What is your favorite rig to shoot on?
I shot on my last rig, a Nikon D7000 with either a 105mm prime lens or a 17-35mm zoom lens, for about eight years from 2011 to 2018. I trusted it through some of my very first gigs as a professional photographer and it got me far.
What are your goals as a photographer?
I have been working very hard for the last five years to be on the road with bands and musicians as much as possible and that is just now becoming my reality.
Trumpeter Emily Mikesell backstage before taking the stage with Trumpet Mafia for their fifth anniversary performance at the 2019 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
Big Freedia on stage with a young fan, 2019 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
What is your favorite thing about photography?
I take tremendous personal pride in having a tangible skill to be able to build a life around as well as having some sort of artistry inside me with which to convey that skill. I am also consistently and positively overwhelmed by the fact that every musician I have worked with has led to a relationship that would not exist without the expression of our art.
What is your least favorite thing?
What advice do you have for other photographers?
Something that I fell for (and still do sometimes) in my first few years of shooting professionally is the lingering stereotype that photographers are all loners or are unapproachable. If you have questions about how an image was made, reach out to that artist. If you are new in town and want to get started, get coffee with some of the local people who are already doing something close to what you’d like to be doing. You may not hear back, you may hear “no,” but you also may learn something that changes your course entirely.
Top photo: Tarriona “Tank” Ball preps with her dancers and vocalists Angelika “Jelly” Joseph and Tia Henderson backstage before their 2019 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival appearance