When Sam & Dan first reached out a few months ago during their search for a photographer for their Chicago wedding, I was struck by their intentionality in love and warmth in partnership with one another. These two athletes competed at University of Illinois and Ohio State and have since run marathons the world over. To say they’re a powerhouse couple would be an understatement: their first trip “away” together was Hong Kong. Not Door County or Nashville or Sonoma or even Mexico…. Hong. Kong. And they both loved it. Sam and Dan found in each other someone who could keep up; someone their speed- and it’s a blast to photograph them together.
For their engagement photos, we ran around Chicago, visiting the South Garden at the Art Institute of Chicago; Michigan Avenue, the Wrigley Building and Chicago Riverwalk and ended with the last sparks of a September sunset at Olive Park overlooking the skyline near Ohio Street Beach and Navy Pier. Here’s to June 1, 2019!
This fairytale of an evening at Montrose Harbor, Beach and Bird Sanctuary with Dane and Lindsey will go down as one of my favorite color palettes and styled engagement sessions EVER. Between Lake Michigan's perfect aqua blue, Lindsey's positively pink skirt, Dane's Italian tan and the summer green only found in the Midwest - this session was a home run before I even picked up my cameras. These two followed their own paths to Chicago (him by way of Ohio, her via Michigan) and as fate had it, met several years ago. Their relationship quickly deepened and strengthened, leading Dane to surprise Lindsey last winter with a sparkly stunner of a present under the Christmas tree- complete with THE question. For her, there was no question, and this bride- and groom-to-be started planning their wedding for next summer!
Since their getaway wedding plans include a destination, Lindsey and Dane wanted to celebrate Chicago and the love they both have for this beautiful city they both have come to call home. As someone else who moved to Chicago and fell in love with this city as an adult, I was thrilled. So without further words, check out this golden couple's gorgeous engagement photos, complete with beach, meadow, sunset over the city and perfectly romantic moonlit skyline photos. YAY!!
In October in the Great Lakes area, especially Chicago, weather can be unpredictable- with gorgeous sunshine and warm, dry weather followed immediately by a gusty rain-shower (sun-shower?).
I followed the lead of these two adventurers, whose good faith lucked out with an engagement session that began as a walk in the sunshine that turned into a rather romantic stroll in the rain. Both lovers of Chicago history, culture and architecture, this future bride and groom explored the University of Chicago's Gothic Revival buildings in Hyde Park as the sun set.
While I love an engagement session that flows naturally toward the sunset (golden hour, as we photographers call it), the portraits in the second half of this session in the rain might be my favorite. I've found time and time again that couples who embrace unanticipated weather and roll with what light we're given on the day come away with truly stunning, genuine photos that capture their spirit. Matt & Meghan, I'm grateful for your leap of faith into dancing in the rain!
Full disclosure: I have a major style crush on this couple. From her smart emerald dress and classy black mules with gold details on the heels to his textured sport coat- Sam & Steven's engagement session was a foxtrot up and down Michigan Avenue. Starting at the Chicago Riverwalk, wandering up to the Wrigley Building plaza and running over to the John Hancock Building and Water Tower Place, we hit every highlight on the Magnificent Mile in our two hours together.
These two laughed through the chilly Chicago winter weather, shared with enthusiasm plans and details for their July 2018 wedding! Steven and Sam have smiles that rival the gorgeous holiday lights that infused these photographs, and Chicago's architecture provided unmatched backdrops of this city these two enjoy together. Congratulations, friends!
I'm a big believer in the power of photographs to not only serve as celebration of a time and season- but also a space! When Taylor & Dan requested that part of their engagement session take place in their gorgeous first home with their handsome boxer pup, Roscoe, my answer was YES!! These engagement photographs reflect the blend of cozy, warm atmosphere and clean, modern aesthetic that these two love to cultivate and share with their friends and family.
Thanks to Bianca Sansosti for blessing our foxy bride with her magical makeup fairy dust. This suite of engagement photos wouldn't be complete without details from The Mrs Box (Porter) and Bellame Ribbon (Porcelain). Styling by Amelia Cole Events!
Funny story: this is NOT Sarah & Jordan's first time in front of the True Grace camera! (SEE BELOW!) We first met at Beth & Mike's blowout Notre Dame wedding last summer, and then after Jordan popped the question, we met again in my office in Downers Grove to talk about their very own wedding coming up in May of 2018!
These two decided to have the majority of their engagement photographs created in Lincoln Park, where they'll be tying the knot in the spring. While the leaves this year this October haven't been as extraordinary, the weather certainly has been! We took advantage of the warmer weather here in Chicago and strolled through Lincoln Park and on to North Avenue beach to catch some of the lights as the sun slowly set on a beautifully cloudy day. (Ask me sometime how much I love clouds on a photoshoot!)
As I've reflected some on the wedding photographs I've created this year, the one style element that stands out is COLOR. I can't get enough of it. I used to avoid color, opting for more of a white, ivory, pastel color scheme whenever I could make it happen, but something happened in New Mexico (or Santa Barbara, Portland, Vegas or Jackson...) and my heart just digs vibrant color. That being said, when Sarah turned out in a gorgeous yellow floral skirt with makeup by Carly Pribich, I couldn't contain the joy. I think you'll agree with me- these engagement photos capture some of the external beauty created by shared love, deep and true.
Congrats, Jordan and Sarah!! We can't wait to celebrate you!
Maeve & Erik chose Lincoln Park for their engagement photographs to celebrate one of their favorite Chicago neighborhoods. As a photographer who loves golden hour sunset sessions as much as the next gal, I loved their idea to incorporate some of the lovely natural elements, classic Chicago architecture and gorgeous Lake Michigan.
We started our walk just west of the Lincoln Park Zoo and meandered through the parks, talking about their winter wedding plans and enjoying one of Chicago's most beautiful summer evenings. A quick outfit change later, we headed to North Avenue Beach to catch the skyline at sunset as the city lights mixed with the deepening twilight. A wind off the water provided a lovely movement complementing the texture and colors of the film in this engagement session. Be sure to catch a view of the Hancock building in many of the photographs as well as Maeve's stunning Art Deco-inspired custom engagement ring.
These fine art engagement photographs were shot on Kodak Portra 400 film processed by the super team at PhotoVision film lab in Salem, OR.
These sweethearts wanted something off the beaten path for their engagement session here in Chicago. When Lauren and Danny and I began to plan their dream fine art engagement session, we wanted to find a blend of natural, beach, summer skyline and open water. We met at Montrose Beach & Harbor an hour before sunset one Sunday evening in September and were rewarded with the prettiest light off filtering through the city to Lake Michigan. These two have a close friendship and obviously adore one another, making these photographs truly glow. Golden hour has never looked so good! I'm already looking forward to photographing their Oak Park wedding in November next year!
I was thrilled to be able to incorporate movement and different types of light in this session, playing with the concept of exposing for the shadow and hovering around f/2 and 100 film speed to to capture the emotion and atmosphere of this beautiful evening. I used three dreamboat lenses from my kit: 35mm, 50mm and 85mm. All Canon, of course. (Wink)
As always, I hope you enjoy these photographs as much as I enjoyed creating them! Happy wedding Wednesday!