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Operation Travel: New Orleans

Operation Travel: New Orleans

Whether I am traveling for a wedding, portrait shoots, or just my own personal adventures, unique locations provoke creativity for me. It is inspiring to visit new places, and even just observing the everyday, local residents gets me feeling excited and driven to create. That is why I have decided I want to start a series focused on sharing some of my favorite destinations from around the world with you all. It gives me an opportunity to show off some of the travel photos I have been able to take over the years, and you the chance to start planning out your next great adventure. Because, after all, there should always be a next great adventure!

I thought a great place to start would be New Orleans, both because of the history and diverse culture, and because of how this town plays into so many of my passions – photos, food, music and dancing available in spades! I visited recently with some friends for a swing dance festival, and we had an absolute blast. Listening to jazz, eating amazing food, and wandering down streets that were too incredible not to photograph – I was in my own little version of heaven. And it pretty much convinced me that everyone needs to take a trip to New Orleans because its basically an adult version of Disneyland.

Here is the thing about The Big Easy: You will never find another place like it, not anywhere in the world.

The individualism (and subsequent absurdity) that runs through this town is electric. It makes you feel like you could be anyone, or do anything. And it certainly fuels a creative fire for many who visit or live there. How could it not? The uniqueness of the city is enough to make you feel as though you have landed smack dab in the middle of an alternate universe – one where creativity and color ranks far above stuffy suits and business meetings.

jen8333And the food… how could anyone ever resist that food?

The distinctive flavors that can be found in New Orleans are nothing short of to-die-for. The seafood, the spices and the options that you can’t really find anywhere else; there is no reason anyone should go through life without spending a bit of time taste testing throughout NOLA. I know I ate my share of calories while we were there, but then again – we were doing so much dancing and walking that it didn’t even really matter. And that’s the beauty; if you want to, you can make your trip to New Orleans every bit as active as a vacation anywhere else. Just be sure to bring your dancing shoes, because there is no reason you shouldn’t be shaking your hips come 3pm or so.

Which is obviously what brought us there. I love swing dancing, and this was an amazing location for a swing dance festival – thank you!


The energy and excitement was just perfect for getting people up on their feet and moving. And the drinking… well, let’s not pretend there aren’t plenty of libations to go around in NOLA. In fact, it is possible I heard there are more bars per capita in New Orleans than anywhere else in the country. But then again, that fits, doesn’t it? The wild and free vibe runs rampant through the streets, and there is something to be said for letting loose while you take it all in.

Of course, even if drinking and dancing isn’t your thing, there is still plenty to see and do in New Orleans. This is a town that has been crushed and built back up like a Phoenix, with the art and history to back up and prove that journey. I could honestly have wandered the streets for weeks, and still not found every location worth photographing. I have no doubt you could find the same.

The moral of the story? Add New Orleans to your must-see list.

And while we’re at it… what other locations are you dying to hear (and see) more about?


dance graffiti | check out the sign over the doorway, oops.


Your truly dancing at the Spotted Cat, iphone doesn’t do so well in low-light, but you get the idea


Typical French Quarter street scene


Aftermath of Katrina is still very visible | A very packed St. Charles Street Car