The Archive Series


It was hot.

As you all know, I’m working through some relevance issues.

A good friend of mine and another colleague were talking to me about it. My colleague is going through the same thing, except that he may have a destination when he works through this. It is good to know that a number of us who are about the same vintage are dealing with these issues. We aren’t alone.

My friend talked about a lot of things. One was how my professional life brought me a great personal life. I often forget that. My art has always been wrapped around my entire life. So, he was very right.

He made a couple of suggestions as far as my work goes. The first is that maybe my new website with an old name — my name  — could archive ALL of my best work. And, maybe I could publish a book of all of it.


The archive is a great idea.

The book is a good idea. I’ve done that in the past. You know, “Best of 2017.” Something like that. It’s expensive and the cost is pretty much just sunk. I doubt anybody would buy it because the cost to me would be around $400 or $500. And, who really wants “Ray’s Archive?” If I limited a second book to only images made around New Orleans, a library might want a copy for its shelves, but that’s about it. No. I’m not about to sell it on Amazon for $1.99. What a waste of time that would be.

The archive. Wow. I started that last night just by scrolling through my WordPress media collection. I now have an understanding of why I’m feeling a little toasty. I’ve been back in New Orleans for about seven years. I didn’t photograph so much for about the first six months. We were getting settled and doing all the stuff that goes with a big move and learning about city that was about 80% destroyed after Hurricane Katrina.

Then I started working. I made photographs as much and as often as I could.

Given that I have another kind of job and I photograph a lot for clients, my personal output is stunning. I asked a couple of people to scroll through the archive on an iPad. Their impressions were that the good work never stops. And, it rarely repeats. If it repeats, it’s an experiment.

If I add New Orleans 2012-2018 to the rest of my career’s body of work, it’s very, very bigly. A lot of pictures really surprised me. It’s not that I had forgotten them, but — oh, I might as well admit it — I had forgotten them. I used to photograph a lot of book projects for various authors and publishing companies. To me those were always little collections or mini-portfolios. At the time, nothing stood out to me. But, after taking them apart I have been happily surprising myself. The image subject matter and quality is why I was so busy doing that for a time. I never really saw that while I was in the middle of it.

That’s how it goes.


For a while, you’ll be seeing unearthed archive images that will soon be available at That’s where my focus will be. I’m still thinking about how they will be available. Obviously, y’all will be able to view them. But, then what?


Summer second line parades are hot. Everybody needs a drink now and again. The parade was called “Revolution.” Wearing your Sunday best can take a lot out of you if you walk about five or six miles.

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