Newscast Director, WWL-TV & Photographer, Larry Everage Photography
When the evening news is on, Larry Everage is the director in the control room at WWL-TV pushing the buttons that ultimately control what happens on-air. Off-air, he’s not just calling the shots, he’s taking the shots. He’s working to build up his own business, Larry Everage Photography. Larry is one of my co-workers and friends, but I didn’t know the title he used for himself when it came to his company. I asked if he went by President, CEO, or maybe founder. But for anyone who knows Larry, it’s no surprise that the only title he wants is photographer.
“I hate people who put CEO and they are the only one working for the company. That’s the most pretentious thing ever. Everybody wants to be a CEO these days.”
And that’s just Larry, making everyone laugh with statements that blur the line between facts and jokes. He kicked off his business around 2010 when he took some photos for a high school classmate who needed pictures to promote his album.
“I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. Sometimes I look back on some of my old pictures and shake my head. I’ve come along way,” he says chuckling.
GROWING UP AROUND PHOTOGRAPHERS
Larry may be laughing but as usual he’s also telling the truth. Larry has come a very long way in his photography journey. His first days shooting were behind a Mickey Mouse camera that he took on childhood vacations. Photography was all around him. His aunt is a photographer, his uncle worked for Kodak in the 80s, and his mom and grandma shot too.
But when he first bought his camera, the plan was to shoot video. The camera he was using took pictures too, so that’s what people assumed he was doing. People started asking him to take photos and of course he said yes. Eventually, he was taking more pictures than video, and even in his early days he felt there were no bad pictures.
“That’s the great thing about photography. You can line five photographers up and tell them to shoot an Oak tree and you’ll get five different takes on an oak tree. Everybody’s eye is distinctive. It’s an art form just like music or paintings.”
PERFECTING THE CRAFT
Larry’s advice for improving is really quite simple.
“Keep practicing asking questions and looking at other people’s work. Really, I just took my camera and carry it everywhere…I still carry it everywhere and keep shooting.”
But he warns that photography can be an expensive hobby.
“…the more you get into it…the more you realize that you need more lenses, more batteries, which are costly, and a second camera in case something happens to the other camera. So it can get expensive.”
For beginners, he suggests just shooting with a phone. He’s actually sold pictures he took on his phone. Highly advanced camera phones and social media are turning everyone into photographers and while some professional photographers may feel it’s cramping their style, Larry is using those tools to help bring more attention to his own work.
“I recently had a couple …I’ve never met them before… somehow they found me through Instagram. They are from New York and they flew to New Orleans and did a photoshoot with me just from discovering me on Instagram. And you couldn’t do that before social media.”
He loves just shooting everyday people on the street.
“Catching people in their natural element is fun to me.”
But it also seems that he was onto something when he was a little boy taking pictures on vacation with his Mickey Mouse camera. Larry loves to travel and take photos. His dream was to shoot in Paris and now he’s crossed that off his list.
“I took like 2,000 pictures.”
NEW ORLEANS: A PHOTOGRAPHER'S PARADISE
Now, he dreams of shooting in Vietnam and Africa. The thing is he doesn’t have to travel anywhere to take the pictures that mean the most to him.
“I think new Orleans is one of the best subjects in the world and I feel like a lot of that is conveyed through my photogprahy.”
He loves capturing New Orleans’ culture, which means he’s got lots of great shots of Mardi Gras Indians. And that’s when his on and off air lives seem to connect.
“I have a tight window to get my shot…that’s when the director skills come into play because I am dealing with live TV everyday and I get a small window to pull that off everyday. They kind of merge together. You have to think on your feet in both jobs.”
As for the best picture he’s ever taken, Larry says it’s a shot he nabbed three years ago at St. Joseph’s night, when the Mardi Gras Indians come out at night instead of their usual daytime appearances.
He’d love to be featured in a major magazine like National Geographic, but when it comes to the future, he says he’s still figuring it all out.
“There’s always something bigger out there to grasp. Even if I got the National Geographic published photo, I would want to reach for something else. Now I got that scratched off, let me go for Vogue, GQ…. I think it’s always good to set goals.”
Whether he’s gearing up for the next newscast, working on his next joke, or shooting some photos, Larry Everage is always shooting for better.