New Orleans Travel Photography

My New Orleans Travel Guide

New Orleans continues to be my favorite city in the world. It’s vibrant unique culture and diverse tolerant population of characters continues to draw me back, again and again.  It’s impossible not to fall in love with the people, the food, and the music of this incredible city.  After a few years away, I returned to New Orleans this time for Jazz Fest, which I hadn’t been to since before Katrina. Although some of my New Orleans Travel Guide remains the same, there’s a few new haunts I fell in love with listed below the photos.

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STAY:  Every neighborhood in New Orleans has it’s own unique feel and vibe, but I always encourage you to think outside the French Quarter when staying in this city so that you really get a feel for the varied cultures and differing architecture of the city.  While hotels and bed and breakfast’s abound, there’s also a great selection of rooms and entire homes on Airbnb and VRBO to choose from when visiting my favorite city in the world.

  • The Garden District: up river from the French Quarter, St Charles winds it’s way along the river bank into a neighborhood filled with colossal columned porches, lush overgrown green gardens, and wrought iron gates.  Magazine Street offers hip new restaurants, small independently owned boutiques and now, a trendy but delicious donut store.  Stay here if you want to really embrace that southern gentility and envision yourself drinking champs on a porch while the streetcar rolls by.
  • The Marigny used to be a secret, but it’s proximity to Frenchman Street and it’s laundry list of amazing nooks and crannies to explore has made it more popular.  The Marigny’s eclectic mix of late-Georgian, one-story Creole cottages and shotguns that are vibrantly colored make you want to wander down a different street every day on your way through town.  Stay here if you want to be close to the nightlife, but just out of the way of the French Quarter drunkards.
  • Mid-City is perfect if you’re coming to New Orleans for a festival.  It’s proximity to the fairgrounds means that you can walk to the fest while you’re feeling sparky during the day, but taxi and LYFT around to the nightlife at night when your feet are feeling the pressure.  From grand mansions, to shotgun doubles, to Victorian style homes, you’ll see a varied mix of architecture here, but none lacking in charm.  Make sure you head to the Parkway Tavern on your way home from the fest one day.  It’s one of the best po-boys in the city.

EAT: this list gets longer every time I return to New Orleans.  It’s been over a decade since Katrina and the restaurant scene here has really flourished in recent years.  There are a few of my stand-out favorites on this list, and some new ones that I discovered this trip around.

  • Elizabeth’s in the Bywater (don’t skip the Praline bacon), Slim Goodies Diner in the Garden District, and The Ruby Slipper Cafe are breakfast standouts.  The Ruby Slipper now has locations all over the city.  Cake Cafe and Bakery in the Marigny is also a great breakfast stop-off, where breakfast is served six days a week all day.
  • Jacques-Imo’s is still one of my favorite restaurants in the city.  It’s raucous atmosphere, incredible menu and alternative vibe have me returning again and again.  Expect a bit of a wait, but you can always head next door to the Maple Leaf for a drink.  For a real experience, come here on Tuesday night for dinner and then head on over to the Maple Leaf to see Rebirth Brass Band play their weekly show.
  • The list of restaurants on this page with James Beard awards is astounding and La Petite Grocery is part of that club for good reason.  The turtle bolognese was incredible and it didn’t hurt that I made new friends while dining at the bar.
  • Our meal at Shaya was a stand-out: modern Isreali cuisine prepared fresh, prepared fresh with a huge side of warm, brick fired pita.  You must order the hummus!
  • There are certain dishes that I spend my life dreaming and replaying over and over and over again in my head and Cochon‘s wood fired oysters are now on that list.  I’ve always maintained that I’d want my last meal on earth to be the mushroom strogonoff that I once had at South Congress Cafe in Austin, TX, but these oysters may be claiming that top spot.

DRINK:

  • Enjoying a Pimm’s Cup at the historic Napoleon House is a must-do.
  • If you can get in, Bacchanal is a wonderful way to while away the evening.  Part retail wine store, part patio, this Bywater haunt has become incredibly popular in the past few years and there is now usually a line around the corner to get in.  Skip it on the weekend and on festival weeks but if you are around in the off season, you might be able to score a seat on their deck and listen to music mid-week.
  • If you can’t score a seat at Bacchanal, the Tasting Room offers an eclectic dining menu and boutique wines from around the world.  It’s dark, cozy and just what you want a wine bar to be.  It’s perfect for lounging on the couch, reading a book and sipping wine in the event of poor weather.
  • Sitting on the deck of the Columns Hotel in the Garden district and whiling away the afternoon with a bottle of champagne will never lose it’s charm with me.

EXPLORE

  • Get lost on foot: the New Orleans Tours at Your Feet walking app offers guided tours of the French Quarter, the Garden District, Haunted Homes, and Cemeteries in the area.
  • If it’s your first trip to New Orleans, the World War II Museum is a must-visit.  It’s grown considerably in the past few years, but it remains informative and the exhibits are related to local history and people.
  • The Presbytere in the French Quarter houses a New Orleans cultural exhibit on mardi gras and it’s customs, along with an exceptional exhibit about Katrina and it’s aftermath.
  • Fest it up: the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Voodoo Festival and Mardi Gras continue to be huge draws to this city.  They are all amazing, but there’s also something to be said for just going for the shrimp and grits no reason at all.
Steampunk Photobooth

Word Wave Gala | Steampunk Photobooth

This past fall, Tahoe was lucky enough to be the location for a confluence of artists and authors for the first WordWave Festival at Tahoe’s historic Valhalla Grand Hall.  Writers, musicians, and performers from around the country shared their talent and spoke at a variety of panels and classes over the three day event.  There were readings, workshops, plays, open mics, guided hikes, oral storytelling, and a Steampunk themed gala and fundraiser one evening.  One of the festival organizers is a huge fan of my photobooth and she asked if I would be willing to donate the booth to the fundraising gala and of course I agreed!  Since it was a costume party, I decided that a seamless white backdrop would show off everyone’s amazing costumes best and the booth was a huge hit.  Here’s a few of my favorites from the evening, but you can see the entire gallery via this link.

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Lauren Lindley Photography’s Lake Tahoe Photo Booth Rental is a fantastic and fun addition to all kinds of events including: weddings, corporate events, company parties, trade shows, birthday or engagement parties, fundraising events, festivals and more. Photo booth is supremely social: even the most camera shy folks will have props in their hand by the end of the evening. Small booths only hold a handful of your guests but the Lauren Lindley Photo Booth can fit everyone in! More people, more props, more fun! It’s also an affordable addition to your extravaganza that allows your guests to relive the party later thanks to our customized theme back drops, props and fun attendants! Learn more about Lake Tahoe Photo Booth Rentals here.

Enchanted Evening Photo Booth

An Enchanted Evening Event and Photo Booth | SNC Spring Formal

Twice a year, the student government association at Sierra Nevada College hosts a formal for their students.  I’ve been hired as their event photographer whenever I’m in town and available and it’s always a great time!  This spring formal was no exception.  The theme of the night was “An Enchanted Evening” and there were gorgeous gowns, a filled dance floor, and a new record in the photo booth: over 1,100 photos in five hours!  Big thanks to Nichole Lockman who assisted me for the evening and the Lone Eagle Grille for the amazing venue space!

Lauren Lindley Photography’s Lake Tahoe Photo Booth Rental is a fantastic and fun addition to all kinds of events including: weddings, corporate events, company parties, trade shows, birthday or engagement parties, fundraising events, festivals and more. Photo booth is supremely social: even the most camera shy folks will have props in their hand by the end of the evening. Small booths only hold a handful of your guests but the Lauren Lindley Photo Booth can fit everyone in! More people, more props, more fun! It’s also an affordable addition to your extravaganza that allows your guests to relive the party later thanks to our customized theme back drops, props and fun attendants! Learn more about Lake Tahoe Photo Booth Rentals here.

Tahoe Event Photography

Eighties Rock’n’Roll Party and Photobooth

Corporate events and private parties are always a blast, especially when they involve awesome themes!  I recently photographed a private event at the new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe for Toyota of Northern CA.  The theme was 80’s Rock’n’Roll Party and they went all out!  The decor was amazing and included a massive candy bar, a cake table on pianos, and chocolate Toyota cars.  80’s cover band Tainted Love had the dance floor moving and shaking in no time.  The evening also included a Lauren Lindley Photography photo booth and a paparazzi “red carpet walk” with a Steven Tyler impersonator.

Here’s a few of my favorite photos from the evening.

Venue: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe | Event Coordinator: Shannon McIsaac | Event Designer: Celadon Events | Entertainment: Tainted Love | Second Shooter: Angie Hall

Lauren Lindley Photography’s Lake Tahoe Photo Booth Rental is a fantastic and fun addition to all kinds of events including: weddings, corporate events, company parties, trade shows, birthday or engagement parties, fundraising events, festivals and more. Photo booth is supremely social: even the most camera shy folks will have props in their hand by the end of the evening. Small booths only hold a handful of your guests but the Lauren Lindley Photo Booth can fit everyone in! More people, more props, more fun! It’s also an affordable addition to your extravaganza that allows your guests to relive the party later thanks to our customized theme back drops, props and fun attendants! Learn more about Lake Tahoe Photo Booth Rentals here.

Dancing with the Tahoe Stars

Dancing with the Tahoe Stars | 2015

Every year the Tahoe Arts Project holds their annual fundraiser, an amazing night of dance and performance called “Dancing with the Tahoe Stars.”  10 members of our community participate in the program.  They are paired with 10 of our community’s professional dance instructors, learn a dance routine and are judged by a “distinguished” panel of judges.  Youth dance and performance programs pepper the intermission and closing acts.  Overall, it’s an amazing night of entertainment that raises funding  to bring performing arts and cultural enrichment to schools in the South Lake Tahoe region in both CA & NV.

The Tahoe Arts Project reaches over 5,000 students, within 10 schools in El Dorado, Douglas, and Alpine counties of California and Nevada. The artists whom students meet through the TAP programs serve as role models that demonstrate the values of self-discipline and the pursuit of excellence.  Current research validates TAP’s philosophy that these experiences also help students develop their own creative and problem solving abilities, foster intellectual development and success in all academic areas.

If you participated in the event or would like to view the entire gallery, you may do so via this link.

Lauren Lindley is a Reno Tahoe based freelance photographer available for general event photography in the Reno, Washoe Valley and Tahoe Basin.  Lauren Lindley Photography can provide services for a wide variety of events including, but not limited to, conventions, trade shows, corporate outings, meetings and more.  

Janelle Monae

Austin SXSW Photographer | 2015 Preview

I am really fortunate to be returning to Austin for the third year in a row as an Austin SXSW Photographer.  I look forward to my time at SXSW every year with great anticipation.  It’s quickly stolen away a spot in my heart as my favorite music festival.  Every year, I return home with a list of amazing previously unheard of bands to listen to.  My number one goal for any music festival is to seek out new artists and SXSW provides like no other!

During my time at the event, I spend most of it photographing events that sponsors pay for like super fun happy hours put on by film and production companies, opening parties for the Tech Fest, and end of the event awards shows.  In between, I get to run around photographing side events and discovering new music.  Oh, and eating lots of tacos.

Now, it is the fate of every professional photographer, I think, that your clients come first and as such, I actually didn’t really take a very good look at any of my personal photos from SXSW until last week (and still, that’s a debatable statement).  For the record: I highly regret not even culling them last year!  Running through the images quickly was an insurmountable feat and I’m sure I missed some that I love, but, well, it’s probably a lost cause now because I’m flying to Austin today for this year’s event.

Here’s a quick selection of images from SXSW 2014 to hold you over until I return from this year’s event!  I am hereby declaring to the internets that I will not leave my photos untouched for an entire year this time.

Lauren Lindley is a destination wedding, commercial and event photographer that services the Greater Austin area during SXSW.  She is available for freelance event photography in the area from Thursday, March 12 through Tuesday, March 24th.

FRESHbash Sacramento

FRESHbash Sacramento | Event Photography

I was recently asked to attend FRESHbash, an exquisitely designed wedding fair and event, on behalf of Black Sheep Bride, a socially conscious wedding network.  FRESHbash, a thoughtfully curated showcase of design exhibitions and experiences meant to raise the creative bar and inspire the senses for the wedding industry.  It took place at the Beatnik Studios in ​Sacramento, a perfect location for this amazing design-centric event.  I have to add that Beatnik Studios would be the perfect location for a wedding: I’m adding it to my ever growing list of dream places to photograph weddings at!

The event was impeccably decorated by some amazing teams of wedding designers, planners, florists and print-masters.  In addition, it featured experiential stations like a paper calligraphy station, amazing photo booths in cars by The Photo Booth Bug, craft mixology sponsored by Honeybook and Liquidology, fun and innovative food from s+s Gastropub, and unexpected thrills like a human popcorn stand.  You can check out all the amazing design talent that helped contribute to this event over at the  FRESHbash website.

A few of the vendors I was most impressed with included the super rad D’Railed Beauty Trolley, a traveling beauty salon for your wedding day that comes to you!  I also met Ara Arbabzadeh, head of VIP Photography Studios in Davis, CA whose spirit and mutual love of wine I absolutely fell for.  I was also super stoked to finally meet Geoff Bardot, head photographer at The Goodness.  His work is bright, sassy and fun and although we’ve also shared referrals with each other, it was the first time we were able to meet in person!

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Tahoe Event Photography

Tahoe Event Photographer | Pretty Faces Premier

Pretty Faces premiered in Tahoe a week ago thanks to the coordinated efforts of local She Jumps coordinator Meghan Kelly and Heavenly Resort.

Pretty Faces came about thanks to professional big mountain skier and SheJumps co-founder, Lynsey Dyer with the objective of giving women and girls a source of inspiration with an all female ski film.  Despite making up more than 40% of the skiing population, female athletes are rarely represented in ski films.  Frustrated with being used as models rather than athletes, Lyndsey wanted to put females front and center.  When funding ran out, the crowd sourced Kickstarter project almost doubled it’s $60k goal, raising $113,534, making it clear that everyone is interested in celebrating female achievement in the sports world.

In addition to Dyer, other featured female athletes and key figures include Rachael Burks, Elyse Saugstad, Ingrid Backstrom, Wendy Fisher, Angel Collinson,  Nadia Samer, and Devin Logan. Additional sponsors include GoPro, Eddie Bauer and REI.

If you would like to see Pretty Faces in a theater setting, the tour is still coming to the following locations: Bend, OR; Ashville, NC; Grand Rapids, MI; Washington DC; Vancouver, BC; Leavenworth, WA; Anchorage, AK; Plymouth, NH.  If you can’t wait, you can purchase the video online and stream on demand.

Tahoe Event Photographer

Tahoe Event Photographer | Tahoe Kids Tri

Summer is leaving us, hopefully bringing the onset of crisp fall temps, changing leaves and eventually…winter!  Lots of things in town are ending, including our beach days, Live at Lakeview and the the last of the Tahoe Kids Tri series, which involves a ton of kids ages 3-13, being awesome.  I’m always excited to be their on course and finish line photographer.  Jason and his partner Sean donate countless hours providing our community with awesome events like this one!

This year the Tahoe Tri Club is hosting two events for the kids: one was July 13, 2014 and the 2nd was on August 24, 2014.  Both events are held at the South Lake Tahoe Recreation Center.  The events entail a pool swim and a flat, paved bike and run course.

If you missed these awesome events, the Tahoe Tri Club is putting on a slew of Tahoe Fun runs this fall.  For more information and to register head over to the the fun run website.  There will be a Halloween themed race at the end of October, a Thanksgiving race and a Jingle Jog.  The race director, Jason Collin can be reached at Jason@tahoetriclub.com and (530) 307-3316.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the afternoon.  If your child participated in the event, you can view, download, share to social media and order prints via this gallery link.

Live at Lakeview

Tahoe Event Photographer | Live at Lakeview | Week 9

It’s the last week of Live at Lakeview!  For those of you coming to visit Tahoe South for Labor Day weekend, Live at Lakeview is our premier weekly community event and the best way to spend your Thursday summer nights in Tahoe.  Beat the Bay Area weekend traffic and come to stay on Thursday and spend the evening with live music!  

This week will conclude a summer of concert fun with Reggae Night!  International underground reggae sensation, Rocker T will headline and a local reggae rock band, Weapon, will open.  Arrive to the event early so you don’t miss happy hour in the beer garden!  From 4:30-5:30 PM, happy hour prices will be in effect – $1 off the beer and wine selection, which now includes Ninkasi’s Total Domination IPA!

This past week at Live at Lakeview brought Scott Pemberton Trio and Black Star Safari to the stage.  Black Star Safari had a huge crowd amassed and dancing early in the evening!  The vendor area was full of non-profits and local artisans selling their wares.  

Check out free music here in Tahoe South every Thursday from 4:30-8:30 PM at Lakeview Commons from June 26th-August 28th.  Please ride your bike and utilize the free bike valet or find plenty of parking at the SLT Parks and Recreation Department on Rufus Allen Blvd.  The proceeds of all sales of alcohol from the beer garden support the series and I encourage you to either imbibe in the garden or make a donation in one of the donation boxes around the Commons Area on the night you attend.  As always, Live at Lakeview is a free community event.  Please be aware of the following city ordinances in Lakeview Commons Park: no dogs, no outside alcohol and no smoking.

 You can find my weekly wrap ups, photos and previews of the next concert all summer long here and on Tahoe South.