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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Metro Chicago Engagement

There are places that we’ve all been to countless times that take on a totally different look and feel when they are empty. Imagine a packed music venue with one of your favorite bands playing. There’s a line for the bar, a smidgen of standing room only space on the outskirts of the main floor and the occasional burst of bright light as someone captures a photo of the band on stage. This is normally what it’s like at the Metro Chicago.

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Elsa + Roman – Poppingly Engaged

It’s inevitable that as a photographer you will end up at the same spots from time to time. The reason that places keep drawing people in time and time again is because there’s something special about that spot that makes folks want to capture it in their memories. Couples sometimes think that it might be too cliche to capture their images at the Chicago skyline, in front of the Golden Gate Bridge or some other spot which is near them. In reality you shouldn’t shy away from those spots. After all if everyone thinks its cliche and skips the spot, then the cliche is really more in skipping a place you would have otherwise photographed at. Which brings us to our engaged couple of Elsa and Roman.

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Chicago Engagement Photography – Marcy and Matt

Chicago Winter Engagement

Winters in Chicago mean that many portrait sessions or engagement shoots happen indoors.  And while we are indeed toasty (and often well stocked on alcohol) during the shoot, it requires some precision lighting in some dark venues to both capture the images and keep the ambiance of the location.  Needless to say that the Green Mill is the definition of dark. Read More


Chicagoland Engagement – Elyse And Don

Talk about “make it your own”. Something I tell each couple that comes into our studio. Make it your own. Any time I do a Chicagoland Engagement Portrait, I try to do something different. Each couple has their own nuance and flavor of what makes them a couple. My job is to adapt and capture that in each couple rather than have them simply fit into my style. For Elyse and Don we went to their local watering hole called Brixie’s.

When you think of small bars in the Chicagoland area, Brixies falls right into that category. Not glamorous or jazzed up…it’s a place to come and have a drink all the way up till 4am if you so desire. So we can either avoid the location and go to some of your Chicagoland classics for portraits or we can make it all about what is special to Elyse and Don about one of their favorite bars. We met up around noon on a Saturday just after the bar opened. The goal was to have as few people as possible around and to wrap up before the sports crowd came in for the late afternoon games. It’s amazing how many different nooks and crannies you can find in a given location no matter how simple the layout. There’s a story to be told just about anywhere, you just need to look with an open mind.

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography

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Chicago Engagement Photography


Chicagoland Engagement – Irina and Vova

The beauty if Chicago is that there are many photographic gems that can be found not just in the city, but also in the surrounding areas. We met up at the Naperville Riverwalk which is a lovely and scenic piece of land in the middle of a not too small town. Their engagement photos began with a slightly more formal look, but we quickly shifted to some more casual clothing to better match the laid back environment of the Riverwalk. We didn’t want to make the shoot just about one part or another such as focusing too much on the river itself, so we wandered around for quite some time and shot in a lot of different locations, some of which you’ll see posted below.

This brings up a good point. Your engagement session is a chance for you to not only pick any location that comes to mind, but to also style it the way you want. When thinking of clothing, take a look at your location and see how you want to match it or not. Maybe you’re not sure what the best choices are? Speak to your photographer or to a stylist ahead of time and plan out the clothing that you will bring with you. Bringing more than one outfit is something most couples do. If we shoot a few frames and then the results aren’t coming together the way we initially planned or if you simply want multiple looks, your clothing change is just a short walk away. In a sense, you can almost change the tone and theme of your shoot entirely with an outfit change. Also keep in mind that if you’re bringing pets with you to a shoot, that sometimes a bit of doggy drool or excessive pet hair may call for a clothing change.

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Chicagoland Photography Michael Novo

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Chicagoland Photography Michael Novo

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Chicagoland Engagement Photography Michael Novo

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Chicagoland Engagement Photography Michael Novo

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Chicagoland Engagement Photography Michael Novo

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Chicagoland Engagement Photography Michael Novo

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Chicagoland Engagement Photography Michael Novo

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Chicagoland Engagement Photography Michael Novo

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Naperville Riverwalk

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Naperville Riverwalk

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Naperville Riverwalk

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Naperville Riverwalk

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Naperville Riverwalk Engagement

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Naperville Riverwalk Engagement

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Naperville Riverwalk Engagement

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Naperville Riverwalk Engagement


Chicago Wedding Photography – The ‘Feel Good’ Moments

When we’re photographing a wedding or engagement in Chicago one of the things that we go over is the theme and feel of the images that each couple is looking for. Sometimes couples who are happy go lucky want to mix it up a bit and go with a bit more style and glamour while other times it’s all about keeping it lighthearted and fun! Either way the choice is yours and one that should require a little bit of thought. These images will be your memories for years and displayed as albums or photo art in your home, so the question boils down to “What would you like to see?” In fact for the engagement session is the perfect time to put a true theme or style together. Since you have more time during the engagement session it’s a great time to think out of the box. If you enjoy bike riding together, let’s grab some bikes and head to the lake front! If bowling is right up your alley then that’s a great place for us to stage a couple shots…with permission of course.

The one thing to keep in mind is that even if you’re doing a more dramatic themed or styled shoot (something our studio specializes in), it’s still important to capture a few happy shots that truly show who you are. Don’t be afraid to crack a smile or have some fun! Drama might make for some artsy images, but smiles are what make the memories of your wedding photography.

Chicago Wedding Photography

Chicago Wedding Photography

Chicago Wedding Photography

Chicago Wedding Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography


Chicago Wedding Photography -Katy and Chris

Every so often you come across a couple who meet and hit it off with each other right from the get go. Katy and Chris met online and then got together to meet each other face to face. It wasn’t long before they began dating and eventually got engaged and now we find ourselves sitting around and discussing their wedding plans! When you meet Chris he’s a mans man…cool calm and laid back. We got a chance to grab a drink together and as it turned out we had some mutual contacts in the business world! So hearing that he was just a wee bit nervous when proposing to Katy made me empathize since I had just gotten engaged myself around the same time as them.

The night they got engaged, Katy and Chris headed to The Green Door Chicago to celebrate with some friends and family. The Green Door is a speakeasy located in the downtown Chicago area and is quite literally an old school speakeasy. There’s a bar and restaurant upstairs, but then once you make your way downstairs and round a corner, behind a locked door is where you will find the speakeasy. While the lighting down there is dark and moody as you would expect, if you throw some strobes on the decor down there you will get some amazing color from the vintage furnishings. We will be staying in the city for their wedding as well coming up on August 31st at which time we will be photographing at the historic “Rookery”!

Venue: The Green Door Chicago

Chicago Wedding Photography

Chicago Wedding Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

Chicago Engagement Photography

For more work and images, check out our full galleries at Michael Novo Photography


Chicago Wedding Photography – Veronica and Matt

Location: Aurora, IL
Venue:

We got together with Veronica and Matt in Aurora for their Engagement Session and aside from a couple gusts of wind, we had a spectacular day. For the photos where we needed sun and when we were looking for some shade a cloud would roll through at just the right moment and shift the light to get the image just right…if only every wedding day had such versatility. We walked much of the downtown Aurora area and incorporated the various landmarks in their photographs. With the ever changing conditions of the day, it gave us the perfect opportunity to capture images with completely different feels. We had nice subtle shade that provided a number of warm images, some stronger sun to make the colors pop and then a bit of twilight to finish the day off with some more dramatic images. This was my first visit out there and was a great place for a photo shoot…and a beer after.

Veronica and Matt are having their wedding out in Riverside Receptions in Geneva, IL which, depending on the speed you choose to drive ends up being about an hour long drive. We will be capturing their wedding photography out in Geneva.

Michael Novo Photography Wedding

Michael Novo Photography Wedding

Michael Novo Photography Wedding

Michael Novo Photography Wedding

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

Michael Novo Photography Engagement

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Annie and Terry – Quizically Quirky

I think fun and smiley best describes Annie and Terry. You chat with them for a few minutes and you can’t help but smile as well. And to cheer us up even more, the weather down in Albuquerque, NM was perfect for their early March engagement session. We grabbed our gear, hopped in the car and drove (that’s right drove) down to New Mexico. I had never seen the Southwest from the car so I thought I would check it out from the road.

When we arrived in town, we knew that desert was the place to be so we started near the petroglyphs, which are rocks with very old drawings on them down by early settlers, to a plateau that overlooked the sunset. Of course what trip to the Southwest is complete if you don’t have some Tex-Mex style food when in the area after the shoot. The best part of the shoot was that the temperature stayed nice and mellow in the upper 60’s all day! We could have stayed out all night shooting in such a nice location, but alas it came time for some dinner so off we went!

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography

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Annnie and Terry - Michael Novo Photography