The survivor.

New Orleans stories.

Some I have to dredge up from deep in my memory. Others not so much. This is one of the others.

I was walking down the street in Treme. I was headed to a second line. I didn’t know there was a second line that started earlier. A jazz funeral. As I passed by, I saw this man sitting on a box in front of what I assumed was his home. A couple of friends were standing with him and talking.

Look at this man. How could I not ask if I could make his picture? He said yes and I did my thing. Afterward, I asked if he was headed to the second line that I came to photograph. He shook his head and said no.

One of his friends told me something that sticks with me to this day. He said that this man had just finished playing in a second line. A jazz funeral. I asked, “who was it for?” His friend replied, “his brother.”

Looking at the picture now, I can see the pain in his eyes. But, it never occurred to me when I was photographing him, just as it never occurred to him to shake his head no, and say something like, “not today.”

It’s good portrait. It’s nothing earth-shaking, but it matters to me.

Advertisements

6 Replies to “New Orleans… A Story”

  1. The expression on this gentleman’s face…I can’t imagine “not” feeling anything even if we didn’t know his story. As cliche as it sounds, images such as this one do express more than a thousand words. Thank you very much for sharing, Mr. Ray.

    Best wishes,
    Takami

    Like

  2. Maybe you didn’t literally see his pained expression when you were drawn to him, but possibly you saw into his heart with your heart. Possibly, your instinct to take his picture stemmed from empathy and the desire to document him, as he was, at that moment. Just maybe. I imagine that after all these years with the camera in front of you, your instincts about people you photograph are like muscle memory, and you just know when there’s a story behind the face. Just maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just maybe. Actually, I get very Zen about street photography (for lack of a better genre). I have routines to get me into my zone while I’m still at home. I try to stay there while I’m getting to the place I am going to work. When I work, I try to empty my mind of all thought and just react to what I see. That could open my up empathically, but because I try not to think, I may just not have thought of it. Something to think about later.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Creative Attributes

Where creative art is appreciated

Child of the border

Short stories and poems about my experience with growing up near the U.S. Mexico border.

Halyna Viktoria

Photography

Karine Leroux Photography

Textures - Patterns - Minimalism - Abstraction

ADNAN KRNDZIJA

FASHION · HEALTH & TRAVEL BLOGGER

LezBeeHonest-FromAGalaxyFarFarAway

Don't let her be "The one that got away".

Relax with Bronte

Self care isn't self indulgence... Self care is self respect.

Sea Turnstone

Photography, Travelling, Wildlife

Serendipity!

Photographer, Designer, Editor and Educator Ray Laskowitz talks about pictures and their back stories.

... le blog de Walter PASCOLI

Art contemporain , peintures et dessins ...

Vova Zinger's Photoblog

The world around through my camera's lens

The Bouquet

A collection of beautiful things and thoughts

The Trichordist

Artists For An Ethical and Sustainable Internet #StopArtistExploitation

Curious Appetites

Exploring the flavors of home, around town and nearby communities

Cumbria | The Lake District

An Eclectic Mix Of Revelation By Baldy. A Blog About Cumbria, Home Of The UNESCO Lake District National Park. Photographs, Paintings, Sketches & More. Mountains Are My Bones; Rivers My Veins; Forests My Thoughts.

Unpopular Judge

Exploring the Death of Storytelling in Movies

SURYA PHOTOGRAPHY

Through Photo, we speak our language

The Art of Blogging

For bloggers who aspire to inspire

%d bloggers like this: