For more than 20 years I have studied New Orleans through the lens of my camera. During that time, I have learned to appreciate her nuances, forgive her faults, relish the beauty of her architecture, savor the uniqueness of her culinary and musical heritage. With each click of the camera I treasure this place a little more. These are my thoughts in words and pictures.

-Kathy Anderson

RIP Buckwheat Zydeco

Buckwheat Zydeco

It wasn’t until I walked into the home of musician Stanley Dural, Jr., better known as Buckwheat Zydeco, that I realized he was a true animal lover. I mean he is the kind of guy who melts looking at a kitten. The acclaimed Louisiana musician has performed throughout the world, including several presidential inaugurations and the Olympics. I have always been a fan.

As soon as I saw the dogs, pigeons, chickens, roosters, quail, pheasants and lots of kittens, I knew I would have to include some of these pets in the photograph. At that time, I was doing a series of portraits of Louisiana musicians for The Times-Picayune. In order to have continuity in the pictures I used the same lighting and backdrop in each shot of the series. Since there was no room inside the house for the backdrop and large soft box I shot everything outside. The kittens were immediately curious about the backdrop and got comfortable. Stanley played a few notes and then stopped to play with the kittens who liked him as much as he liked them. When a cat put his nose on the keyboard of the accordion I knew I had the shot. The image was eventually used for one of Buckwheat’s album covers, and it still remains one of my favorite musician portraits.

Stanley Dural, Jr. died on Saturday of lung cancer. The world was lucky to have enjoyed his gift of music and I was lucky to have met him. RIP Stanley.

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