Chicago South Pond Engagement // Kasia and Sebastian

Studio Gang South Pond Engagement Photography

Almost famous in its own way, the Chicago South Pond in Lincoln Park is perfect for engagement photography.  It’s not uncommon to see at least a dozen or more photographers and future newlyweds wandering the area on a pleasant weekend.  This iconic spot is the perfect merger of Chicago skyline and the beautiful greens of nature.

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Chicago Portrait Session // Yuliya

Yuliya is the feature of our Chicago portrait session this week. Sometimes it’s great to get out there and just do a session for you! No matter what you feel you look like today, good or bad, down the road you’ll be glad you did! The question is, what do you do for a portrait session?Read More


The Rookery Wedding

Photographing a wedding at The Rookery is an absolutely thrilling experience.  During the day it serves as home to commercial offices but for events the businesses are covered by draping which leaves only the beautiful architecture.  Read More


Chicago Congress Hotel Wedding // Nikki + Nick

Congress Hotel Wedding

This winter wonderland wedding at the Congress Hotel in Chicago could not have been any better. December is indeed a pretty cold month to get married, however if you’re planning your wedding at a great venue with lot’s of details and decor then you can stay inside for your portrait session. Read More


Chicago Modern Engagement // Regan + Troy

Classic Chicago is just sometimes the way to go for photos but with a slight twist. Regan spends a lot of her time dancing and being a dance and fitness instructor. When discussing ideas with the two of them we were leaning towards a “modern Chicago” feel and decided to work in Regan’s dancing into it! The story begins with the two of them both being at the same lounge (Violet Hour).Read More


Chicago Cultural Center Engagement // Ashley + Kyle

Chicago Cultural Center Engagement

One of my personal favorite gems to head to is the Chicago Cultural Center for shoots. And really you can capture images of just about anything there including the venue itself, high fashion portraits or even some quirky fun photos turn out great! Ashley and Kyle currently reside in St. Louis and one of the things that they wanted to make sure we did was to get a bit of Chicago in their engagement photos because we won’t have the opportunity to head into the city on their wedding day.

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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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Chicago Wedding Photography-Katya and Frank

We’ve heard of high school sweethearts, but in this instance our couple falls into the category of ‘college sweethearts’. Previously we featured their engagement session at Northwestern and we moved a bit further south for their wedding images to the downtown Chicago area. Interestingly enough they now both reside in Minnesota, but came back to Chicago for their wedding to change their title to “Chicago Wedding Sweethearts”.

We kicked off at the Hyatt Hotel on Wacker in Chicago where they both got ready and had their first look. The softer side of Frank quickly emerged the moment he saw Katya and it was love at first sight all over again. We were then off for an ambitious 4 location shoot in just 3 hours before the ceremony! First on our list was Michigan Avenue near the Chicago Tribune building. A very popular spot and each time I’m here I try to get some sort of new perspective. Classic shots and compositions are great, but it’s also important to push the boundaries a bit, innovate and stay fresh.

After a lap around the city we made our way back to the Bridgeport Art Center for their ceremony and reception. One note for upcoming brides is that if you’re seeking to make more time for your portrait session on your wedding day, the easiest way to do it is to have your ceremony and reception in the same place. By not having to transfer from one location to another it can easily free up an additional hour or two on the day of your wedding. For those planning a Chicago Wedding, it’s ideal to then stay in the city for your portraits. If your wedding is in the suburbs then ideally your portraits should also be in the suburbs. Use your engagement session to head off to a location that you might not be able to make on the day of your wedding.

As the night got going there were shots, toasts, dancing, more shots, more dancing and most importantly, an ice cream truck. The Bridgeport Art Center has such a large elevator that even a truck can fit inside. This let the truck roll right on into the reception hall and serve guests a fun midnight treat!

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Chicago Photography - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Photography - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Photography - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Photography - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Photography - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Photography - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Photography - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

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Chicago Wedding - Katya and Frank

Hotel / Hyatt Regency Hotel
Wedding Planner / You Name It Events
Venue / Bridgeport Art Center
Video / Shadow Vision Films
Rabbi / Rabbi Tillman
Catering / La Mirage
Cake / Oak Mill Bakery
Ice Cream Truck / Sams Ice Cream


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