Hurricane Story

Hurricane Story: Photographs by Jennifer Shaw


Soulcatcher Studio is pleased to present Hurricane Story, by New Orleans-based photographer Jennifer Shaw.

Hurricane Story depicts Shaw’s and her families personal experiences during the time of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in late summer 2005, and the months that followed. She states, “I was nine months pregnant and due in less than a week when Hurricane Katrina blew into the Gulf. In the early hours of August 28, 2005 my husband and I loaded up our small truck with two cats, two dogs, two crates full of negatives, all our important papers and a few changes of clothes. We evacuated to a motel in southern Alabama and tried not to watch the news. Monday, August 29 brought the convergence of two major life-changing events; the destruction of New Orleans and the birth of our first son. It was two long months and 6000 miles on the road before we were able to return home.”

Upon returning to New Orleans, Shaw spent considerable time in the Lower 9th Ward, photographing the aftermath of Katrina. She states, “Shooting in the 9th Ward was emotionally draining. There were scenes that made me cry. The power of water to shift the landscape so completely was just insane to witness. It was difficult to confront the extreme devastation, but also very important to me, both as a photographer and human being. And I think there was somethiing healing about the act of composing images – finding order in the chaos. Ultimately, the process of documenting the disaster’s aftermath led me to the realization that the Katrina story I most needed to tell was my own.

Hurricane Story is a depiction of our family’s evacuation experience – the birth, the travels and the return. These photographs represent various elements of our ordeal. The project began as a cathartic way to process some of the lingering anger and anxiety over that bittersweet journey. It grew into a narrative series of self-portraits, recreated in constructed tableaus, using small toys to illustrate my experiences and emotional state during our time in exile.”

Shaw uses plastic cameras, such as a Holga, to produce her ethereal imagery. She states, “(Plastic cameras are)…an extention of my psyche. They lend a whimsical spontaneity to the act of photographing. When I see something that moves me I just click, rather than losing the moment by fussing around with the technical adjustments of a more formal camera. I also feel like the plastic lens imparts an image that comes closer to the way we actually see with our eyes. I try to create images that transcend literal description, that provoke an emotional response to my surroundings. I hope to convey a sense of time and place that is beautiful and sensual and serene.”

Jennifer Shaw (b. 1972) was born and raised in the Mid-West and became fascinated with photography (and working in the darkroom) at an early age. She graduated with a BFA degree in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994 and shortly thereafter relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she continues to live and work. Her work is exhibited internationally and held in many private and public collections, including the Huntsville Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.



Print Information: All archival pigment print photographs are produced under the artist’s direct supervision. Prints are signed, numbered, titled and dated (with the negative date) by the artist in pencil au verso. Each image is offered in three image sizes/editions, as follows:

15×15″ image, printed on 22×17″ paper, produced in a limited edition of 25 prints. Prices start at $500.00 and increase as the edition sells out.

30×30″ image, printed on 34×34″ paper, produced in a limited edition of 10 prints (plus 1 AP). Prices start at $900.00 and increase as the edition sells out.

40×40″ image, printed on 44×44″ paper, produced in a limited edition of 5 prints (plus 1 AP). Prices start at $2,000.00 and increase as the edition sells out.

Print prices are set by the artist and are subject to change without prior notice. Please contact Soulcatcher Studio for current pricing information.

Please inquire if you have other favorite images by this artist, as we can offer her entire portfolio of work for sale.

We hope you enjoy this exhibition and sale of memorable fine art photographs.
Click on the thumbnail images below to view enlarged examples and detailed print information.
Click on each enlarged image to advance to the next image in the exhibition.



All artwork is copyright © of the respective artist or estate.
All other material copyright © Soulcatcher Studio. All rights reserved.
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