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Oct. 04, 2016

History of NOLA Photography Part 2: Early 20th Century-Civil Rights Movement

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Note: This piece is part 2 in a series of the brief history of photography in New Orleans. Check out Part 1 for the introduction.

EARLY 20TH CENTURY

During this period, the social progress of Reconstruction waned and Jim Crow laws advanced de jure (of the law) segregation. One of the most prolific photographic works to be created during this time is the Storyville series by E.J. Bellocq, a white Creole and native of the city. Storyville was New Orleans’ legal red light district that existed until 1917. Although the prints were not discovered and made public until the 1970s, the photos themselves were taken around 1912 and provided an intimate look into the lives of sex workers and their patrons in Storyville.

Seated sex worker in Storyville, circa 1912. Photo credit: E.J. Bellocq

Black photographers were not able to enter the mainstream photography industry through traditional means during this time due to a lack of access to formal training because of segregation. That didn’t stop them from self-educating and telling the stories of themselves and their communities. A.P. Bedou and his mentee Villard Paddio are two of the most well-known Black photographers from this era. Bedou, after shooting a Tuskegee conference in the early 1900s, was hired as Booker T. Washington’s personal photographer and eventually opened his own studio in New Orleans. He was also the official institution photographer of Xavier University, who holds the largest collection of his work to this day. His work was even featured in the wide-circulation newspaper Louisiana Times-Picayune and he even has works from his 70-year career available at the Library of Congress.

Villard Paddio exclusively focused on the Black experience in NOLA for his Crescent City Pictorial. Cicrca 1926.

The work of Villard Paddio mostly focused on the social and civic lives of Black people in New Orleans, including the burgeoning jazz scene. He is responsible for the Crescent City Pictorial, a small booklet that contained photographs of Black life in New Orleans in the early 1900s. These aren’t names we really hear when talking about photography in New Orleans but their influence is definitely still felt, especially because much of their work is still available in digital form.

Florestine Perrault Bertrand Collins, a Black female photographer, began her training as a preteen and specialized in portraits from her home studio. She was so successful that she was eventually able to purchase commercial property for her studio. She was initially able to gain work as an assistant to white photographers by passing as white. In 1920, she was one of only 101 Black female photographers listed on the United States census. Despite advancements and access to education, Black women still only make up a very small percentage of photographers around the country.

“Portrait of a Young Woman and Boy Dressed in White”, Florestine Perrault Collins, c. 1920~1928

Amongst these photographers also stands a New Orleans Civil Rights Movement legend who is still alive today. Ronnie Moore, a New Orleans native, worked on the frontlines of the movement from the 1960s into the 1970s and is still active in anti-mass incarceration work today. As a student at Southern University, he was expelled with 20 other students for trying to integrate lunch counters. In total, he was arrested 15 times and spent 57 days in solitary confinement. As a field secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), he was up close and personal with much of the work done in Louisiana for much of the movement. His photos help tell the story of the movement as it shifted from direct action and violent clashes with authorities in the 1960s, to internal work within the Black community toward economic determinism. His photos are available in the Amistad Research Center’s collections.

Ronnie Moore captured this clash between citizens and police officers in Bougaloosa, LA during the Freedom Summer of 1964.

 

 

 

Next week, I’ll be profiling photographers who made their mark as New Orleans recovered from the tumultuous Civil Rights Era and approached the new century.

Sep. 21, 2016

Why Photography Became My Passion

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Editor’s Note: Gigsy is so lucky to welcome Shontione Day to our team. It’s a funny story how we came together. Gigsy was contracted to create images for Youth Force NOLA (a local organization that develops soft-skills with talented young people and places them with businesses like us!). A couple of days after the gig, we got a call from one of their directors asking if we would be interested in hosting a lovely young woman with an interest in photography. Needless to day, we said YES!

The camera was always my best friend,

It didn’t matter if I was in front the camera or behind it, I always felt better when I was taking pictures or just talking about photography. Throughout school I was always the shy one, I never really gave myself a voice. Nobody knew the passion I had for photography, not even the people closest to me. Photography was never exposed to me, I exposed myself to it.

Youth Force Training
Youth Force Training

The first time I touched a camera I was ten years old. I only grabbed it because I was bored and there was nothing else better to do, it was a Polaroid Onestep Vintage Film Camera, but as time went on i started using it more and more and it soon became a big love for me.

 

Myself at 7yrs old
Shontione at 7 years old.

What keeps me so interested in photography is

how you’re able to tell a story or even create an emotion through an image. The details are mesmerizing and you have a huge amount of freedom and there are no rules-It’s my own world. I always liked being able to create what I wanted how I wanted it so nobody else’s opinion mattered but mine. The ability to challenge somebody into thinking about the story I was trying to tell is what I loved the most and what made a good photo to me.

China Town in New York City

I started putting my passion into reality five years ago and every year I grew as a person, so did my photography skills. I truly believe that the process of growth will allow you to come across open minded people. I’ve never worked with any type of photography business before, it was always working with friends on small projects or bringing a camera just for fun when we got together just to post pictures on Twitter or Instagram.

Gigsy is my first real time working with a photography business. In all honesty, I never thought wanting to be a photographer would become a goal of mine. I know that working with Gigsy will help me progress with photography and create some long lasting friendships.

You’ll definitely be hearing from me soon!

Jun. 06, 2016

Gigsy Supports the Good Work of the Innocence Project New Orleans

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Some organizations just make sense.

The Innocence Project New Orleans is one of those organizations.

One of the troubling institutions of great size and historical power in New Orleans (and Louisiana for that matter) is the criminal justice system. For years young black men have been incarcerated for crimes they did not commit based on shreds of evidence.

Many of these men have died in prison for these crimes they did not commit.

The Innocence Project works to exonerate those men by bringing their cases back to trial with new evidence that can verifiably prove the innocence of these incarcerated men.

They’ve gotten 27 men exonerated in the past 15 years.

Gigsy.co is happy to give our time, effort, and talents in supporting the Innocence Project and their 15th Anniversary Gala.

The evening was led by IPNO Director, Emily Maw and City Councilman at Large, Jason Williams and included musical interludes, a Jacques-Imos Catered dinner, and many of the exonerated men and their families themselves.

Here’s to 15 more years of freeing the innocent:

IPNO_GIGSY_2016-8 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-10 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-19 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-22 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-27 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-34 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-38 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-49 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-72 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-74 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-78 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-92 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-95 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-99 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-104 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-106 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-110 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-115 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-118 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-127 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-133 IPNO_GIGSY_2016-139

Jun. 02, 2016

Learn to Edit like Gigsy (A Free Present!)

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Everyone should have access to excellent photography

We really think so!

To make sure that we’re making good on our mission, we designed an opportunity for folks who enjoy shooting to access quality training in photo editing.

Editing is the most misunderstood part of a photographer’s workflow, but it doesn’t have to be! We designed this course to be accessible regardless of your shooting equipment or editing technology.

Using whatever camera you already have and your cell phone, you can edit high quality imagery.

giphy

Yes you.

And we want to give it to you for free so we can help you be the best photographer you can be.

Head to our COURSE PAGE and use the code GIGSYEVENTS to get the course for free!

Happy editing!

SML

 

Jun. 01, 2016

PlayBuild NOLA brings the Fun to Congo Square

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All we had to do was follow the sound of laughter

To the side of the main stage at Congo Square Festival, tucked behind the artist tents, were two tables of legos and magnetized building blocks accompanied by a pile of blue foam construction equipment. It was a child’s dream.

Angela welcomed us warmly to PlayBuild. With the breadth of activity and fun family engagement, it was easy to cover the day visually. We had one main shooter (Robert), and one apprentice shooter (Torres) working the gig. It was a blast and we know the images speak for themselves to the great morning had at Congo Square Fest.

 

PlayBuild-4 PlayBuild-11 PlayBuild-51 PlayBuild-65 PlayBuild-74 PlayBuild-103

PlayBuild-14 PlayBuild-20 PlayBuild-44 PlayBuild-60 PlayBuild-62

May. 24, 2016

unCommon Construction Hires Gigsy to Tell Their Home Tale

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unCommon Construction isn’t your Typical Building Company

We at Gigsy had the pleasure of connecting with Aaron Frumin, the founder and Executive Director of unCommon Construction, to help them tell the story of a house, and this wasn’t just any house. Using an apprenticeship model similar to Gigsy, a cohort of high school students work on a construction site alongside talented construction pros, building a real-life-in-your-face-home from start to finish!

Over the course of a number of weekends we were able to document the growth of the space from a flat sheet of plywood raised above the ground on posts, to a fully framed home with two bedrooms and comfortable living areas for the new owners.

Our students and pros used a mix of short lenses to capture the full width of the home, to long lenses for shooting up close and personal with the ends of hammers and power tools.

Enjoy a fun set of images that convey the story of building a home, and enjoy watching Aaron accept a hearty donation to help propel unCommon Construction onto their next and greater work!

UncommonConstruction-94UncommonConstruction-87 UncommonConstruction-52UncommonConstruction-12UncommonConstruction-98unCommon2ndRD-34unCommon2ndRD-52unCommon2ndRD-78 unCommon2ndRD-83 unCommon2ndRD-86unCommon2ndRD-125

May. 24, 2016

Shooting the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce Gala

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Some gigs require teams of shooters.

Our shoot for the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Gala was one of those gigs. The wonderful folks in the office let us know that they were looking for two professional shooters for the black tie optional event at the Saints training facility.

Gigsy shooter Vanessa handled the step-and-repeat with the Lombardi Trophy and championship ring, while Robert spent the first half of the evening focusing on candid shots of the people in attendance (there was even a Lamborghini!).

Enjoy some of the takeaways from a great night:

JCC-GALA-57 JCC-GALA-259 JCC-GALA-50 JCC-GALA2-43 JCC-GALA2-44 JCC-GALA2-123 JCC-GALA2-136 JCC-GALA2-144 JCC-GALA2-216

Feb. 18, 2016

Gigsy Student Photos Featured on ToolMade Site

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It’s always a pleasure to see the work of talented young folks in print.

Three of our Gigsy high school photographers recently had the opportunity to share their work with the construction world with a feature on ToolMade’s site HERE.

We recommend checking out the link above, but here are a few examples of the great work they produced:

UncommonConstruction-76-min UncommonConstruction-96-min UncommonConstruction-98-min UncommonConstruction-12-min

 

Oct. 10, 2014

Oshine – a Creative Multipurpose WordPress theme

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Oct. 10, 2014

If You Are Good At Something, Don’t Do It For Free

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Oct. 10, 2014

Woocommerce, WPML, Master Slider and much more

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Oct. 10, 2014

Twelve Stunning and Unique Demos

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Oct. 10, 2014

Its hard not to flaunt when you do stuff like this

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Oct. 10, 2014

Design is not how things looks, but how things work

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Oct. 10, 2014

Its time to change the web, one pixel at a time

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Oct. 10, 2014

Youtube & Vimeo videos

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Oct. 10, 2014

Soundcloud Audio Post Format

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Oct. 10, 2014

How to make a million dollars ?

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