Welcome to our third annual photo issue, which we present to you in the most brutal depths of a New Orleans summer. It’s always funny to me how the August AG is a chance for the staff to “slack off” and “take a break” from the usual, verbose grind, yet it still ends up being quite the endeavor (and a few extra pages!). Wrangling a dozen photographers is a lot like herding cats. By nature of their craft they are a stealthy and obsessive lot, thrown far and wide into the great beyond and when they’ll pop up, who knows? So, many thanks to this year’s contributors, old and new, for showing up when everyone else seems to be checked out or passed out.
It’s not easy to be a photographer in 2015. Expenses are at an all-time high and rates are at an all-time low. Instagram and social media in general have reduced the photographed image to postage stamp size and an “everything ’s free, right?” sense of entitlement. And with amazing optics in cell phones, everyone fancies themselves an auteur these days. Yes, this issue is also a chance for my annual airing of grievances, but I will keep it mercifully short this year. Carry on, ‘grammers and iPhone Pennebakers.
Besides being our version of a staycation, this issue is, at its heart, a celebration of the art of photography and especially how it manifests itself in New Orleans. My hope, as always, is that some of these pages will find themselves preserved and reflected upon in the future, in a way Instagram can never touch. It’s also a great way to pause and look back on the year that’s been, before we make that renewed effort for the autumn. So stay cool, stay hydrated, and be kind to your local photographer. They’re making sure we remember it right.