Photographing Louisiana Musicians and Creating Community - Photographing What You Love! / by Zack Smith

"Shoot what you love, shoot what you know 'cause no one loves what you love more than you know...bro"
 

Ain't that the truth! I have always loved a good story, I love hearing that story from people. I play music, I listen to music all the time! Cajun, Zydeco, Rock n Roll - if the spirit moves then i'll follow! I have been chasing and photographing this spirit of music, story, and people the day I picked up a camera. I am always looking for more ways to collaborate with the people I photograph whether it's doing a wild and fun location shoot in a remote swamp, or teaming up with them to promote something we do. As a cultural documentarian through my photography, I can't help but be drawn to the music. That's why I created this promo series for my French Quarter Festival Photography Workshop called "Will You Be Ready..." Where I preview a performer I have shot in the past, talk about that shot and give you some tips on shooting festivals! 

Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers....a FORCE to be reckoned with!

Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers....a FORCE to be reckoned with!

As a staff photographer for French Quarter Festivals, I have many duties and need to be in a few places at once. We have a group of volunteer photographers who have specific stages and work for specific hours. I have certain shows and performances I need to be present for, but the times in between are where I am looking for the magic and ready for anything. It was pouring down rain one day last year and Dwayne Dopsie jumped off stage with his rub board player and continued playing as we walked around the crowd. I was currently away from the Chevron Zydeco/Cajun Stage but I ran through the crowd to get this shot. Since it was so overcast I used my Canon 580EX that was mounted on my 5D Mark III 17-40mm camera/lens. I chose a wide lens so I could capture the moment of music directly in front of me but also the "sea of cell phones" and converging lines of the French Quarter...

SIGN UP FOR HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH FRENCH QUARTER FEST TODAY! Learn these techniques, tips and MORE from me! April 6th, 2016!