"Ghosts of Good Times", 2017

Louisiana's Landscapes and Grass Roots

Philip Gould

Philip Gould is a cultural documentary and architecture photographer who has made Louisiana his home and favorite subject since 1974.  Born 1951 in Massachusetts raised in California, Gould has based himself in Lafayette. Since then, he has photographed throughout Louisiana, the nation, Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean. His work has been published in two dozen books as well as periodicals from around the world. His images constitute one of the largest privately held contemporary photographic archives on Louisiana.

Gould’s most recent project is: Ghosts of Good Times: Louisiana Dance Halls Past and Present(UL Press Fall 2016) Gould collaborated with writer and cultural enthusiast Herman Fuselier to that have document dance halls and historic clubs of all types, closed and still open, in South Louisiana.

Recent book titles include: The Public Art of Robert Dafford (2014 UL Press),  Soul Exchange: the Paintings of Dennis Paul Williams (2013 UL Press), Acadiana: Louisiana’s Historic Cajun Country (2011 LSU Press),  Les Plus Belles Gares de France (2005, published in France by La Vie du Rail/France Loisirs Presses), Natchitoches and Louisiana’s Timeless Cane River (2002, LSU Press),National Geographic New Orleans Guidebook (2000), Louisiana Faces: Images from a Renaissance(2000, LSU Press), Everyday’s A Party with Emeril LaGasse,  (1999, Harper Collins), The Louisiana Houses of A. Hays Town, (1998, LSU Press), The World of William Joyce Scrapbook (1997 Harper Collins), Cajun Music and Zydeco (1992 LSU Press),  and Les Cadiens d’Asteur/Today’s Cajuns (1980 LSU Press). Recent awards include Louisiana Professional Artist of the Year 1996, and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ Michael P. Smith Award for Documentary Photography, the first to receive it in 2009.

         Photographers that first shaped my photographic view continue to have an impact on Gould’s work. They include some of the giants of the field: Henri Cartier-Bresson, W. Eugene Smith, and Robert Doisneau. Since then FSA photographer Russell Lee and architectural photographer Robert Polidori have joined that group. 

         “All of these people’s works still humble and inspire me. Their images and sensibilities remain compelling as I continue on my life path documenting people and their constructed environs. When working, I strive to stay both mindful of my perspective and empathetic to the subject. I seek invisibility so the subjects can simply “be” as I photograph. My own gold standard is that my photographs stand as decisive, iconic moments of insight and truth.”