Kyler contacted me through my website in August. It was not long after I moved to Michigan, so every email was critical at that point. After a few exchanges of emails, I realized the wedding was not even in Michigan! It was in Illinois. I live in Michigan right now, but I went to high school near Chicago, Illinois, so I consider Illinois my home state. It was not a surprise that I was thrilled for the opportunity to shoot a wedding in the Chicago area.
When I asked where the venue is, Kyler sent me some pictures of the venue, which is Company 251 in Aurora, IL. I was pleasantly surprised at how similar the venue was to Evan and Clari’s venue, Southern Bleachery.
I got Kyler’s email literally two weeks after I shot their (Evan and Clari's) wedding. What perfect timing! I sent some pictures of Evan and Clari’s wedding to Kyler and waited for his response...
...and there was no response for 1 month.
So I thought for sure I’d screwed it up! I guess he didn’t like the pictures I sent. Oh well! Learn and move on.
At the point where I almost forgot about Kyler’s inquiry, Kyler responded with interest in booking me as their wedding photographer. Soon after, we signed a contract for the wedding and an engagement session in Chicago.
I love Chicago. The greatest pizza, Michael Jordan, and the greatest skyline. If only it were a little warmer, I would totally live there. Then I look at my life. I live in Detroit. Jokes on me!
We scheduled a session on December 2nd, and I prayed that it would be warm. And guess what?! It was 60 degrees! I don’t know how to explain this, but somehow God always graces me with great weather whenever I shoot. Because of that, Michaela was able to wear a lovely blouse for the session, and we were able to roam around the city without any hassle.
We began the session at the Riverwalk, one of my favorite spots in Chicago. It’s beautiful during the day, and it’s even more stunning at night. The emerald-colored lake and amazing skyscrapers create the perfect backdrop which you can only get in Chicago.
One of my favorite shots is on the crosswalk. I feel absolutely terrible for drivers. I’m telling you, wedding photographers are a nightmare for drivers! But seriously, we are the worst. What can we do, though? Car lights, traffic lights, and tall buildings make for amazing pictures! It also makes the couple feel like they are the main characters in a movie while everything else is going on around them.
Just like this, sometimes the best pictures cannot be posed or staged.
While we were walking around, we found this amazing Christmas tree, and we couldn’t just pass it by. It looks like they are the only two around this area, but there were about 5 other couples taking pictures under the tree. This is the magic of a photographer!
I just love shooting in a city during this time of the year because of all the beautiful Christmas lights.
Chicago is a unique city that has an upper section and a lower section. Sometimes you find random locations like this where you can see the lower parts of the city from a deck, and this makes a perfect spot for pictures. Even in one of the busiest cities in the world, you can find a place that makes you feel like you’re in La La Land.
Then we arrived at our final location, Olive Park next to Navy Pier. This spot was suggested by Niki Marie Photography, and it did not disappoint. It had a great view of Chicago’s skyline over Lake Michigan, but not many people know about it. It’s like the theme from Gilmore Girls: “Where you lead, I’ll follow anywhere that you tell me to. If you need, you need me to be with you, I will follow where you lead.”
And I don’t care what you say, it’s a great show.
The ring shines even brighter than the city lights.
When we met up to get to know each other for the first time, Kyler and Michaela said they like going out to eat and enjoying glass of wine, and I said that we should pick a classic bottle and use it for a prop during this session. They looked at each other awkwardly and said, “We actually brought it!” Great minds think alike. ;)
For the finale of the session, we finished with the #datenightgoals. Cozy blanket and a glass of wine overlooking the greatest skyline in the world. How can you beat that? If I were Kyler, I would have proposed all over again just for fun.
For their bright future, cheers!