On the road every week for 24 years I was privileged to meet so many great people and enjoy so many experiences. Though most things I shot ran in the magazine the edits were often very tight. Some stories didn’t work out for reasons beyond my control.
Going back through files the past couple months has be rewarding and humbling too. There were many shoots I thought were ok at the time but looking back just feel flat. Others have a wealth of images in them I still love but never made print for lack of space. Each file I open brings back the people, sounds, successes. failures, travails and experiences.
One of my favorites was a story on how music is helping preserve the ‘cajun’ french in Southwest Louisiana. I love the area, the people, the music and the food. I got to hang out with some great musicians including Marc, Ann and Joel Savoy, all extraordinarily talented but also wonderful in the many ways they give back to the area. I also spend time at the home of Christine Balfa and Dirk Powell and their two beautiful children. Unfortunately they’re no longer together. In fact their photos were a large part of the story and between the shoot and going to print they split. It had an impact on how the story played in the magazine.
I worked with one of the best writers and nicest people ever in Valerie Luesse. We drove all over Bayou Country in Pearl, her white Cadillac. We hit dance halls like the great Whirlybird and we went out with a local conservationist pre-dawn into a Virgin Mangrove forested lake for sunrise and did a little crabbing on the way back in . And of course we had our share of local cuisine. I might have had more than my share.