In Louisiana’s Fishing Villages, Food and Faith Are Found in the Water

Photographer J. T. Blatty Captures a Vanishing Way of Life in the Bayou

For generations, water has provided everything to the people of southeastern Louisiana’s fishing communities. Their meals. Their livelihoods. Their recreation. Their birthright. Even their faith, as one photograph by J. T. Blatty—showing an archbishop conducting the Blessing of the Fleet—makes clear.

From 2012 to 2017, Blatty, a New Orleans-based photographer, drove to small towns and villages on the bayous to document a way of life that is rapidly disappearing. The causes of this decline include the growth of the city of New Orleans and its levees, the hurricanes, and the …