What started off as an old papermill turned into a place for people to gather, shoot photos and in the process, make memories along the way.
Located on 1123 East Main Street, The Mill of New Iberia serves as a location for any and all photographers to come and shoot photos. The 10-acre property hosted over 400 photographers last year alone.
Jonathan DeRise, co-owner of The Mill of New Iberia, said after multiple cases of trespassing on the property and vandalism to the former paper mill, he decided to clean it up for everyone to use.
“We had a lot of people trespassing and so on and so forth, so we can’t beat them, so why not join them, you know,” DeRise said. “It’s all photoghers that are coming and wanting to shoot so what I did was clean it up really well for everyone to use.”
DeRise said he created a quick Facebook page but he didn’t know whether it was going to take off.
“I’m a member of the Lafayette Photographers Society and I’ve been a photographer for some time now and I said let’s open it up to some of my friends and whatnot and the word got out and we started booking and getting appointments,” DeRise said.
DeRise said it really took off after creating the Facebook page.
“We book up to eight photoghers a day and coming up to senior time, it’s a really busy time of the year because of the vast difference in scenery on the grounds,” DeRise said.
The Daily Iberian spoke to DeRise on his business and why it’s a place where people like to shoot photos.
Why is it such a great place for photo shoots?
Because of the price we have it and it’s cheap and the vast scenery we have. On one end of the property you can take more glamorous-style (photos) and go on the other end and you can do more urban grunge scene.
What’s the clientele like?
We host people from along the Gulf of Mexico, from Houston, to Shreveport, to Mississippi, we’ve even had people come from Pensacola (Florida).
Why do you think so many people come to the Mill of New Iberia?
I think social media has had a big influence on it. People see it and say, “Wow, man what is that cool location?” And other photographers kind of spread the word and say, “Hey, go here and you can shoot all day for a good price and you don’t have to rush around like other places.” It’s just a vast variety in the scenery we have.
What’s the scenery like?
We have urban grunge scene with graffiti, all the way to your more glamorous stuff that kids can use with a rope swing.
How much is it for a photoshoot?
We are $20 for a single shoot and $60 for a day and mini sessions. Mini sessions allow you to have multiple people throughout the day for a short period of time, where the $20 single session you come for a few hours with multiple outfits.
What do you want the people of New Iberia to know about your business?
We just love to host all types of photo session from bridals to senior pics. For booking, message our Facebook page, “The Mill of New Iberia.”