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 a picture of them with one of these famous items. But accomplishing this photographically was a pretty big challenge. These covers are highly coveted souvenirs that people love to decorate their homes with, 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 were thinking perhaps the only way to get this should would be by having them lay down on the sidewalk next to one of these water meter covers.
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.