My Work, Photography

February: Travel Photography in New Orleans

Sun soaked streets and a faint whisper of jazz in the air, New Orleans is a city that’s atmosphere seeps into your soul and leaves you with heady memories of relaxed vibes, infectious music, and creative inspiration. It is a city where your artistic instincts jump into the water and joyfully splash about with childish glee.

While I was originally there for academic research purposes I found that all I could focus on was the beauty of the architecture, the interplay of the light down the narrow streets, and the surplus of good humour that exuded from every crevice of the French Quarter. It seemed apt, then, that in the month of the Big Easy’s famous festival, Mardi Gras, that I will be focusing on the time I spent there and how it has given me a new perspective of my artistic work.

New Orleans: Street Photography

My trip to New Orleans just under two years ago was purely for academic research purposes. Through my PhD work I was looking to get a feel for the tourist industry there and how it markets and relies upon popular imagery of Voodoo. I had taken my camera to document this where I could, as many shops and stalls are very clear about their ‘no photography’ policies.

What I hadn’t anticipated, however, was how inspired by the streets and buildings of the French Quarter I would be. I returned home after a long and satisfactorily tiring week with hundreds of images and a notebook stuffed with ideas, memories, and scribblings.

Photographic Inspiration

Looking through all these images when I got back, categorising them, and reminiscing about the variety of the streets and the wonder that they had inspired. I started to challenge my notions of photographic inspiration. Why was I so inspired in a foreign space? What was it about this subject matter that was so fascinating?

What became clear, as I started to analyse the images I had collected, was that these were not necessarily concepts, qualities, or subject matter that were exclusive to New Orleans and the streets of the French Quarter. There were common themes and ideas that I could continue to explore within my home environment if I just took the time to look.

February: Travel Photography in New Orleans

So this month I have prepared a series of blog posts that will explore the images I took in New Orleans and how they have informed my photographic practice since. However, this will not just be a self-indulgent rambling through my own images. There will be practical advice about how you can gain a new perspective on the world around you, the importance of editing, and the translation of ideas from one place to another.

So keep an eye out for the articles that will be coming up over the next few weeks with the New Orleans tag.

Leave a Reply