Award-winning Destrehan photographer place photo in state museum

Although Destrehan photographer Denise Forbes is originally from Houma and often travels to New Orleans and around the region to take photographs, she said St. Charles Parish offers a lot of opportunities for great photos.

“To be honest I wouldn’t live anywhere else,” she said. “It’s where some of my best stuff comes from.”

Forbes, who has been living in St. Charles Parish since 1987, has been taking photos for most of her life.

“I’ve been taking photographs at least since I was real little. My first camera was a Kodak with the flash cube on it if that tells you anything,” she said.

She later became a photojournalist working for newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux before going back to school in the mid 80s to begin a career in computer science.

Now her focuses on photography is as an artist.

Given the number of years Forbes has spent in photography she has come a long way from her first Kodak camera. Although she developed her own film for years she has switched over to digital cameras in the past few years.

“It took a long time. I don’t think I went digital until 2006,” she said. “I was hardcore film, but once I got to work with some of the graphic arts software it was a lot easier than bending over a chemical tray.”

Over the past few years Forbes has been placing her photography in exhibitions across the nation, most recently in galleries in San Diego, Colorado and Illinois.

In addition, she has received numerous photography awards, including two from international competitions conducted by the Photographic Society of America.

This year her photograph “Jazz Horn” was one of 69 pieces selected to be shown at Forum 35’s Art Melt exhibit that will be on display in the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge until the end of August.

The black and white photo shows a trumpeter whose face is obscured by a beat up horn and his hands holding the instrument as he blows into it.

“It could be any jazz musician, that’s the idea,” she said.

The photo is part of a jazz series Forbes has been working on.

“I try to photograph musicians, but not the big ones, the little clubs. Places in the Marigny and Washington Square and Houma,” she said.

Forbes’ photograph was one out of over 600 submissions by Louisiana artists.

“It’s a real honor to be part of the show,” she said.

After her photo finishes up its run at the Louisiana State Museum, Forbes she has already been asked to display it at the Alexandria Museum of Art and undoubtedly more opportunities to display her work are yet to come.

You can find out more about Forbes or purchase her photographs by visiting her website at


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