25 Jul New Orleans- Destination Boudoir Photography Retreat (scouting, day one)
I don’t know what I was expecting of New Orleans, but this wasn’t it.
New Orleans is a Southern Belle fallen on hard times- I feel like I’m probably accidentally plagiarizing when I write that, but forgive me if I am because it describes it so perfectly. This city is full of beautiful houses in varying states of disrepair and streets of quirky shops just off from ones you aren’t supposed to walk in. Incredible food, friendly people, and pockets of history and tragedy enough to remind me to be grateful for my charmed life. It’s hot, but not as hot as it should be, so my luck is holding so far.
The house we’re staying at is lovely and our host warmly eccentric. There’s a sphinx- the bald cat kind- named Tazer, and while unsettling he’s growing on us. He’s startlingly soft and very CAT, suddenly intent on grooming his nonexistent fur just when we want to take his noble picture.
Yesterday we went to see the first possible site for the retreat, and it is incredible. Unbelievable. Jaw-droppingly perfect. It’s an old historic compound, with a main house, slave quarters and another house (I lost track of the story while trying not to be overwhelmed by excitement). There are beautiful carvings, stained glass and sculptures, a walkway from one balcony to another, a beautiful pool to cool off (and shoot!) in, lush vegetation and stone, stone everywhere. There are places where the air feels thick with history and I started to believe in hauntings. Everything is shockingly gorgeous and perfect, and we’ve put a request for a contract in.
Also, we really did almost rent an alligator. More about this later.
Last night we wandered down Magazine Street (we’re staying at one end) and looked in the windows of lovely but safely closed shops and tried to decide where to eat. In the end it was Italian, and the coal-fired shrimp with my pasta have altered my soul in ways I cannot fully express. I am fulfilled.
Today we will go hunt for outfits for the model in thrift stores and costume-ers, then shoot, then meet up with Meg’s friend Jan, then shoot, then have dinner. Tomorrow on our way back to Houston we’ll stop to meet with my friend John, owner of Insta-Gator Farms (I couldn’t make this up) and use ourselves as models for some mild gator boudoir.
Love this city.