L. Kasimu Harris’ love affair with news started around 1985 as a second grader when he began reading the newspaper. His passion for photography came a decade later, at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival when he took his father’s Canon AE-1, a 35mm camera purchased in 1976, to document jazz musicians. Since then, a camera has never been too far from his hands.
In 2002, Harris began honing his writing skill as a student at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), where he was a senior staff reporter at the school’s newspaper. He graduated from MTSU with a B.B.A. in entrepreneurship, then decided to further his journalism studies. Harris enrolled in the M.A. program at the University of Mississippi during the fall of 2005, days before Hurricane Katrina devastated his native New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He learned to be a compassionate journalist and work through personal tragedy while reporting from New Orleans 45 days after Katrina.
Harris graduated in 2008, but his studies went past journalism and into fine art and documentary photography. Moreover, his work environment went beyond America and Harris has reported from South Africa, Paris and Italy.
He has traveled across America photographing Delfeayo Marsalis, a jazz musician, and has meandered through the streets of New Orleans documenting Mardi Gras Indians and brass band second-lines. His work has appeared on the front pages of The Louisiana Weekly, The Grenada Star and The Bayou Community Magazine (both Mississippi publications), and on the walls of several galleries. Harris can currently also be found on the website of The Oxford American, in a regular column of photography and essays focused on the role of fashion in the life of New Orleans and the South.