Many people ask me where to go for their engagement session and there are many different options for anyone asking that question. When it comes to your engagement session, you want to choose somewhere to compliment your wedding day photography locations.
Say you’re getting married during winter when there is little daylight left at the end of the day. Perhaps a bright, sunny, midday session somewhere pretty would be your best complimentary session location. We can go to the beach, a museum, visit a coffee shop you two love, or use your highly decorated apartment or home.
When Lo and Rachel were planning they picked this location themselves. I’ve shot here many times at this point in my career, but most have taken place during the brighter hours of the day. I was vibing with the idea of some moody sunset photographs of them against that Chicago skyline you can find inside the park.
Montrose is one of those versatile outdoor locations for Chicago photographers. It’s perfect for anyone searching for greenery, water, and the skyline all together. Plus it’s super pretty there! Just be aware, there are very few places to sit down. I’d suggest bringing a blanket to your session or something to sit in together.
Lo and Rachel had excellent chemistry as an engaged couple in Chicago. They gave me all those warm fuzzy feelings, watching them crack up looking into each others eyes and holding each other close. It’s snippets of my memory like this that bring me towards the empathy that customizes my approach to photography.
Some photographers are detailed with instructions but I’m someone who gets very quiet and lets my subjects interact naturally. I’ll document people when they’re smiling at each other in that goofy romantic way but also throw in some artistic compositions for their walls. The ultimate goal is that my clients put these to good use. Using them on your walls as prints or inside a tiny album to remember the day.
Tips for Planning Your Engagement Session
My biggest advice for anyone planning an engagement session is to invest in at least an hour with your photographer. If you’re in Chicago, I’d say inset another 30 minutes for travel. For me, each location has about twenty minutes of my attention before I’m typically onto the next. Twenty minutes is too short to get to know you behind the camera though.
Investing in an hour or ninety minutes of coverage will give you more time to get your footing in front of the camera prior to your day. You also get to spend more time getting to know your photographers method of directing and can give ample feedback on the session atmosphere to ensure a good day of atmosphere. Tell them what you loved, what you wish went differently, and how you can change things up for the day of your wedding.
It also gives you ample time to get epic images of yourselves doing your best. You two are at a pinnacle of your life where happiness levels might be all over the place, you’ll want to remember this stage of the process just as much as you’ll want wedding photographs. And if you don’t have much time on your wedding day for portraits, you’ll have these lovely engagement photos to make up for the missed coverage.
Lo and Rachel stuck with one outfit for their diverse location and it worked out just fine! So don’t feel obligated to bring changes unless you’re going to a completely separate location. Also be aware that you’ll need a bathroom in close proximity for changing if you’re unable to do so in your vehicle.
Make sure you arrive here with enough time to find parking. On a weekday it isn’t so busy, but on the weekends it can take a few minutes to grab a spot and walk to the entrance.
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