French Quarter Portrait Session and Wedding - Muriel's Jackson Square
One of my all time favorite ways to shoot a wedding is the small, intimate wedding with an extended portrait session, and that was just what Kendra and Alin had in mind for this one. Kendra had a bit of a 1920's idea in mind, which fit well with the location they picked - Muriel's Jackson Square. I knew I wanted to shoot a few at Muriel's when they first arrived, so I got there a little early, dropped off everything I didn't need for a free roaming portrait session, and got set up with a softbox and my assistant. Muriel's has a nice amount of natural light filtering in, so I wanted to utilize that right off the bat. The first couple of shots we took were natural window light, framed by dark curtains. I knew that this would be a very contrasty look - amazing what can happen with purely window light and a dark room/curtains behind.
From there, we moved out into the upstairs foyer, and took a couple of shots that mixed the ambient light with strobe, going for angles that showed off the architectural aspect of Murel's upstairs.
Moving quickly to work with what remaining light we had in the evening, we headed outside, but grabbed a few on the stairs and in the alley entrance on the way out.
Since Muriel's is right on the edge of Jackson Square, and we would have to cross it anyway, I decided to grab a few shots there. That is a tough place to photograph, because of the immense crowds (not to mention current construction), but I thought I would try a few angles and techniques, to make myself think a bit outside the usual box. By combining shallow depth of field, flash, picking angles carefully, and using higher shutter speeds, I was able to isolate them from the busy background a bit.
From there, it was a short loop through the FQ, including a stop on Royal St, before we ended up back in front of Muriel's for a quick shot with the umbrellas. Natural light on the street was pretty minimal at this point, but I didn't want to totally blow out the sky, so I used a good amount of flash mixed in to expose them, while keeping detail in the beautiful clouds. I wanted to capture some of the elements of Royal St, so I went ahead and shot a little wide.
Back at Muriel's, it was time to get set up for the balcony ceremony. By then it was pretty much pitch black on the balcony, so I asked my assistant to hold a rim light for me, while I position another to light the area where the ceremony would be performed. What I didn't anticipate, was the crazy color I would get from the iPhone used to read the vows!!
After the ceremony, it was cocktail time in the Séance room, with plenty of fun portraits thrown in as the guests got a chance to catch up with each other and the bride and groom. I also grabbed a few shots of the beautiful bouquet and rings.
Eventually, dinner time rolled around, and everyone made it into the other room for a quick toast and some delicious food, at which point, my night was all done. Thanks Kendra and Alin for a great time, and congrats!