Our New Orleans-based photographer Daymon Gardner has just shot the cover for the recent New Orleans issue of GOOD Magazine. The introduction explains that the issue is not so much about the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and the recent oil spill, but “the rebirth that New Orleans has experienced in the five years since the storm.” The magazine intends to give “a salute to all the people… who have worked tirelessly to remake New Orleans and preserve the magic of this enduring icon of a city.”
Daymon’s work is also featured in two stories, “Fixing the Broken Parts” (which you can see here) and “New Blood, Old Blood.” I got in touch with GOOD graphic designer Atley Kasky to find out more about what it was like to work with Daymon. He told me that the team at GOOD had already “decided that we were only going to use artists currently or recently based in New Orleans, and Daymon fit that bill.” Daymon stood out for his “amazing sense of composition” and his “ability to capture human authenticity.”
GOOD Magazine needed, Atley said, a “man on the ground” in New Orleans: “We pretty much knew we could trust him out there while we were all working from Los Angeles.” They gave Daymon ideas and put him in touch with people, “and then we had the confidence that he could tell a compelling visual story with the elements we could pull together.” Atley attributes the excellent results to Daymon’s ability “to build a narrative by connecting with both the subject and the content.”
“We really couldn’t have done it without him,” Atley concluded. “Daymon’s photography brought New Orleans to the issue!”
Daymon’s contribution wasn’t limited to his talents for editorial assignments, however; “they also featured a personal project I have been working on with local designer Nessim Higson,” he pointed out. This project, also involving Anthony Vachris, is called “Love Letters,” a celebration of New Orleans icons in the form of an alphabet.
Though the focus is on the overall culture of New Orleans (W is for “Who dat”), it begins with a culinary element I found highly appealing: A is for andouille, C is for crawfish. On the page for the latter alphabetic entry, a picture of a claw is accompanied by text that can be appreciated by any lover of shellfish:
may never comes too soon
here, we suck the heads