What the Water Gave Us is a project that stemmed from a desire to serve after the severe flooding in Louisiana in August 2016. My name is Jennifer Esneault, and I’m a portrait photographer in Baton Rouge, LA. I felt compelled to offer my assistance as a maker of images to the flood victims. Many of them lived in areas that had never previously flooded, and the fast-rising waters left them with little time to save their photos. I began to salvage photos from waterlogged albums and boxes. Some were in amazing condition, and others emulsified into nothing more than ink and paper. In some cases, the photo itself was so badly damaged that it could not be restored digitally. I began to search for a way – any way – to give these images life. And a new project was born.

I save what I can, digitize the originals, and return the salvageable photos to their owners.

With their permissions, the damaged images are reborn.

What The Water Gave Us is a way for the flood damaged photos to live on.

To submit your flood damaged photos for the project, please fill out the contact form.