Lindsay Docherty Photography goes to ‘Nawlins
Winter is the time when I can finally breathe again after the madness of fall and the gazillions of weddings that it brings. I use the winter to deal heavily with the advertising/marketing/business end of it all. It’s also when I have the opportunity for professional education. There’s a photography conference in mid-January and I look forward to it every year.
This year the Digital Wedding Forum Convention was held in New Orleans. It gathers some of the biggest rock stars of the industry for small classes, shootouts (not nearly as dangerous as it sounds), mentoring sessions, and an all-around good time.
A group of us went out and played with David Beckstead one of the first days there.
That was actually surrounded by this:
One of the best parts of the trip was the opportunity to roam the French Quarter with John Michael Cooper of AltF Photography and tens of other photographers. The goal was to photograph three local couples whose wedding pictures had been destroyed during Katrina through DWF KARES. You can check out some of the media attention here (pay attention at 2:23 for yours truly).
Here are just some that I shot with them:
I had never been to NOLA before and found that I absolutely fell in love with the city. I’m fortunate that one of my best friends from high school lives in New Orleans and showed me around for a few days following the convention. The houses in the area were fabulous. I fell in love over and over again with the wrap around porches, big dripping ferns, second floor balconies, floor to ceiling windows, colored shutters, porch swings, texture everywhere, and fanciful décor. Mardi Gras beads hung from trees and the entire city was just alive.
Here are just a handful of the moments that struck me:
• Getting beignets at Café du Monde and starting a powdered sugar fight after a night of booty shaking with my fellow photographers.
• Laughing til my sides hurt at dinner with Jake Morrow, Emily Slaughter, Jesse Starr, Ryan Brenizer, Dina Douglass, Jesse Mergenthaler, Heather Lord, and Steve Zdawczynski.
• Locating the vegetarian food with my lovely roommate, Gurpreet Kaur.
• Going to Mimi’s in the Marigny and witnessing what felt like 100% true New Orleans: old bar with wood floors, people jam packed into the second floor for swing dancing, drinks flowing, low lights, ceiling fans that spun but seemed only for show, cigarette smoke, a velvety voice and jazz band of Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns in the corner, and the floor thumping from all of the dancing. It was pure magic.
• A paddleboat ride down the Mississippi.
• A small late night workshop with Jerry Ghionis.
• Realizing I had packed 2 left foot black sandals.
• Feeling naughty walking around the streets with to-go cups.
• Wearing a tank top in January.
• Bumping into my New Year’s Eve bride, Maggie, in a tiny little restaurant and squealing with delight together.
• Trying absinthe in a dark, red toned bar.
• The over the top excitement I got from carefully selecting and purchasing a feathered and glittery mask on Bourbon Street.
• All of the fabulous and spontaneous interactions that occur when you throw 200 photographers together and say, “Go!”
I had some time to myself on one of the last days there to wander around the city a little. I spent a good deal of time at Lafayette Cemetery I and meandered from there.
The trip was a blast. Reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, and just being inspired and falling in love with a new city. I’m already looking forward to next year!
I’m not going to lay down in words the lure of this place. Every great writer in the land, from Faulkner to Twain to Rice to Ford, has tried to do it and fallen short. It is impossible to capture the essence, tolerance, and spirit of south Louisiana in words and to try is to roll down a road of clichés, bouncing over beignets and beads and brass bands and it just is what it is.
It is home.
~ Chris Rose