I became a photographer because I fell in love with travel street photography during my London study abroad. Fast forward to today and I still think it is my favorite thing. As my kids grow up, I know I will slowly leave my “mom-tog” status behind. But this I will always do. I love to document a family or person discovering a new place, photograph the food, the landscape, the people so they can always remember that moment in time. For me I love the sense of discovery I have as I travel with my camera.
Recently (time is a relative thing right?) my husband and I were able to travel to New Orleans for a conference for his job. The kids got to have a lot of special time with Grandma (“Mom she spoiled us SO much!”) and we were able to have some adult time. During the day my husband was mostly in continuing education classes and I savored the time on my own. Dating back to my study abroad days I have just loved walking around a city and photographing it.
Just like a person, each city and place has its own distinct characteristics and traits. As a documentary photographer I am striving to uncover and highlight those. Also like a person it is impossible to get to know a place in a day or two. It does take time, and when I go on these little trips I certainly don’t claim to now be an expert. But I love to try! I love to try and find and see what the locals do.
I took a lot of pictures in New Orleans and I really love so many of them. As usual when I go on a trip expect an overshare here! My first stop on my first day was the famed World War II National Museum. Having lived in DC, I am hard to impress when it comes to museums, but this one was so superb. I also cant remember the last time I was in a museum alone, so that probably helped the experience. Sometimes I cant believe just how much of an introvert I am. I will probably say this over and over, but I just loved being alone!
There is a chance that Japan will be our next move and viewing the displays on Japan and the atomic bomb sites was very moving for me. The destruction and power that we as humans are capable of hurt my mind. Just a few steps aways from this museum stood the Robert E Lee Memorial. It was scheduled to be taken down just a few weeks after we were there. I found the juxtaposition of these two places in such close proximity to be interesting. It made me think that every human has a back story, a reason for why they are what they are. Can we judge that? History especially is viewed through such technicolor glasses, how can we say who those people were who made those decisions and did the things they did?
I spent a good amount of time in the Garden district and loved seeing the big beautiful homes. But what fascinated me most was the plants. I come from a desert where nothing grows but cactus and living and visiting in the South has been a new experience! The plants take over everything! I loved documenting them growing out of walls, destroying side walks, and peeking out of graves. Our impression on the earth as humans feels small when I see that. I feel like if we all died tomorrow, the earth, this great living thing that we are stewards of, would erase our history so quickly.
I met some frustrated tourists on the street cars in New Orleans, it seems that the slow pace of life there was not going to get them to their dinner reservation on time. I took it as another personality trait of this multifaceted city. They are southern. They have time to get where they need to be.
I always focus in on one aspect of a city and in New Orleans it was the bikes. Chained up everywhere and decorated to the T, they were such a fun and vibrant part of the city. This bikes series may be one of my favorite street photography transportation series to date!
As with all trips I missed my children a ton and was so ready for them and all their shenanigans by the time I got home. I sometimes suffer mom guilt from wanting to get away. I know how fast their childhoods are passing me by, but I also love these moments of self discovery and documentation. I am grateful for the opportunity to experience both. As with all things in life it seems balance is what is called for. I am striving to enjoy now, whether I am with my kids or not, enjoy the time I have. That is all that is granted to each of us.
Another favorite stop for me was the sculpture garden outside the local art museum. The trees were all covered with Spanish moss which gave the sculptures an erie feeling that I thought was pretty cool!
I won’t lie to you all, although I ate some of the tastiest food ever and had a grand time walking this city. It isn’t one I would put high on my list to visit a second time. For me it was quite dirty and well, I dont drink, so Bourbon street was a bit of a waste! Ha! I did love the Jazz clubs over on Frenchman though. Like anyone, when the music is live and good, I have a hard time keeping my feet still. We also stumbled upon a live concert in the square one night. It was the perfect opportunity for me to get some humanity into my pictures. I just love being a fly on the wall in this type of place!
Here are just a few (haha) more images just from my street wandering in NOLA. I felt so much colorful vibrancy from this city and am so grateful I was able to check it out. I hope you enjoy these images!