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. 

Jacqueline and Fernando

This past weekend I had the joy of celebrating the beautiful engagement of Jacqueline and Fernando.  Now a days I feel like it is more typical than not to get engagement photos done before the official nuptials are said but this was unique because I was present during the actual engagement and the two families were secretly there as well.

About a month ago Fernando reached out to me and asked me to shoot his surprise engagement.  He gave me the details and said that he wanted to do dress rehearsal before the actual engagement  He decided to propose at Osaka Garden which is the site of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 aka the World's Fair.  The park is on the Wooded Island on the south side of Chicago and is a small perfectly manicured Japanese garden.  The plan was to pretend that the two were going to a fund raiser at the Museum of Science and Industry and to take a walk through the park on their way to the event.  They were going to make their way through the park to the end of the path where a table was set up with champaign and a box.

Both Fernando and Jacqueline's families arrived at the park about 4:30 to help set up the table and the rose petals.  Both families were so excited and helpful in setting up.  Once the time got closer they headed off to hide behind the fence and wait.  When Jacqueline and Fernando got to the Osaka Garden you can tell he was excited to propose.  The two made their way down the path and I tried to set up to get the best shots.  I was shooting with my Nikon 80-200 f2.8 so I could shoot them from across the park.  As they made it down the path they crossed a small Japanese bridge which had a beautiful backdrop of the dome of the Museum of Science and Industry.

Shortly after they crossed the bridge they were up the path to the gazebo and the table.  I had to sprint to get back in place to get the proposal and the reaction.  It was magical to be in the presence of these two during such an emotional and special day.  After the proposal was finished and she said yes (of course) the couple took a walk through the rest of the park where their families had clipped some pictures that they had taken while they were dating to the surrounding plants.  As the couple turned the corner to come back the families had come out of hiding to embrace and to celebrate.  It was such a special day with 2 special families.