A timeless Engagement Session in Downtown Chicago

Chicago’s iconic spots make for a classic downtown engagement session

I can’t say this about many people, but I’ve known Holly since the first grade.   We went to the same school together all the way through 12th grade, before heading to different states for college.   When she sent out a facebook message last year announcing she was moving to Chicago with her fiance Rob to work at Lurie’s Children Hospital as a nurse practitioner, I was thrilled.  Holly’s always stood out to me as someone incredibly down-to-earth, genuine, kind, and joyful.

This past year, I’ve gotten to know Rob as her perfect match.  He’s laid back with a great smile and a touch of quirkiness. It’s not uncommon to catch them from the corner of my eye making each other laugh at an inside joke or affectionately holding hands.  I’m so happy to see my long-time friend paired with such a great guy.

Iconic Chicago Backgrounds

Since Holly and Rob were new to Chicago, for their engagement photos, they wanted a few of the most iconic Chicago backgrounds. I’ve spent 10 years in this city, so these spots aren’t as new and sparkly to me as the first time I visited.  So taking these two on a tour de force around downtown felt like I was seeing it through their eyes for the first time again.

Channeling Old Hollywood on the steps of The Art Institue

I’m a sucker for the Met Ball in New York. If there’s one event in social pages that I can’t ignore, it’s this one. I love the combination of theatrics and high-end fashion that inspires attendees outfits. We channeled the timeless glamour of the event on the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago. Then riding the Hollywood vibes, we headed over to The Chicago Theater for a few pictures at dusk with the sign lit up behind them.

Can’t skip Chicago’s skyline

After two stops, most grooms are usually ready to call it a day, but not Rob. With a boyish grin, he back in the car and said where to next. To the stars! Sorry, talk of Hollywood’s making me a bit dramatic. “Well you have to see the skyline at night from The Observatory,” I replied.

Off we went, zipping down lakeshore and cutting east toward the lake, circling past Soldier Field.

When we pulled up along the magnificent concrete steps leading toward the water, the city sparkling in the background, I once again saw the view threw their eyes. I still give it to Manhattan for the best skyline, Chicago’s no shabby second. We wrapped our whirlwind engagement session through Chicago’s downtown with our last few pictures capturing the buildings creating soft, glowy reflections in the water behind them. It was the perfect place to end. 






Gorgeous Country Chic Engagement Photos

Emily and Mike celebrate their engagement with photos exploring the Barrington Hills Nature preserve

Emily and Mike couldn’t have a more beautiful day for their fall nature engagement photos. After a day of biting our nails as we refreshed our weather apps over and over again, the clouds parted and the sun came through. Thank goodness, because this setting was too gorgeous for anything but golden light and blue skies.

This setting was well worth the drive for engagement photos

It took a minute (1.5 hours in fact), but the commute was so worth it when we saw how beautiful the countryside looked. We explored a stunning property that couldn’t have been staged better with hay bales and a lone tree in the middle of the field, before venturing off to traipse through a beautiful prairie where we were the sole visitors. What a treat!

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fall nature engagement photos

fall nature engagement photos


fall nature engagement photos



fall nature engagement photos





Amanda + Eric’s Montrose Harbor & downtown Chicago engagement session

Montrose Harbor Engagement Photos with Amanda & Eric

Taking these Montrose Harbor engagement photos with Amanda and Eric was extra special for me. I’ve known Amanda since the sixth grade.  Our friendship was cemented after I baked a cake for her 13th birthday.  She couldn’t resist the Pilsbury Box devil’s food cake with cream cheese frosting.

Montrose Harbor Engagement PhotosIn high school, Amanda made a name for herself because of her enthusiastic school spirit and down-to-earth personality. In college, we roomed together in our first apartment. After graduation, it was Amanda beside me in the Uhaul, driving across the midwest from Nebraska to Chicago, where we shared two apartments, before eventually settling in our current spots, less than 10 minutes from each other.  At this point, I think of Amanda as much as a family as a friend.

Montrose Harbor Engagement PhotosLike a protective sister, I had lofty expectations for any guys she dated. When I first hung out with Eric, the new guy she met playing dodgeball, it was at a b.b.q.  He said, “wanna sit at this table with me so we can chat?”  At first, I was taken aback, I thought, “Huh, ok…” But he just wanted the chance to get to know the close friend of his new main squeeze and I became an instant fan.

Montrose Harbor Engagement PhotosEric, or E.A. as I like to call him, is her perfect match. A social butterfly who loves to have fun, they’ll never be bored. Of course, the thing that I like about E.A. most is his love for Amanda. One of my favorite lines from him came when he proposed, “Amanda, I love the sh*t out of you and I wanna be with you forever.”  So here’s to forever. I love you guys and can’t wait to celebrate with you at the wedding.

Montrose Harbor Engagement Photos

Montrose Harbor Engagement Photos

Montrose Harbor Engagement Photos

Liz and Sean’s New York City engagement session

On a perfect fall day in New York City, I sat people watching on a bench while waiting for Liz and Sean to meet me for their engagement session. After a few minutes, a lovely blond with fiance in toe walked over to greet me.  Liz and Sean were warm and easy going. A great couple to crisscross the city with for an afternoon.  We started Central Park, where the leaves were changing from summer green to autumn gold. From there we were off to the Highline, then Meatpacking District, and finally a view alongside the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a joy to get to know these two.  I’m already excited to put faces to the names of all the people I heard about next year at their wedding! New York engagement photographyChicago-engagement-photography-_0002Chicago-engagement-photography-_0003Chicago-engagement-photography-_0004Chicago-engagement-photography-_0006Chicago-engagement-photography-_0007Chicago-engagement-photography-_0008Chicago-engagement-photography-_0009Chicago-engagement-photography-_0010
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Ellesse and Guy’s Engagement Photos

There are some people in this world who bring out the best in people around them, whose positive spirit, thoughtful touches, and loving spirit rub off on those within their proximity.  Ellesse and Guy are two such people.  Ellesse, better known to her friends as ET, has this remarkably big, warm, caring heart. She is always the first one to ask how you are and listens intently to the answer. She’s the kind of friend who follows through with everything she says to you, who sends postcards while on vacation, who remembers your family members names, and who you can always count on.

The darling man she stands beside in these pictures is the only reason I and other friends are willing to part with ET in a few months. Bound for Guy’s native roots of Australia, the two will head down under to be with his family and tie the knot. Taking their engagement pictures was bitter-sweet. I loved criss-crossing the city in this day in the life like session, stopping off at their favorite ice cream parlor, peeking into a local bookstore, ending with a ride at Navy pier, and much more in between. I have so much love for these two and couldn’t be happier to see them together. They will be deeply missed.





























Tova and Jason’s downtown Chicago engagement session

Tova and Jason couldn’t have picked a more beautiful day for their engagement session!  The weather was perfect.  The sun caste beautiful, deep, golden light over Oak Street Beach where we ended their session.  It wasn’t a wrap though until I snapped a few pictures of the two of them bearing the still frigid water of Chicago’s Lake Michigan.  It’s going to take many months before those temps rise after such a arctic winter!













































Farrah and Ali’s Fulton Market engagement photos

Getting Silly in Fulton Market for Farrah and Ali’s Engagement Photos

These two below, Ali and Farrah, are good friends, so it was extra special for me to snap these engagement photos!! One of my favorite moments was when Ali did his “signature dance move” and Farrah joined in (see image two below).  I knew right then and there just how perfect these two are for one another!!

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A beautiful engagement session at the Skokie Lagoon

Dominika and Matt’s engagement session was took place at the magical Skokie Lagoons. In the golden afternoon light, we started off using Matt’s Cobra for our first location. What a beaut! It was so fun to incorporate the car into their session, they looked phenomenal with it! From there, we walked into the woods. The sunlight caste warmth across the tall prairie grass. At the top of the knoll, they unpacked a picnic and cheers over a glass of wine. It was a stunning evening!  I’m so looking forward to their nuptials next May!