The beginning of forever

New Orleans engagement portraits make memories for young couple

When Caleb Mire  asked for my daughter’s hand in marriage, one of my first thoughts (after “I can’t believe my Baby Girl is old enough to get married”) was about photos. I had always told Gabby I wanted to shoot her engagement photos, but I wasn’t sure if she’d really let me.

Gabby Crawford and Caleb Mire engagement portraits

The unique architectural features of the New Orleans French Quarter add interest to any portrait session.

So I was proud when she quickly asked if I was going to shoot the session. We headed to New Orleans last weekend to walk the French Quarter and capture some images that captured this pivotal time in their lives.

The French Quarter is the perfect backdrop, with it’s unique architecture and age providing new options around every corner.

My daughter has turned out to be modest to a fault, being uncomfortable with public displays of affection. Not sure where she got that, since she’s seen me grab my wife for a hug at the drop of a hat — no matter who was around — her entire life. But getting Gabby to kiss her soon-to-be husband was funny. They looked like they had never kissed (which I don’t mind, actually). Gabby later shared that the crowds in the Big Easy really made her feel awkward engaging in PDA.

But it was like the town was ready for us. Mardi Gras is only weeks away, so the streets were packed with tourists in town for the party. Initially, I thought that could be a problem, but much to my surprise the crowds pretty much worked with us by walking around us as we worked — and many folks wished Gabby and Caleb well in their marriage.

New Olreans engagement portraits

Gabby Crawford and Caleb Mire on the balcony of Madame John’s Legacy in the New Orleans French Quarter during their engagement portrait session.

And when we climbed to the balcony of Madame John’s Legacy, an historical landmark built in 1795 that now is a state museum, a Louisiana parks officer stuck his head out the door and invited us to use the courtyard behind the old Dumaine Street house. The staff there couldn’t have been nicer.

While we carried around a single soft box for my flash and captured some really great photos with it, some of my favorite images from the shoot actually came during a late lunch at the Gumbo Shop on St. Peter Street. Natural light from a nearby window was hitting Caleb and Gabby perfectly, so I cranked up the ISO on my Nikon D810 and shot without a flash. I told Caleb to kiss his bride-to-be on the cheek, and (despite her aversion to PDA) Gabby’s face lit up with a big smile. Perfect.

After a full day of shooting in the French Quarter, we headed north to Hammond to shoot at a park. A live oak tree, a bench and a cool bridge over a pond provided perfect scenes for some images to round out the session.

The session, which admittedly was mixed with a day of hanging out, was a blast. We captured some wonderful images and made more memories.

Click here to see more examples of my portraits, and please email me if you’re interested in scheduling a session.

New Orleans' French Quarter provided a great backdrop for the engagement portrait session for Caleb Mire and Gabby Crawford.

New Orleans’ French Quarter provided a great backdrop for the engagement portrait session for Caleb Mire and Gabby Crawford.

About Andy Crawford

Andy Crawford has been a photographer and writer for more than 20 years, with thousands of images and articles published in magazines and newspapers around the country. He now focuses on Louisiana photography, landscapes, HDR photography, urban prints and other fine art photography. He also is a portrait photographer.