Thursday, September 1, 2016
Sandra Stillwell Goes to New Orleans, Pt. 1
Today is part one of a whirlwind week in New Orleans with Sandra Stillwell and her team of helpers that put on one of the most AMAZING conventions I have attended. To call this incredible lady's event a convention is extremely misleading; I think the word "experience" is much more applicable. I was honored that Sandra asked me to photograph the convention outfits, and even more pleased to be able to say it was an absolute BLAST! Working with Michael Basala (best known as the brains behind The Studio Commissary) didn't seem like work at all; it was so much fun as the two of us collaborated in "the work room."
The host hotel was the Bourbon Orleans; I doubt that Sandra could have picked a better location for the price. Centrally located in the French Quarter near Jackson Square, it was the perfect choice. Spacious and clean rooms:
A gorgeous lobby which functioned very well as a central meeting place for attendees gathering to head out on the town:
A lovely pool:
And famous Jackson Square just steps away:
Every night we got to see this creepy shadow on the back of the St. Louis Cathedral:
The event started off on Wednesday with a trip to The National WWII Museum and lunch with a musical review by the Victory Belles. While this was going on, Sandra and her team were feverishly fixing outfits, photographing dolls, and opening new packages as they arrived...daily!
I really enjoyed seeing all of the outfits ahead of time. It was a total treat.
I don't think I had ever seen so many Gene dolls in one place before.
On one of my lunch breaks, I walked down Royal Street to the Hotel Monteleone.
This trip, I was determined to get a seat at the Carousel Bar; and yes...it rotates!
Success! I had a Pimms cup followed by a Cuban Sammy sandwich. The experience was phenomenal!
After another session of photographing dolls for Sandra's website, I went to Brennan's for dinner.
I had the entire bar to myself while I ate dinner. I had dined at Brennan's before, and this experience was just as stellar as the previous ones. Excellent service. Delicious dinner.
On Thursday morning, many made the trip to Mardi Gras World...
followed by lunch and tour of Longue Vue Gardens. Attendees received this outfit titled Longue Vue.
Meanwhile, the worker bees continued to get the ballroom ready for the first event:
On my Thursday lunch break, I ate at Galatoire's on Bourbon Street, which was a total old school experience.
The lovely dining room was populated with locals (which I managed to shoot after they'd left).
While the petit filet melted in my mouth, the sweet potato praline cheesecake shall forever remain in my memory. In a good way.
I shall leave you readers at the beginning of our Thursday night event as guests were about to see Dinner at Antoine's:
See more Sandra Stillwell Belle of New Orleans Convention photos at my website.
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