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


Ruth and Becca – Sister Sister

When you think of a family portrait session, or one with siblings…it’s not often that alley ways and loading docks come to mind. However I like to mix things up a bit and capture images that are something that’s “a little different”. If looking at the camera and saying “cheese” is what you want, then I’m not the photographer for you. Ruth called me up and suggested we do a shoot. We chatted about hair, makeup, and wardrobe and then set out on a nice cloudy day to capture the following…

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Chicago Portrait - Ruth and Becca

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Chicago Portrait - Ruth and Becca

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Chicago Portrait - Ruth and Becca

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Chicago Portrait - Ruth and Becca

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Chicago Portrait - Ruth and Becca

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Chicago Portrait - Ruth and Becca

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Chicago Portrait - Ruth and Becca

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Chicago Portrait - Ruth and Becca


Masha’s Portrait at the Palmer

There’s one key thing to remember when you’re going to photograph in a business such as a hotel. Even if you call a hotel and say “I’m staying there, can I have my portrait captured by a photographer?” You may very well receive a “yes” from the manager of managers himself…however when you show up to photograph, all of a sudden they’ll forget what you’re talking about and you’ll be chased all around the hotel by security. And boy are they on you in a hurry.

We showed up at the Palmer Hotel Chicago and met with Masha in her room who was all set and ready for her portrait and jaunt around the hotel. She wanted something that was slightly more high fashion and we immediately began thinking of something in a more formal dress. Initially we had a fantastic concept planned out for an early morning portrait out on the streets of Chicago, but the weather was a bit cold and rainy so we did the portraits in the hotel.

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography

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Masha Portrait Novo Photography


Chicago Skyline Fashion Engagement

The most common skyline photos you’ll see of Chicago are from the lakefront. With Vicki and Edgar we decided to mash it up a bit and capture their engagement images from the inner part of the city. It certainly provides a different perspective! My friend and fellow artist Ken, owns a building just north of the loop and was kind enough to let us use his studio and rooftop to capture some amazing images. Afterwards we hit the streets with the setting sun for a few parting images outside of the Silver Palm restaurant, which by the way, if you have never had their ‘Three Little Pigs’ sandwich then I would highly recommend a trip.

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography

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Engagement Novo Photography