Chicago Food and Travel Photographer

Bill and Lauren's Chicago Engagement

When I got the call from my friend Bill telling me that he "might need my photography skills for something". I knew something was up. Bill and Lauren were dating for quite a while and I had the suspicious feeling where our conversation would go. 

During our lunch he laid out this extravagant plan which involved a borrowed yacht and a twisting and turning story to keep Lauren off the scent. I could tell he was nervous but super excited as well. We agreed that the plan was solid and he let me know the date for the magical event.

When I arrived at the boat it was just me, Bill and the captain. We figured out the layout of the boat and the most effective way for me to capture the ride without looking too suspicious. Lauren was lead to believe that we were using the boat only as a shuttle to an event. "Isn't it going to be odd that it's just me and the two of you" I asked Bill. Bill shot back "she has no idea". So I went with it. 

When Lauren got there I realized that she really didn't know what was about to happen. She was more concerned with the "event" they were going too and didn't notice too much about me. I had the GoPro set suction cupped to the top of the boat and as we took off I excused myself to the hull of the boat. 

As I headed down there Bill and Lauren headed out to the deck to sit down and enjoy the sunset and the water view. I quickly got my camera gear ready and headed back by the captain. I was glad to see that they were sitting on the deck looking out and no one was paying attention to me. I was able to get a bunch of great shots heading out of the boat slip and shots as we headed toward the lake. 

Once we got near the lake the captain turned the ship around right as the water gun was being fired and Bill got down on one knee. It was a sight to be seen. The Chicago skyline, the water gun and the sunset behind the couple. It all came together beautifully into an incredible moment. 

After she put on the ring I captured a few more candid moments of the two celebrating together. The captain then hit the throttle and we zipped off to a restaurant on the river where Bill and Lauren's family was waiting to celebrate with them. 

It was a truly incredible day and an incredible shoot with an incredible couple. I hope my images help them remember it for years to come. 

Happy Birthday America!

Ahh the Fourth of July is upon us again.  Time to fire up that grill, throw on some hot dogs and crack open a beer.  What a great time of year with hot weather, sun, and people laying by the pool.  It's also our favorite Lady Liberty's birthday today which is why it's such a great holiday to celebrate.  I took the picture below on the 4th of July last year so I thought it fitting to share it today.  The picture was taken with a 45mm Nikon tilt shift lens.  This was my first time shooting with a tilt shift lens and I managed to get the shot below for my portfolio.  Usually tilt shift lenses are used to shoot architecture so that you can keep all the lines from converging, but they also have the ability to make objects look miniature.  For more details see this link.


If you have the luxury of being on a boat today I'm jealous.  It's hot here in Chicago and the weather looks like it is going to be amazing.  Unfortunately, I won't be on a boat today but I will be at some point this weekend. The shot below was taken at dawn while the sun was rising and an early bird boater was out on the water.  It's one of those "classic summer" shots that makes you think of all the things that you do on the 4th of July.




It's not the 4th of July without Fireworks.  Below is a shot I took from the Adler Planetarium of the Chicago fireworks.  The weekly shows are great but something tells me that tonight's show will be even better.  I'm looking forward to seeing the show tonight.  I'm sure Navy Pier will be packed and there will be plenty of boats out in Lake Michigan.