Lafayette Mardi Gras Photographer John Weatherall

Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!

Louisiana native John Weatherall captures perfect parade pictures.

Mardi Gras season officially kicks off today, and if you’re from Louisiana, then this is probably one of your favorite times of the year. Whether it’s a small local parade or a big city celebration, nothing can quite compare to the bustle and excitement of Mardi Gras in the South. But have you ever thought about who captures these moments? Who brings these memories to life with dynamic photos and videos that tell stories of the revelry and celebration that makes this time of the year so unique? One such photographer is Louisiana native John Weatherall, who specializes in capturing Mardi Gras with fun-filled videos that capture perfect moments along parade routes. In this blog post, we’ll find out who his influences are and why he loves Mardi Gras so much.

(Side note: I had the privilege of teaching John and have enjoyed watching his success grow every year. And with my own love of Mardi Gras, this was a fun blog to do!)

How long have you been taking pictures?

My interest in photography started back in April of 2007. My parents purchased a Sanyo Point and Shoot Camera for me to take photos of the family. It wasn’t until November ’07, during my Junior Year at Northside High whenever they invested in a Sony A100 DSLR. From there, my interest grew tremendously!

My interest in videography started in the late 1990s. My Mom and Dad filmed all of our home movies growing up and showed me and my sisters how to operate the VHS camera. It wasn’t until January 2001 whenever I was able to operate the camera on my own. We were on our way to Baton Rouge to visit my sister, and I was able to document our trip to and from that; I fell in love with photography! I still have that video saved at home.

What inspired you to become a photographer?

It would have to be my love for capturing moments that most people don’t think of or forget to capture. Going through our family photo albums, I would always say, “Why didn’t we get this moment on photo or video?” but of course, I feel the best moments are whenever you’re not documenting and living in the moment. But my goal is to capture those moments that people tend to not think about!

Who are some people that have influenced you throughout your career?

Photography-wise, I’d have to say Dave Hill, Alex Stoddard, Brooke Shaden, and more recently Joe Greer (Film Photographer). Videography-wise, I’d have to say Ray Roman Films, Dennis Films, and Hype Williams!

Tell us what your favorite projects have been so far.

Definitely my Mardi Gras recap videos I put out every year. They have taken a life of their own for sure. Aside from Mardi Gras, I’d have to go with my We Ready Saints Hype Video I shot back in 2019. I remember that week being crazy because I traveled all down I-10 from Lake Charles to New Orleans, filming different Saints fans all in four days!

Now, speaking of Mardi Gras and the subject of this interview, let’s assume it’s someone’s first Mardi Gras. What advice do you give him or her?

Prepare for a long day! No seriously. Mardi Gras is a great experience but can be draining if you don’t prepare for what’s ahead. My advice would be to stay hydrated at all times, be sure to check out the parade route in advance to pick a spot you want to set up. Arrive early!

Everyone is like family along the parade route, so you’re bound to meet new friends and have fun before the parade rolls. I’ve also received messages from people who are unsure about attending a parade alone. Trust me, it’s just as fun. Since 2004, I’ve been attending several parades by myself and have always had a great experience. Lastly, have fun and catch lots of beads!

What’s your favorite thing about Mardi Gras?

The people. I can’t tell you how many people that I’ve met over the years at the parades that I still keep in contact with to this day! Can’t forget about the King cakes. My go-to spots are Meches and Jak’s Donuts for their King Cake Cronuts.

Where can we find you on social media?

I’m on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter under @johneweatherall and YouTube under John Weatherall III.

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Be sure to look for me on the Krewe De Krunk float during Mardi Gras. And also special thanks to my parents John and Prenella Weatherall for getting me started in videography as a kid, my best friend Gerald Gruenig for pushing me to post Mardi Gras content on TikTok, which blew up in 2022, and lastly Lance Ruffins with Krewe De Krunk.

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Bon Chance Boonie Amazon Page

It’s National Louisiana Day!

It’s Louisiana Day! And what does that mean, exactly? Well, it depends on who you ask. For some, it might be a day to celebrate the culture and history of Louisiana. For others, it might be a day to enjoy the food and music of the state. And for still others, it might be a time to reflect on all that Louisiana has to offer tourists and visitors. No matter how you choose to celebrate, there’s no doubt that Louisiana is a unique and special place. So Happy Louisiana Day! To celebrate, I would like to share some of my favorite books set here in this great state! There’s a wide variety of genres here, so there’s something for everyone!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

1. Running out of Rain by Lori Leger

Eventually, all storms break for a little sunshine.

Dr. Cynthia Ellender is devastated when her husband of thirty-three years dies suddenly. A revelation at his funeral leaves her bitter, angry, and determined to leave Oklahoma for good. Maybe a move back to her hometown in south Louisiana is just the right prescription for the good doctor.

John Michael Ferguson has weathered some serious storms in his fifty-three years. At sixteen he lost a sister, and at thirty-nine, a wife. Now, he’s forced to watch his mom lose her battle with Alzheimer’s. A chance meeting with “Cyn” has the semi-retired businessman wanting to bury his past and look to the future. Armed with questionable advice from his wise-cracking, seventy-seven year old father, he vacates the “widower’s bench” to re-enter the dating world with his old classmate.

RUNNING OUT OF RAIN is a mature love story that proves just because there’s a little silver in the hair doesn’t mean the pump isn’t primed for passion.

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2. Promise by Lisa Coots

The small Louisiana town of Cypress Point promises a fresh start for Claire Hebert and her lovable Great Dane Rosie. On the run from a monster, Claire hopes the new job and new town will help her escape her past. Her free spirited friend, Serena, and the friendly folks next door keep her hoping and dreaming of a better tomorrow.

Fate takes a hand — with a little help from Rosie — throwing Claire into the arms of sexy Sheriff’s Deputy, Evan Bertrand. Sparks fly, but instincts steer him away from his parents’ crazy neighbor and her trouble making canine. Will the chaos surrounding Claire be Evan’s undoing, or will their passion live up to its promise?

Mysterious happenings hint at the secrets held in Serena’s house, and warnings of a dangerous reunion threaten to spoil Claire’s promised tomorrow. On Halloween night, during a violent storm, Claire’s monster returns. Can Evan, with the help of a ghostly presence, help her overcome her past once and for all?

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3. Rain by C.K. Leger

Trapped in a marriage with an alcoholic husband she loathes, Kitty Lyons lives with regret daily. When Levi, the only man she ever loved, dies saving the life of a child, Kitty is given the chance to switch lives with Kat, the version of herself who had been brave enough to claim Levi as her own. But what might have been is not always as good as what truly was. To get back to her children, Kitty will have to come face to face with the traumatic aspects of her own past that led her to the choices that ultimately changed her fate.

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4. King Me by Season Vining

Delaney Mills is haunted by darkness. Not of a spiritual kind, but a terrible past that all the rum in the world cannot chase away. Enter Valentine King, a sexy and irresistible man with connections to the world of Voodoo—a world that Delaney is desperately trying to break into.

Chicago-native Delaney follows her dissertation research all the way to the streets of New Orleans. With King’s help, she uncovers a covert group called the Bondye Saints. The group wants to remain a secret and will do whatever it takes to keep the two quiet. But threats and attacks on her life don’t deter Delaney’s desire to expose the Saints’ sins.

While she’s willing to risk her own life, Delaney hates that the one man who can chase away her darkness is put in danger. But Valentine King refuses to let her go. Because in his world built on faith, Delaney Mills is the one thing he believes in.

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5. A House Divided, by Deborah LeBlanc

Keith Lafleur, Louisiana’s largest and greediest building contractor, thinks he’s cut the deal of a lifetime. The huge old, two-story, clapboard house is his for the taking as long as he can move it to a new location. It’s too big to move as it is, but Lafleur’s solution is simple: divide it in half. He has no idea, though, that by splitting the house he’ll be dividing a family–a family long dead, a family that still exists in the house, including a mother who will destroy anyone who keeps her apart from her children.

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Tangled up in You by A.L. Vincent

Can their friendship bloom into the second chance they both desire? Or is history something none of us can escape?

After her alcoholic husband drained their bank yet again, Emily Breaux reached her breaking point. Packing her bags, she retreated back to her hometown of Bon Chance in search of a fresh start.

Contractor Noah Devereaux would love to help her rebuild her dreams. The Iraq war veteran battles with PTSD, yet Emily’s quiet presence offers him a calming solace. More than anything, he wishes for some way to repay her for the peace she brings to his life. But it takes more than wishes to make Emily’s dream of opening her own catering company come true.

Will returning home to Bon Chance, Louisiana be the perfect recipe for Emily to start over?

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How ‘Bout Some Good News For A Change?

I was reading an article in The Times, my favorite local magazine, this week. In each edition they have a section called, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” These are little snippets of good things going on and not-so-good things going on in the news.

In “The Bad” section this week was a little rant about the national news media. They were angry that ten seconds after Gustav and Ike blew over, the media proved they had the attention span of a gnat and moved on to other matters. Now, I know we have this farce of a presidential election going on right now, but could they not have provided some additional coverage? How will these hurricanes impact our oil prices? I have friends just now going back offshore. What about our lower parishes here, the ones that got pummeled by Ike’s surges? You think all is fine and dandy? You would if you didn’t live here.

And here’s my addition to this rant. For days before Gustav hit, it was nothing but gloom, doom, and major catastrophe predictions. My friends and family who have not experienced a hurricane, have only seen the news coverage were terrified for me. They thought I was insane to stay. I have to admit after hours of continuous foreboding predictions, I began to get a little concerned. Finally, Ian told me, “Turn off the damn tv!”

He was right. After I turned off the tv, and only checked in periodically, I wasn’t so nervous. And the locals here were right. There was no real need to be afraid. Some of my friends have lived through Andrew, and others. It was only the media that was making the situation seem worse than it was.

After the hurricane, I talked to my dad about this next point. Why did the media seem upset that it wasn’t worse than it was? One of the headlines even read, “Gustav was no Katrina”. It was like they built it up, then were disappointed they didn’t get more news out of it.

I don’t get it. I really don’t.

It’s all about the ratings, I guess.

For now, I’ll continue to watch my local channels, and get my news snippets from the ‘net. One can only take such gloom and doom in small doses. 🙂

Maybe I’ll add a “Good News” section to my blog.

Sounds like a good idea to me!

Here’s to a little good news every now and then!


I’m out!

After the Storm

Storm’s gone. Power’s being restored. Things are slowly getting back to normal here in South Louisiana.

I’m sure many people wonder why I don’t evacuate when it comes to hurricanes. But, if I did, I’d miss the sheer wonder of the storm itself. I love hurricanes. In my next life, I hope I’m another Jim Cantore.

Sure, it gets a little scary sometimes, who wouldn’t get a little nervous when the trees in your backyard are pretty much parallel to the ground?

After four hurricanes here, I will still take a hurricane over an Oklahoma tornado or an ice storm anyday.

The winter before I moved, Oklahoma had an ice storm. I can still remember how scary it was to be wrapped in total darkness. It was complete silence except for the popping, cracking, and crashing of trees.

Nope, give me my hurricanes.

I will stay up for days tracking a hurricane, watching it’s slow progress through the gulf, watching as it makes landfall, to me, it’s just fascinating.

Granted, where I live, usually by the time the storm makes it to us, it’s lost some of it’s power, (another reason I don’t evacuate) but it’s still a sight to see.

Another sight that amazes me is people’s resiliency (or lack thereof) during these times. Yesterday, when it was finally safe to venture out, a friend of mine and I decided to go have some lunch.

We hear that Bennigans is open. Keep in mind that yesterday many businesses were still closed. We get over there, it’s a two hour wait. They aren’t even seating anyone anymore. A 2 hour wait is not for me, so we decide to try a local tavern that serves food.

We get there, there’s a VERY limited menu. There’s chicken strips, chicken wings, chicken sandwiches fries, and my favorite the Gustav Special. The Gustav Special was pork chops, jambalaya, and green beans.

We make the best of the limited menu, eat our food and I do what I love to do. Watch people. It was amazing to see the amount of people who complained or simply walked away.

Some people did like my friend and I did, however, and made the best of it.

I always believe that you have to make the best of a bad situation. At least we were getting food and not waiting for two hours. 🙂 At least it wasn’t an Oklahoma ice storm where you can’t even get out of the house for days.

There’s always a bright spot.

For now, it’s off to do some after the storm clean-up. I’ve got limbs the size of small trees to remove from my yard. Luckily, I have a few guys friends with chainsaws to help me. And I’ve got to start keeping my eye on Ike. Will he venture up to the Gulf Coast too? We’ll just have to see.


I’m out!