Angela Hill put it well recently. "Derek is one of my very favorite people."
A co-worker of mine at Channel 4 for nearly four years now, Derek has been that bright, bubbly figure you need in every office. He announced a week ago that he's heading back to hometown Detroit, and while that definitely sucks for us here in New Orleans, it really makes me smile to know his fiancée Melissa is every bit as kind and warm of a person as Derek is. Felt even better to get the chance to snap these engagement photos as a little send-off to the balmy Detroit tundra up north.
If you've got a few tissues handy, head to WWL Radio to listen to Derek re-tell the story of his proposal. It's the cutest thing since that little talking dog in "Up".
I've known Ian and Joelle long enough to be certain that their newly christened marriage will be a strong and long one. These two are genuinely in love. And fortunately for me, they happen to look fantastic in front of a camera.
We took a short drive from Gentilly to City Park for a fun shoot with some lovely fall flowers in the backdrop.
Hit the jump for the full set, and visit the contact page if you're interested in an engagement shoot!
Since being diagnosed with cancer more than three years ago, Bailey Leon has had to endure many tough days. Weeks consisting of exhausting traveling and chemo treatments. Days filled with excruciating pain. Whole holidays spent in a hospital room thousands of miles from home.
Saturday was not one of those days.
No, you could tell from the look in Bailey's eyes as she saw her new scooter -- splashed with pink and boasting her motto, "Nothing is Impossible" -- that this was a day of pure joy. She was surrounded by family and thousands of supporters. She had good food and beautiful weather. She was loved. She was home.
The journey through cancer is ugly and jarring. The bad days often outnumber the good. So few things made me happier than seeing the sun shine down on her smile, and knowing that today was one of the good days.
You can jump to the rest of my photos from the Bucks for Bailey event with this link here. But you know what would be even better? Spread awareness. Donate. Reach out. Bailey's mom has put together a tribute to her daughter at http://www.bucksforbailey.com/, and the love pulses from the page.
While Bailey has many long days ahead, here's to hoping she sees many more like Saturday.
J.T. Curtis runs a tight ship. You don't need to look at the 25 state championships and over 500 wins to know that, though it certainly fleshes out the legacy of what has become one of the most successful high school football programs in the country.
No, all you need is to spend five minutes at practice in River Ridge to see how well-tuned of a machine this dominant team is.
When you see J.T. Curtis -- now in his 44th year as head coach -- out on the field, you see how in control he is. He knows where each player is and what each unit needs to work on for the upcoming game. At one point he handed me a sheet of paper with the schedule meticulously drawn out on it. But it was quickly obvious that he needed no guide; he knew exactly when and what was planned, all in his head.
That kind of leadership is to be expected from a man who's just the second person to eclipse 500 wins at the high school level. And you can see in the video below just how he does it in this week's How It's Done.
It's not often you get to visit your alma mater for an assignment, so it was a pleasure when I spent an afternoon on Banks Street with Brother William Dardis for a How It's Done segment.
Brother Dardis has ran the cheerleading squad since the '70s, back before girls were allowed on the team. During practice he explained just how much the sport has changed -- now the boys are lifting weights and there's an involved process for picking girl cheerleaders -- but he stressed that he doesn't get hung up on the competitive scene that has exploded since "Bring It On" hit theaters over 10 years ago.
What Brother Dardis is worried about is winning football games, and he knows that an enthusiastic crowd is integral to that. So he stresses his practice to get as much enthusiasm out his girls as possible, and judging by the video below, he does a very good job at that.
We all know about how great Rocky & Carlo's macaroni and cheese is in Chalmette. It's maybe the best in the area, the kind of dish people lined up around the block for when it reopened last year following a fire.
But forget about all that. Can we talk about cook Tommy Tommaseo's accent?
It's sublime. I can hardly understand it at parts, but it's a pitch-perfect Italian voice, like something out of a 1960s movie. "Mac-ah-rohn-a" and the "cheesah." "Spaghettay." "Buhtter." It's really hard to not to smile when listening to him speak.
As for the dish itself, what is there to say? It's creamy with that amazing crust on top. There's a ridonkulous amount of cheese smothered inside. Butter flowing on top. Definitely worth the trip down to Chalmette.
So check out the video below and see How It's Done:
One of the perks of my day job at WWL-TV is filming the How It’s Done series. Each video is a look at whatever food or product a particular business does. We try to pick only ones that are quintessentially Louisiana, like Pascal Manale’s barbecue shrimp, Crystal Hot Sauce, Zapp’s Chips -- things that remind you of our home base New Orleans.
This week I had a whole ‘nother experience, the famed St. Aug. Marching 100.
Without a doubt this was the loudest How It’s Done video I’ve shot so far. I’m talking dozens and dozens of trumpets and cymbals indoors going off at Mardi Gras volume. Band directors shouting out orders two feet from my ear. I think at one point there must have been a tuba on my face.
And they sounded great. But that’s to be expected. The Marching 100 always does. They even played one of the songs you’ll likely hear this Carnival -- fun.’s “We Are Young.” Watch it in the video below.
But what I really noticed was how on-point these kids were. They were immaculately well behaved. When the director said to shut up, they shut up. When he said play, they played. When he said march, they marched. There was no horsing around. Just business.
Next week we get back to the kitchen to shoot Rocky and Carlo’s macaroni cheese. Or, as the super Italian cook put it: “Ah-mac-ah-roana and cheez-ah.”
Let me share a little bit about myself. I'm Chad. I've been a photographer and videographer in the New Orleans area for nearly five years, covering major events like Mardi Gras and two Super Bowls, big festivals like Jazz Fest and Voodoo, and personal projects like weddings and portrait sessions. Whether it's editing or shooting video or snapping pics, I've got it covered.
I even do fun, stupid stuff... Like this viral hit!
Over the next few weeks I'll take some time to post on a few of the fun projects I've been working on over the last year or two. Coming up, look for a write-up on a fun series I've been working on, How It's Done. It shows you how some of the best restaurants in the city do their signature dishes.
So take a look around and see some of my videos or pictures. If you've got anything planned in the future that you'd like to have covered, head to the contact page and shoot me an email. And if you're planning a wedding, don't forget to check out our pricing plans.