Film photo of French Quarter and CBD New Orleans by Paul Ottaviano

Film photo of Center Business District from French Quarter. New Orleans, LA.

It’s a cliché, but no less true, to say that it’s impossible to really describe New Orleans. So I won’t even begin to try for you. Sure, I can describe it to you literally. Canal St. –> Garden District was American and muted –> French Quarter was Spanish/French/Creole and lively –> modern-day music, food, the people, 24/7, etc.

To go deep into the undercurrents and character of this dynamic flash point city is near impossible to write. All I can really say is that it must be experienced, and on your own terms. And FFS people, don’t just spend all of your time on Bourbon St… or do, whatever, it’s New Orleans. But there is a cool city beyond it, I swear!

I count myself as very fortunate to have visited for a week last month. My old Nikon FE2 film camera and Holga toy film camera were along for the ride. The point wasn’t “Serious Photography” or “Professional Photography”.

My only goal was to have fun and mix with nice locals. The film photographs were a thing to do whenever I felt like snapping a shot. Sometimes I got it, sometimes not. You’ll just have to forgive the dust from my old scanner. It’s New Orleans. Accept things as they are, but hope to make something better out of it.

Shooting photos there was intuitive, contextual, sensual, fleeting, and street wise… all much like the city… I guess. Actually, who the hell knows? It’s New Orleans.

I should also thank the people I met in my travels, all who made me feel welcome.

The great guys at St. Charles Guest House, Dennis and Jake. Evan, Cesar, Lil’ Jenn, Pope, Rene, Aum, Randy, Mohamed, Scott, Edward, Daniel Raised by Witches, and John the man at the laundromat. To the random friendly woman on the street car, to the street car drivers, to my taxi driver who drove 90 mph from the airport and the sane cab driver. To the oyster shuckers and jivers at Felix and cooks and servers everywhere. To so many I crossed paths with, even the hustlers and in particular Mr. Street Poet. The many people in fleeting moments whose name I didn’t get or remember but whose influence was felt, thank you.

Special thank you to the musicians and people I photographed. You sent me home elated.

To see more of New Orleans, check out my FE2 and Holga galleries.



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