening reception is September 17th.  I’m not sure yet if I’ll be in town for the opening, but it’ll be good to at least see the show.  My two friends Lindsay Chandler and Sean Fitzgerald are also in the exhibit.

Photographically, I’m not interested in approaching New Orleans in a post-Katrina way.  So many photographers have done that, and they’ve done it well.  When I tell people one of my stops is New Orleans, many immediately talk of Katrina and the photos I can make about that.  But my work isn’t about politics or environmental issues, at least outwardly.

I’ve been more fascinated and provoked by Alec Soth’s work, especially his series Sleeping by the Mississippi.  He has some beautiful images made in Baton Rouge/New Orleans, and they’re less about that place as its known now, post-Katrina, and more about that place as a unique part of the country and landscape. At least, that’s how I see them.

                                                                   Alec Soth, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 2002

Seeing as I’ve never been to the Gulf Coast or this part of the South, I’m excited to see what I end up photographing.  Similar to Asheville, it’ll be nice to be in a lush, watery, and uneven landscape.  I’m excited to take self portraits in this place.  I wonder if just being in a different climate will affect how I portray myself in photos.