Latrobes on Royal Bride and Groom Portrait on Stairs
Michael Caswell Photography

Latrobes on Royal Bride and Groom Portrait on Stairs

This is one of my all-time favorite shots, captured at Latrobe's on Royal in the French Quarter. This was a daytime wedding, so even though this was an indoor shot, there was enough natural light streaming in through the window that faces Conti Street to illuminate the couple beautifully with no need to add supplemental lighting.
This couple's ceremony had taken place at Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Destrehan, Louisiana, and they set aside fifteen or twenty minutes of time upon their arrival at the reception in New Orleans for portraits of just the two of them around the vicinity, and I'm so glad they did. Some couples choose to do this during the reception while guests are eating dinner, but the time of day needs to be considered, as for evening weddings, it will typically be after dark by this time.

Although the best light for these shots outside will about a half hour before sunset, interesting and dramatic portraits can be captured at night as well. Regardless, if these kinds of photographs are important to you, make sure to allow time for this session in your wedding day schedule, giving consideration to whether you want daylight or night time shots and planning appropriately. If you are having an evening wedding but have your heart set on natural light bride and groom portraits outside, having a first look and doing these pictures before the ceremony is often the only solution.

I've had wedding marketing experts suggest that I not feature this image so prominently, as it's a rather unconventional shot that is perhaps not instantly identifiable at first glance as being a photograph of a bride and groom, but rather is more of a graphical composition. But I think they have been proven wrong by the numerous couples who have specifically gone out of their way to comment favorably about this image.

Historic Wedding Venue in New Orleans

This popular New Orleans wedding venue is a historic building constructed in 1820 which originally housed the Louisiana State Bank. It was designed by famous architect Benjamin Latrobe, who was better known for his work in designing the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC. In portions of the interior, fascinating architectural detail drawings are framed along the walls, highlighting various aspects of the building's design.

A calligraphed poster inside the venue shares some details about the building and its architect:

Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe (May 1, 1764 - September 3, 1820) was a British-born American architect best known for his design of the United States Capitol. Also known as the “Father of American Architecture” other notable projects include the White House Porticos, the first Catholic Cathedral built in the United States, the Baltimore Basilica, The Bank of Philadelphia, the Waterworks Systems for both Philadelphia and New Orleans, as well as the central column of The St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.

The Louisiana State Bank was the first bank chartered in Louisiana after reconstruction. The architectural plans were completed on August 10, 1820 and the construction completed in 1822. The Louisiana State Bank retained ownership of the structure until it lost its charter in 1870.

Latrobe’s on Royal was Benjamin Henry Latrobe’s final design. Yellow fever, a wide-spread disease prevalent in New Orleans in the nineteenth century took Latrobe on September 3, 1820 before he could witness his last design achievement come to life in 1822, as the Louisiana State Bank. Benjamin Henry Latrobe was buried in New Orleans where his son Henry was buried three years earlier after also dying from yellow fever.

Location: 403 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130.