These are the long awaited edited images that i have promised. Enjoy!

New Orleans has been overrun with devastation, but destruction is not what I saw. Yes, there were signs that a large hurricane came through, but what I saw was re-growth. The city spirit did not die on August of 2005; nor did anyone allow that spirit to stay dormant for long. The stories natives told we unimaginable, but the affect I walked away with lied within the narrator. I did not define the city by how many houses that were missing or destroyed. The empty lots did not tell the story for me. The spray painted marks did not show me what kind of character the city prides itself on. It was the people that welcomed us into their homes, into their lives, and into their city that proved to me that New Orleans was alive and well.

For me to try to relay the stories I was told would never do them justice; I lack the passion and experience that each individual possessed. But the individuals were beautiful; they are the only way to define my experience. They volunteered their hearts and gave us an incite into their vulnerable experiences. The quote that was heard most often was, “…take it one day at a time”; they did not complain nor did they show any frustration. Some individuals made a larger stamp in our memories then others, but each of them gave us a piece of New Orleans.

I spent a week in New Orleans; my impact on that city was minuscule, almost impossible to measurable. At the most, there are a few receipt stubs with my name on them as proof of my existence there. When we put several peoples small impacts together, you begin to affect a city. Us, as a whole, band together and make a positive influence on the city. The volunteers, the city residence, and the tourist all have a role to play to recreating New Orleans. My wish and hopes to this vibrant city are to never let the spirit die; this is what will allow the city to regain its standing to what it once was and, it may allow it to grow stronger then it has ever been.


It's coming!!!

I have every intention to put up several images that have not been shown on my blog and I will have a final reflection of the the trip posted along with the debut of several unseen photographs!

Also, there is exciting news that includes the whole group. We have a gallery show opening on Saturday, April 19th that includes a few photographs from each of us.

938 Days Later: New Orleans Now
Traffic Zone
250 third ave n
mpls, mn 55401
April 19-25
Opening reception 4/19/08


Day Seven & Eight - March 30, 2008 & March 31, 2008

6:30-Lower 9th ward
9:00-Back at hotel
9:30-Check out of hotel
10:00-Drive to airport
11:00-Arrive at airport
12:00-completely miss departure time for Texas thanks to delays
1:45-Fly out of New Orleans

3:00-Miss flight to Mpls by hour - Huge mess!!!!
7:00-Fly to Arkansas
8:05-Arrive in Arkansas
10:30-Get to hotel

4:00 am-wake up call
7:00-flight to Chicago

8:30-find out flight canceled into Mpls
4:00-fly out of Chicago into Mpls
5:40-arrive on runway in Minneapolis St. Paul airport

Reactions: We only had a short time to shoot the lower 9th ward on Saturday, so we came back early Sunday morning. We were there just after sunrise so the the light was perfect, it was only enhanced when a sudden fog rolled in and caused many of my images to glow. It was a perfect morning shoot to end the intense week.

Day Six - March 29, 2008

8:00-Leave for swamp tour
9:00-Swamp tour - Gators!!!
11:00-End of swamp tours
12:00-Tree planting event
2:00-Check out lower 9th
3:30-Group critique
5:00-2nd power shop session
7:00-Group ate in French Quarter
10:00-Walk on Bourbon

Reactions: It was a full agenda today. Fourteen of us pilled into two vans and saw a swamp tour; the highlight was the massive gator that we saw. Once we were all finished with the swamp tour we drove back to the 9th ward to photograph a tree planting event which was close to the neighborhood we were in on Wednesday. This event required us to follow a shot list, similar to if we were shooting an actual editorial event. The afternoon ended with us stopping at the 9th ward; several of us students from both classes had yet to see that area. It was striking to see the absence of houses in that area. There were some houses that were rebuilt, but not many. Other houses were untouched with all their belongings inside, and other houses remains were only a slab were it had once laid. It reinforced the fact that only half the population had returned to New Orleans, and many that have returned are now homeless.


Day Five - March 28, 2008

8:45-Group meets in Lobby
9:00-St. Louis Cemetery

10:30-Street Car
11:30-Audubon Park (entire group picnic)

3:00-Street Car
4:00-Power Shop for suviniours
5:00-Shoot levees
7:30-Eat at Juan's Flying Burrito

Reactions: This morning we walked to the St. Louis Cemetery. In contrast to the Greenwood cemetery that we visited a few days earlier, this cemetery was not as well kept. It caused me to able to feel more comfortable; it allowed me to get my hands dirty. We spent just under an hour shooting there and then moved on to have a picnic with the entire group at Audubon Park!

The picnic was in Audubon Park which is in a very nice neighborhood. Before we headed back on the street car we walked a few blocks and took a few photographs of the homes in that area.

The last part of the day was spent shooting near one of the levees by Lake Pontchartrain. We encounter with a house that was deserted after Katrina. It almost looked like all the belongings were put into a giant basket and then dumped upside down. Where ever it landed it stayed and so there it stood 30 months later. The infamous "mold" that I had heard about was scattered across their bedroom and living room walls; everything was cover with dirt. With the back walls missing, a blue bedroom was exposed. It was filled with all the toys a young boy would ever want or need; it caused me to realize that a family once called it home. You wonder what happened to this family and only hope that they all survived the devastation that their house did not.


Day Four - March 27, 2008

Schedule: 6:45-group meets in lobby
7:00-Photograph Rebuilding New Orleans Organization
11:00-Ate at Mother's (good food)

3:30-Algiers neighborhood
8:00-order pizza and edit photos

Reactions: This morning we woke up early and met a man named Jon, who is with the organization Rebuilding New Orleans. He walked us through three neighborhoods and their warehouse. The first person we met was Sidney, who's house is located in the Holy Cross neighborhood. The construction on his house is soon to be finished and he will be living in it soon! Our second location was in the upper 9th ward. We did not meet the home owners, but we did meet the volunteers who were helping to tear down the damaged house. The third house was owned by Miss Gibbs; she had just moved into her new home the day before we visited her. This women welcomed 15 strangers into her home! She may be one of the strongest women i may ever meet while I was there; she had lost everything two and half years ago and she was thankful for what she had. She was left with no family and without a crack in her voice she left us her thoughts; to take it one day a time. Miss Gibbs taught us all something that day; I guarantee we all walked away with a fond memory of a sweet old lady who through diversity refused to be brought down.


Day Three - March 26, 2008

Schedule: 6:45-Group meets on lobby
7:00-Photograph Habitat for Humanity
12:30-back at hotel

4:30-street car

6:45-7:15-wait for street car!
10:45-Sleep Time!!!

Reaction: It was a early morning, we started in a neighborhood of the upper 9th ward where the Habitat for Humanity was building houses for local musicians. We started early enough to get the morning light. I spent much of the day photographing brightly colored houses and the construction of those
houses. I was given a chance to run around almost on my own and work on images. I found the images that I like best were the ones when "the moment" showed up unexpectedly while I was setting up for another shot.

Late afternoon we then grabbed a street car and headed towards the Greenwood cemetery along Canal Street. We were informed that the cemetery may be closed, but we ran into a woman who guided us to a opening in the fence. We shot there for just over an hour and then preceded to get another street car back. I am beginning to notice a trend in the transportation system here; it makes me appreciate the system in Minneapolis to say the least. We wait for a half hour for a street car to come by; the kicker of it all is that for the whole half hour we could see the street car, but had to wait until it came towards us. The whole experience in general was humorous.