The small but beloved and scenic town of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi has quite a few great spots for engagement and bridal portrait sessions. Of course, if there's one thing in life that's certain, it's change.
One of my previous favorite locations in the Bay St. Louis area was the remains of a bank near the beach, where all that was left standing at the site after Hurricane Katrina washed the building away was the old vault. Weathered, grungy walls like that make for a fantastic background for photographs. That spot no longer exists, as the bank has been rebuilt in a development revival of this beachfront area... good for the town, but unfortunate for me as a photographer!
However, the revitalized area near the newly constructed harbor still had some great spots to work with for this Mississippi couple, and also has a fabulous new wedding venue, 200 North Beach Restaurant and Bar, which opened a very nice looking event space in 2021.
After shooting along the beachfront area for a while, we then headed over to the area around the old train depot to continue the session. As soon as we arrived there, my eye immediately went to the decrepit and rusty remains of an old rail car sitting on the tracks. Fortunately, the groom had an old jacket in his car that he was willing to place down on the rusted steel for them to safely sit on, and we captured a beautiful series of shots. The stark visual contrast provided by this kind of juxtaposition of an attractive and well-dressed couple with a grungy old piece of machinery or building is always appealing to me.
Their wedding took place at Southern Oaks in New Orleans in September 2018. Here's the wonderful review the bride subsequently wrote for me:
What to say about Michael Caswell? It’s hard to put words to how outstanding he is as a photographer. Michael shot our engagement photos and our wedding. Our engagement photos were beautiful. Michael truly knows how to capture a couple and the landscape in a truly great photograph. Just perfect. I was so excited for him to shoot our wedding and we were not disappointed. The reason why we chose Michael was because of his style. He is great at taking portraits and formal photos but we found his candid style photos were truly phenomenal. We weren’t wrong. Our wedding photos are the most breathtaking photos I’ve ever seen. The portrait shots are great but he captured my friends and family is an amazing light. Not only that but he captured my husband and I in so many beautiful photos. I have a tendency to fake smile when I know someone is taking a photo. Michael was everywhere without you knowing it. We have so many photos of my husband and I laughing genuinely and so many moments we didn’t get to see. I couldn’t recommend him more. A few other important items, picture quality aside. Michael is quick to respond to emails. He’s punctual and has always been on time or early. He’s very polite and great at his job. He’s creative and understands lighting and background. He works great with the staff at your venue and with friends and family. He isn’t aggressive with pulling you away from your reception. He gets the photos you want and then disappears to capture the pictures you never thought you needed. Do yourself a favor and hire Michael. You won’t regret it, I assure you. He’s an amazing photographer and because of him I have the best photos I’ve ever had, taken on the best day of my life. Not a moment missed of our fairy tale.
Location: Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.