Skip Bolen is a Southern photographer of musicians, architecture, lifestyle and the culture of New Orleans. Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, he moved to New Orleans where he began his publishing career as a designer and art director. After moving to New York City, he began working at House & Garden, renamed HG, as Senior Designer in January 1988 with Anna Wintour and Alexander Liberman at Condé Nast Publications. Spending evenings in jazz clubs, he began photographing jazz musicians in New York City and often when he regularly returned to New Orleans. After three years at Condé Nast Publications in New York City, he returned to New Orleans to pursue his jazz photography full-time. In 1998, he moved to Los Angeles where he became art director of House of Blues for seven years while photographing at night and weekends. He continued photographing jazz musicians and had his first major solo exhibition at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles on August 9, 2002. On July 4, 2006, he returned to New Orleans to pursue photography full-time documenting the recovery and rebuilding of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, documenting the jazz scene, night-time photography and other photographic projects.
His black-and-white photographic images of jazz musicians are often shot only in natural light in jazz clubs, jazz festivals and concerts. Prominent examples of his jazz photography are in the collections of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Louisiana State Museum. He is a frequent contributor to JazzTimes (where he is listed on the masthead) and Down Beat magazine. Other works include an architectural project that capture the romance and nostalgia of vintage signs, landmarks, and other points of interest shot in and around New York, Los Angeles, and his hometown of New Orleans. He frequently photographs celebrities and high-profile events for Getty Images and Wireimage.