Bettina Hansen

photojournalism in musing and pictures

Archive for April 2009


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Here are some random photos I’ve taken in the last couple of weeks that I haven’t posted.

I have been working in the Ascension bureau these last two weeks and this picture below pretty much sums up who and what I have been shooting while there, if you get it:
orphan hair
western day at retirement home
western day at retirement home 2
western day at retirement home 3
western day at retirement home 4
western day at retirement home 5
planetarium 2
earth day
handpainted earth balloon
fetal pig
science fair
same photo x2

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April 28, 2009 at 1:24 am

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Festival International

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This weekend was Festival International in Lafayette, and luckily, Denny’s house is within walking distance to the party. Festival is an annual *free* music extravaganza in Lafayette that features bands from all over the world. I took a couple pictures the first night, but in between a busy weekend of work, it was nice to put down the cameras and dance in the street a little bit. My favorite band that I saw was Ile Aye from Brazil – I was in the crowd with my 35 mm lens for them, but you can tell from the picture of the guy raising a drum over his head that it was a good time. That was the only time I wished I was onstage with a media pass. Next weekend, hopefully JazzFest? Southern life is good in the springtime.

closed for the day
dancing under the mural
pine leaf boys
zydeco band
denny shooting for the next days front page
more accordion
my favorite picture
the best band in my opinion

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April 27, 2009 at 11:26 pm

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Prom night

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So my editor and I decided to find a couple girls to follow the day of their prom, and do a little photo essay on their journey from getting ready to the end of the dance. I went to the salon with them, and back to the house where they were all getting ready, but their dates were all on the baseball team. The team rented a party bus, and down here in Louisiana, that can only mean one thing.

Needless to say, no one wanted me around after the kids boarded the party bus, especially not the adults who were condoning their behavior. So I didn’t exactly get to follow the girls the whole night. Looking back now, I should have hung around and went to the dance, but it was five hours in between their pre-party and their prom time. Tired of dealing with people who were angry with me because they thought I was doing an exposé on teen drinking, I decided to go home. The girls were great though, and I’m grateful I got to follow them. And we’re running the pictures as a “getting ready for prom” package. Here are a couple outtakes.

chillin in the salon
bobby pins
rockin out
hair extensions
dresses on
gloves on
pictures of pictures
posing for pictures
big trucks
Group picture

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April 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm

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Surrealist Ball

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One of the bigger local art galleries here had a “Surrealist Ball” and juried art exhibition Friday night. Guests were invited to dress as characters in their favorite surrealism paintings. I brought the new beauty dish and ring light to try them out. Initially, I went with the idea of just shooting portraits, which I stuck with. But I arrived without an idea so I spent the first 45 minutes wandering around and taking people’s pictures aimlessly. Then I stepped outside to switch from the ring light to the beauty light and remembered the awesome color blocks painted on the outside of the building – and a background was born.







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April 14, 2009 at 5:24 am

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Happy Easter!

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Most Sundays I get the spare time and freedom of choice to find a feature. For those who don’t speak photojournalism-ese, it’s just a picture or two with a small couple sentences. It can be something you spot while driving by, or a planned event, weather art, scenery, animals, etc.

Since today was Easter, I decided to go to the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Lukeville, in West Baton Rouge Parish. It’s the oldest African American church in the parish – it was founded in 1865 by a former slave from Virginia who established the entire community. It was a fantastic experience and I can’t wait to go back. Here are a couple images.






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April 13, 2009 at 5:23 am

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Difficult subjects

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Last night I got called out to a scene where a little boy had been mauled by a neighbor’s dogs. The four-year-old died at the hospital and the community is very small and tight knit.

It’s never a pleasure to go to those sorts of things, because you never know what you’re going to walk in to. But I always try to approach the situation with compassion and respect. The reporter I met with on the scene did the same, and is one of the nicest guys on staff. Young and very easy to talk to. The way that the friends of the family treated us was the worst I had ever encountered.

There were probably about twenty people grieving outside the hospital. We tried talking to people out there in every way we knew how. People were saying things like “Oh we just hate the media.” “We know you’re doing your job but you have no business here.”

I had several people get up in my face so close I’m sure they could see every pore. One lady screamed at me so much that another guy had to hold her back. She was threatening to sue me for trespassing, but I told her that was impossible on public property. In the end, I only shot maybe, 20 frames. Walked away with something usable without names. I never was obtrusive and neither was the reporter, but we were harassed anyway.

I wanted to tell those people, “Don’t scream at me! I’m here because I care about recording the history of this town! Would you rather be forgotten?” They act like we only show up when something tragic happens. I was in the same town earlier this week photographing stained glass, the fireman feature and the fishing picture. History is not just easter egg hunts and cute puppies. It shouldn’t reflect just the happy pictures. If there is one thing that this newspaper is good at, it’s putting plenty of good news in with the bad. To just spout off with “I hate the Media!” is ignorant and rude. Without us, there wouldn’t be history. And trust us, we don’t want to be at a hospital on a Friday night either.

Alright, that’s my love letter to journalism for the day.

Here are two frames from the story. The top one ran.



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April 11, 2009 at 11:16 pm

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Suds and firetrucks

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I stopped to make a feature photo of this firefighter washing a truck as I left New Roads, a small town outside of Baton Rouge, on Monday. I tried to be creative with this one, but I don’t think I got something readable and awesome. My creativity has been a little lacking lately and I need to get back into the groove before I lose it. It’s a fine line between literal and crazy and I am still searching for the right boundary.

New Roads FD 1




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April 9, 2009 at 6:22 am

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