Weekend Photo Workshop: New Orleans

  • Improve your skills with a National Geographic photographer
  • Set out on photo shoots in the French Quarter, Jackson Square, and more

Field Notes


What's it like to travel with National Geographic? Take a look at these reports from the field.

A native of New Orleans, Tyrone Turner has shot images of New Orleans and the Louisiana Bayou for several National Geographic magazine articles. As the leader of our New Orleans Weekend Photography Workshops, we asked Tyrone to tell what makes New Orleans such a great city to photograph.

Q: What makes New Orleans a great subject for photographers?

A: History drips off of the wrought iron balconies of the French Quarter like bougainvillea. You meet characters on the street that call you ‘sugar’ and ‘baby’—they would be disappointed if you didn’t ask to photograph them. New Orleans is my hometown and I have been photographing the city since my days as a staff photographer with the local newspaper. In recent years, unfortunate events like Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill have brought me back to New Orleans often to shoot on assignment for National Geographic. I am continually discovering something new about the city and the people, and I love sharing that with our workshop participants.

Q: What do you look forward to about the National Geographic Photo Workshop in New Orleans?

A: My favorite part of the workshop is when we come in from a shoot and start looking at and what participants photographed. During these constructive critique sessions, the gems pop out, and they start to learn about their vision and their own process of seeing and making photographs. They also get to see what their fellow participants have been able to create. The magic happens when they take this knowledge and go out and make better pictures the next day.

Q: What is the most important thing that participants should bring to this workshop?

A: A willingness to try some things that they haven’t tried before. If they have been nervous about shooting pictures of people, this is the place to experiment. If they are really trying to see light or shadow better, I can’t think of a better location to try new ideas. If participants come away from the workshop fired up about making pictures, and with a better understanding of how they can achieve that, I would feel very satisfied.

Q: Tell us about a favorite photo you took in New Orleans.

A: One of my favorite photos is of the New Orleans skyline shot from the ferry that goes across the Mississippi River. I chose to share the photo below because sometimes you just have to keep searching until you find an angle or a time of day that really captures the sense of a place. I saw this picture from inside the ferry and waited until the windows framed the St. Louis Cathedral.

Photo by Tyrone Turner

Learn more about the New Orleans Photo Workshop.