Photography Collection Showcase
This holiday season, check out some of our stunning photography collections. These books are among our best sellers when viewed in person, and we would like to convey a bit of their captivating quality to those who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them up close. Most of these books are part of our holiday bundle deals, which range from 30-60% off, so don’t miss the chance to grab a few for the Louisiana enthusiasts in your life!
Ghosts of Good Times: South Louisiana Dance Halls Past and Present examines a world of Cajun dance halls, Zydeco clubs, Chitlin’ Circuit R&B night clubs, Swamp-Pop Honkytonks and other venues that at one time were prevalent throughout the region. Photographs by Philip Gould blend architectural imagery of buildings still standing with historic photographs of the clubs that he took in their heyday. Herman Fuselier and other writers provide a rich selection of historic accounts and essays about their personal experiences in the clubs.
The book also examines the dance hall scene today and how the venues have changed. The music following remains strong and people still come to dance. The surviving old dance halls and newer venues are still in full swing. Old or new, they are icons, a proud south Louisiana legacy of Good Times.
From the "Introduction":
I first stood on Louisiana soil in Lafayette during May of 1982. There, I found myself standing at the crossroads of another culture. Shortly after, I heard about a Clifton Chenier gig scheduled for the next day at the Grant Street Dancehall. Clifton was very ill and could not perform that night, so Rockin’ Dopsie filled in. That evening someone gave me Ambrose Thibodeaux’s name and address written on a paper napkin. This is how it went every trip I took—acquiring names of musicians scribbled on little pieces of paper or cardboard beer coasters. . . . .
This is my story—how I discovered Cajun music and its musicians. Several times I went back; time and again I was surprised by the cultural endurance of this relatively small group of people. Both old and young keep their history alive through a simple bond—the culture, the language, and the songs of their ancestors. . . . This is not a historical document about these people and their music, and it is far from complete when it comes to even musicians. These images instead record my journey into a culture that continually captivates me.
The Good Times Rolled comes from the French phrase laissez les bons temps rouler, which symbolizes the spirit of the city of New Orleans. Festive and flamboyant, the legendary Crescent City is a cauldron in which the spicy flavors of many different cultures and races have blended for nearly three centuries. Bernard Hermann's images capture the unique intensity of New Orleans's African American community and in doing so reveal the true soul of this exotic American city.
African American Trail Riding Clubs have their roots in the Creole culture formed in South Louisiana in the eighteenth century. Today trail rides are an opportunity for generations of people to gather, celebrate, and ride horseback. The riders form a distinctive yet little-known sub-culture in Southwest Louisiana. In addition to sharing an important aspect of Louisiana’s cultural heritage, Ariaz’s photographs assert a counter-narrative to historic representations of the cowboy and prevailing images of difference and despair in Black America.
Dorothea Lange said, “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” My job as a photographer is not to direct or manipulate a picture, it’s to capture something that presents itself to me. The architecture, light, shapes and people have to come together in a special way within the boundaries of my viewfinder. A good photograph is the culmination of life lived, books read, music heard, food eaten, and experiences had.
New Orleans Portrayed represents thousands of hours of wandering and wondering, with good days and bad light, with bad days and good light. Photographers don’t find the picture; pictures find the photographer. As Walker Evans said, “Good photography is unpretentious.” These ideas continue to inspire and drive my work.
Catahoula is more than just a dog picture-book. The origins began in 1993, when photographer John Slaughter was commissioned by a Catahoula-themed restaurant located in Calistoga, California. Following that project, he continued to photograph the Louisiana State Dog. What makes Catahoulas such an interesting subject is that they come in so many different colors, including their eyes. Many of the most striking images are of the dogs' faces. They have an other-worldly stare that says "I am an individual, I am thinking, I am watching, do not assume that I am like other dogs." Included in this book are several owner articles as well as a section entitled "Cowdogs and Cowboys," as Catahoulas are known for their herding instincts.