Love Letter to the People of New Orleans: Street Shots From ESSENCE Fest 2017

Already a vibrant city, New Orleans lights up when ESSENCE Fest comes to town, welcoming thousands of visitors. Food, music, and just strolling down Bourbon Street become an art form in the town founded nearly 300 years ago. The local people play a big role in what makes this city so unique and a must on everyone's list. Read about some of their stories below, captured by our man on the street, hometown Photographer Patrick Melon.

We captured beautiful people in real moments in the Big Easy, home of ESSENCE Fest 2017.

1 of 13 Patrick Melon

I was born & raised in the 7th ward. My mom is creole. I love crawfish and gumbo and second lines.

2 of 13 Patrick Melon

I am known as FADE A RHEA - known for my skills behind the bar and keeping the young professionals of New Orleans in the best 'spirits.'

3 of 13 Patrick Melon

My name is Darnell, ya heard me. I'm from uptown. I'm a barber and a father of three with one on the way. I represent New Orleans because I carry it on my chest. I breathe it, that's me. I'm as real as they come.

4 of 13 Patrick Melon

My name is Ryan Moret.  I am a New Orleans native, Martial artist, father, instructor, student, entrepreneur and friend to many. I never quit, give up, or back down. I am a lot like my city, resilient, tough but caring....strong but loving; Not always doing right but always right at heart. I am New Orleans.

5 of 13 Patrick Melon

My name is Ceaux, I like to represent more of New Orleans modern day culture with my art. I like to focus on the older generation's influence on us; whether it be through music or everyday life.

6 of 13 Patrick Melon

I am Denisia: Singer / Songwriter / Youth community leader. I am the shift of New Orleans sound combining the soul essence of r&b music with New Orleans culture, and a 4 foot powerhouse!

7 of 13 Patrick Melon

"New Orleans is a place where people come, they get inspired and create, then they leave. And there's a lot of good and bad that comes with that."

8 of 13 Patrick Melon

I'm a modern day street poet. I set up with my typewriter throughout New Orleans crafting custom poetry for people and at events. #poetrystillmatters

9 of 13 Patrick Melon

Im an international dancer from New Orleans. I represent bounce music, the real. Our accent, swag, and our style. I want to be part of the great lineage of entertainers from our city.

10 of 13 Patrick Melon

"I'm a representative of the school of Israel United in Christ. We've been established in New Orleans for 3 years. It's an organization to teach black, native americans and hispanics who they are according to bible. Our mission is go out and teach our people who God wants them to be. We're not out here on a racial campaign with the aim to disrespect other races or nationalities, only here to teach our own people in a professional manner."

11 of 13 Patrick Melon

"I'm from the 17th Ward. My favorite thing about New Orleans is our originality. We're the most unique city in the US."

12 of 13 Patrick Melon

I work every day to take care of my kids support family. I’m a big Saints fan. Patron of our culture. I love second lines and Mardi Gras. I love Essence because it brings all our people to one spot for a weekend to enjoy themselves. I just enjoy watching our beautiful people come together every three nights out a year come to a place to live. Just to say I that I was part of that it's a blessing

13 of 13 Patrick Melon

"The streets of New Orleans are colorful. It's a must that I match its fly-ness."