Wyndham Grand Chicago Wedding // Sarah + Tanya

Time flies when you’re having fun.  Their engagement session flew by and the same went for the wedding of Sarah and Tanya!  This time we left the drum set at home and instead grabbed our bouquets and hit the streets of Chicago!  Our day began and ended at the Wyndham Grand Chicago.  Normally when I got up to the bridal suite, I get photos of the details.  And one of the first details I noticed was a humorous little set of cards with some sound marital advice.  (See the first image below)

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Victoria In The Park Wedding // Monika and Jakub

This was possibly our most ambitious wedding in terms of travel.  Monika and Jakub were getting married near the loop in Chicago, but wanted to get their portraits done at St. Mary’s of the Lake in Mundelein.  It would have been doable with the amount of time we had allocated and the party trolley was in full swing.  But a massive set of thunderstorms that came through after their ceremony, quite literally rained on our parade.  Having just done a commercial shoot at The Drake Hotel in Chicago, I grabbed the phone and called a few people that I had met during my shoot.  They were kind enough to allow us in for a few portraits out of the rain.  And after a brief shoot indoors, we met back up with the bridal party waiting outside.

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Highland Park Senior Portrait // Corasha

When I was in high school, I actually never had a senior portrait session. In fact they are not as popular in the Northern Illinois / Chicago area as they are in most other parts of the country. In fact when you say “senior portrait” around this area, many folks assume you’re talking about senior citizens. But high school senior portrait sessions are an amazing opportunity to put together a concept shoot for your son or daughter that truly defines the adult that they are growing into. When we met with Corasha, the easy part was deciding to photograph on a beach in Highland Park. The next part was to come up with a concept.

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Salvage One Chicago Engagement // Alex + Gene

The words ‘hidden gem’ are a perfect fit for describing both the location and items of Salvage One. Their goal is to preserve and pass on our history. They have been helping our customers breathe new life into salvaged materials for nearly 30 years. We’ll let the images below do the talking for us, but I suggest you stop in and check them out during normal business hours. Not only are they a store, but they are also a venue where you can host a wedding, birthday, mitzvah or other large scale event.

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South Pond Engagement // Tanya + Sarah

Self proclaimed princess Tanya and rock star drummer Sarah took over the southern bridge leading to the Lincoln Park Zoo for their South Pond engagement session! When I say that we took over, I mean that we pretty much controlled the middle of the bridge for quite some time. Setting up a drum set, backdrop and lights was no easy job, however with five of us working as fast as possible the setup, shoot and tear down went just about as smoothly as it could.

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Chicago Soccer Themed Engagement // Mimma + Armando

World Cup shmorld cup.  Germany’s got nothing on our power bridal party this week.  The only reason the US didn’t make it further in the Cup is because Mimma and Armando were too busy battling against one another.  So we step out on the soccer field for the ultimate show down between our soon to be husband and wife team.  They won’t be going at it alone of course since each of them brought along their bridesmaids and groomsmen to help them out on the battle field.  Will the men step up to the challenge and take on a group of fierce girls to show them what Chicago soccer is all about or will they be sent packing?  Tempers flare, elbows are flying and the penalty cards are about to come out.  Take a look below and find out who wins this battle and what twist is in store at the end!

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Elgin Wedding at Hickory Stick // Cary + Julio

Hickory Stick is a popular venue in the Elgin area for weddings which is a great spot to consider for your wedding. Before heading to the reception, we had a portrait session at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve that is best described as cozy, quaint and isolated enough that you don’t need to worry about running into too many other people! Since we were at the tail end of spring for their wedding, my only concern was the chance of rain. But as the day got closer, the conditions looked to be perfectly sunny and polar vortex free! Elgin can be an easy area to overlook when it comes to photos. But one point that I would make is that there is a lot of scenic greenery out there. It’s a great location to get country-esque images without having to go hours outside of Chicago.

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80’s Engagement Session – Liz + Steve

Ordinarily I go out of my way to not photograph in your every day spots such as the front yard of a suburban home. But in the case of Liz and Steve that’s exactly what we were going for. While I was around in the 1980’s, I certainly was not old enough to be a photographer. In fact I was usually on the receiving end of the lens as many of us were during the childhood years. Aside from the usual photos at birthday parties and family gatherings, I recall being asked to pose in front of pretty trees, fountains, landmarks and many other things that look great on their own, but end up coming out sort of “blah” when you see them as a small 4×6 print. So in the case of Liz and Steve I put together a vision of what an 80’s engagement portrait would look like today.

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Chicagoland Forest Preserve – Renee + Justin

When someone says the band name “Smashing Pumpkins”, the first thing that comes to mind of course is Renee and Justin’s engagement session in a forest preserve with a big moon in the background! So our challenge that we set out to conquer was a large moon which Renee wanted in the engagement photos. The challenge being to find the location where we should plop this giant moon down! Middle of a busy street? Too easy. Off near a rundown building? Not a bad idea, but that location didn’t jive for Renee and Justin. How about in the middle of the woods where you have to walk over logs, try not to get tangled and avoid all of the mosquitoes? Perfect!

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The Drake Hotel Engagement – Doreen + Dan

The Drake Hotel is the perfect spot for a Gatsby themed engagement session. It’s not just the style of the hotel which provides a perfect vintage backdrop, but also the sheer volume and size of the hotel which draws you in. Located on the lake front in Chicago, this historic hotel was built in the roaring 1920’s and has been visited by folks including past presidents such as Hoover and Eisenhower, entertainers Liz Taylor and Frank Sinatra, and most importantly by Doreen and Dan who selected the hotel for a portion of their engagement session.

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