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Capturing Love in the Big Easy: Tips & Sneak Peeks from Erik & Jessie's Engagement Shoot in New Orleans

Updated: Jan 12

Erik and I's engagement shoot in New Orleans was like a dream! The countdown continues and we are so excited to celebrate our wedding on March 9, 2024. We had the most perfect day with the best support from lots of vendors all mentioned below:

Photography Company: Eye Wander Photo

Photographer: Sarah Ward

White Dress Location: Selina Catahoula New Orleans

Black Dress Location: French Quarter

First things first, I'm going to give you some much needed tips when planning your engagement photo shoot in New Orleans. Don't fall into the trap of "oh, I'm just going to wing it," because let me tell you, I thought that too... Until the weather projection was 100% rain for our scheduled date and time of the shoot.

With Louisiana, the weather is EXTREMELY unpredictable. It may say 100% rain and you don't even feel a drop. It may say sunny with 0% rain and you get poured on. For us, we had to make plans for a potential pour down, so I must have called a million venues, hotels, bars, etc to see who would let us get some shots. There are lots of venues and hotels who offer you to use their spaces for photos for a fee. These fees range from $150 - $500 depending on the hotel/venue. Some hotels will ask you just to book a day rate at their hotel as well.

Erik and I weren't looking to pay more than $200 since this wasn't the original plan. Our plan was just to take pictures throughout the city and French Quarter out and about. So, I made lots of calls! And, I suggest doing this earlier than the week before like we did. We found that lots of places were already booked and other places were unfortunately too pricey for us. I've listed out the different locations and what they currently offer as options for photo shoots.

Indoor Photo Shoot Friendly Locations & Pricing*

1. Race + Religious: Offers 1.5 hour & 2 hour photo shoot sessions. Call early! They book up quick. They schedule sessions up to one month in advance on Tuesdays - Thursdays during regular business hours (10am - 5pm). They also have a bridal suite reserved for you to change in.

  • 1.5 Hour Session: $300

  • 2 Hour Session: $400

2. Peter & Paul Hotel: Offers up to 2 hour photo shoot sessions. Call ahead to book and check availability.

  • Up to 2 Hours: $500

3. Il Mercato: Offers photo shoot sessions. I believe the pricing was in the $250-$500 range.

4. Eliza Jane Hotel: Offers photo shoot sessions. Call for pricing and availability.

  • 2 Hours: $500

5. The Pontchartrain Hotel: Offers photo shoot availability in Hot Tin prior to 2pm and photo shoot availability in Jack Rose in the morning. Email or Call for availability.

  • $350 Location Fee for photo shoots

6. Felicity Church: Offers photo shoot sessions. Call for pricing! I didn't reach out to them, but I know they offer photo shoots in their location.

7. There are lots of additional smaller hotels to reach out to. Most require a hotel room booking, so make sure to call and ask around.

*I recommend you calling and checking to see if these options are still available for you before showing up for a photo shoot. It's also best to call ahead and book some time with the venue/hotel so they know you are coming. Most require advance bookings.

Outdoor Photo Shoot Friendly Locations & Pricing (if applicable)

1. French Quarter: Walking around the French Quarter and taking pictures is totally allowed and totally free. If the weather is good, go for a stroll and grab some fun pictures! Swipe through our favorites below.

2. Jackson Square: Around Jackson Square is free, but within the Jackson Square gates requires a permit. It's $50 and needs to be applied for ahead of time. You can find the form and information here. We opted to not pay the fee and still got great shots on the outskirts of the square. Check out our favorites from our photo shoot below:

3. St. Louis Cathedral: While strolling around Jackson Square, you may notice the beautiful iconic St. Louis Cathedral. Make sure to take some shots while in the area.

4. City Park: This park is a sight to see. It's also perfect for outdoor pictures! No permit is required for personal photo shoots. However, professional films and photo shoots require permits.

  • Langles Bridge: A beautiful bridge within City Park. (pictured above)

City Park Langles Bridge

5. Audubon Park: Another beautiful park. Same as city park, personal photo shoots are allowed, but professional film or photos require permits.

Audubon Park in New Orleans, LA

Our Choices

We ended up finding some incredibly nice people who worked at the Selina Catahoula Hotel and the Park View Historic Hotel that were willing to let us take pictures in their locations as long as it didn't get in the way of hotel guests.

  • Selina Catahoula New Orleans: They had no issues with us using their venue and told us to just come day of. They said at most we may need to pay a small day-rate fee of $40. They were so sweet and when we showed up day of, they didn't charge us a penny.

  • Park View Historic Hotel: This is the hotel where we are getting ready for the day of the wedding. So, we figured it couldn't hurt to ask. The owner was more than happy to allow us to take pictures there, as long as it didn't disturb current guests. I'm not sure if they would have charged a fee if we weren't already going to be using the hotel at a later date. We didn't end up taking photos at this location because of the time crunch, but this was another option just in case of rain.

Selina Catahoula New Orleans Engagement Shoot Location

We began our engagement shoot at the Selina Catahoula hotel. They kept our extra clothes and bags in their storage closet up front by the concierge and granted us access to anywhere in the hotel common area to take pictures. They also had convenient first floor bathrooms that we were able to change outfits in.

First Photo Shoot Area: The Lobby / Front Desk Area

Our wonderful photographer, Sarah Ward, and her assistant met Erik and I in the lobby of the hotel. Sarah immediately fell in love with the area and we started shooting immediately. Check out the photos below. I think you'll love them!

Next Photo Shoot Area: Odd Birds Bar at the Selina & Courtyard Area

After the lobby, we moved into the Odd Birds Bar. After some shots there, we moved into the Courtyard right outside the bar. We came back later to the bar area for some pictures in our Formal outfits.

Next Photo Shoot Area: Past Courtyard Area in a Hallway Nook Area

We noticed a hallway that led to some hotel rooms and it had a very moody look that we fell in love with. So, this became our next location.

Next Photo Shoot Area: Selina Catahoula Rooftop Bar

We took an elevator to the top of the hotel and stepped into the Rooftop Bar for our next photo shoot area. I was really looking for an urban vibe with skyscrapers and this location did not disappoint!

Next Photo Shoot Area: Last Stop at the Catahoula - Odd Bird Bar (Again)

We finished off our time at the Selina Catahoula back at the Odd Bird Bar. In the lobby area, they have two private bathrooms and they were perfect for us to use for changing. We changed into our formal looks and took some last shots at the bar.

French Quarter New Orleans Engagement Shoot Location

In our formal outfits, we headed to the French Quarter. My advice on parking is to make sure you're on the outskirts of the Quarter. If you start driving into the different streets of the Quarter, you'll most likely hit lots of traffic and lots of potholes. We parked at Premium Parking - Lot P249 and you'll notice that all the pictures below are taken right there at Toulouse Street & Chartres Street. We only paid for an hour and that was more than enough time. It's close enough to walk to Jackson Square as well.

Parking Lot Address: 520 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

First Photo Shoot Area: Corner of Toulouse Street & Chartres Street

We absolutely loved these windows and striped awnings so it made for a perfect first location in the French Quarter.

Final Photo Shoot Area: Jackson Square & St. Louis Cathedral

We made our last and final locations Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral. Without a Jackson Square permit, we were only allowed to take pictures on the perimeter of Jackson Square outside of the gates. Sarah Ward did a fantastic job and got the best shots. Take a look!

I hope this guide has helped you plan the perfect engagement shoot in New Orleans. Happy Wedding Planning! Have so much fun!

Until Next Time,


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