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  • Writer's pictureTraven Stout

Traven Stout and Gris Gris Photography

Traven while shooting with his tlr film camera

In 2015 I graduated from the University of New Orleans with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Fine Art. I hit the ground running and started a photography business and I have been working solely as a photographer ever since.

I have always been interested in how societies come together and how people interact with one and other. This is where my sociology background merges with photography. In my People of Mardi Gras series, I take portraits and candid shots of strangers during the carnival season. The Idea is to tell a collective story of Mardi Gras through individual portraits and candids of people during Carnival. This same style of shooting translates over into my wedding work.

I have a heavy background in analog photography. The first photos I took were with my mom’s 35mm Nikon FM2 (a camera I still use today) I inherited it from her after she passed away, and it was with that camera in the darkroom of UNO where my passion with film photography was re-lit. This is where I feel I really perfected my craft. When shooting with film you only have 36 images per roll(or 12 with medium format, or 1 with sheet film) so you have to slow down and shoot correctly. You also must get it right in camera because you can’t rely on photoshop editing. Most of my personal work is still done on film.

Why Gris Gris (pronounced GRI-GRI) Photography?

For the past five years I have been operating under Traven Stout Photography shooting weddings, portraits, and events. Through the years I realized that my weddings were starting to take on a little bit of a different style. I shoot and edit them a little differently than my commercial work. A business headshot is way different from a wedding portrait, and I wanted a website that was specifically for my weddings. So, I decided to split it up and create Gris Gris Photography. While trying to come up with a name, I was listening to a Dr. John’s Album GRIS GRIS. The name Gris Gris photography just got stuck in my head. (Check out this Album if you have not already) Dr. John is the man! I grew up listening to him. As a kid my father would take me out of school for local Thursdays at JazzFest and we would catch The Night Tripper live. Dr. John is quintessential New Orleans, and I love my home city, so the name Gris Gris Photography just kind of made sense.

Thanks for reading more about me.

You can see more of my work on my instagram handles @neworleansphotographer @travenstoutphotography @peopleofmardigras

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