Couple with New Orleans Water Meter Cover
Michael Caswell Photography

Couple with New Orleans Water Meter Cover

These unique and mysteriously-decorated water meter covers are a New Orleans icon. For weddings, I frequently see this design being used for groom's cakes, and other decorative elements.

One wish that this couple had for their engagement portrait was this picture, of them holding one of these famous items. The problem is, these covers are highly coveted souvenirs, and thus are frequently the target of theft, which not only adversely affects the aesthetics of the city and costs it money, but also presents a hazard to pedestrians who might inadvertently step into the holes in the sidewalk left open. As a result, they are very often locked down, or even welded shut, so we also considered some alternate possibilities, including perhaps having them lay down on the sidewalk next to one of these. But by some miracle, we actually managed to find one that was unsecured so that we could capture this photograph.

Amusingly, as we were shooting, a vigilant French Quarter resident was walking by, observed what we were doing, and pointedly asked, "are you STEALING that?!?" It took quite a bit of effort to convince this rightfully concerned citizen that our intentions were completely innocent and benign, and indeed, after we were done we left it just where we had found it (and took an oath of secrecy among the three of us, pledging to never reveal where this unsecured water meter cover was located).

Location: French Quarter, New Orleans, LA.