Sydney and Wes’s Lincoln Park, Chicago engagement session was exactly what I needed. It was a perfect reminder of why I love photography and that, despite changes in the market, photography will, at its core, always be about connection. Let me unpack a little bit.
Ever since Covid, photography has become a bit more hollow. Initial consultations used to be over coffee; now they are over a phone. Inquiries would be genuine and individualized. Now, ghosting is incredibly common. Nearly every booking provided an opportunity to get to know the couple during an engagement session. Now, fewer and fewer couples are doing engagement sessions. Heck, there are some weddings where the first time I meet the couple if on the wedding day. The day is still pleasant and the images are still gorgeous, I just don’t find myself tearing up behind the camera during vows like I used to.
Originally, I went into photography because of the art; however, I stay because of the human connections. Some of my most revered friendships have happened because of this job. What started off clients became best friends and as we move through the inevitable ups and downs of life, it is such a blessing knowing that they are there.
So, what does Sydney and Wes’s Lincoln Park, Chicago engagement session have to do with this? It wasn’t just an engagement session, but an experience with. Sydney and Wes spent the better part of the day, showing us around the Windy City, sharing stories, and even bringing us back to their proposal spot. Even after the shot wrapped up along the Chicago River, we found ourselves sharing pizza, beers, and laughs well into the night. On the ride home, Becky and I spent our time on the road, not talking about the week or our daily lives, but about Sydney, Wes, and Chicago. We enjoyed yourselves so much we are actually heading back our first weekend off from weddings celebrate the season and explore the city. It felt good to not be a “photo factory,” producing homogenous images again and again, but to truly slow down, listen, and tell their story through art.
We started their Lincoln Park, Chicago engagement session in – you guessed it – Lincoln Park. Sydney booked a reservation at the Lincoln Park Conservatory just in case it rained on us. Luckily, we missed the rain but we swung by to see what it was all about.
Just steps outside of the Lincoln Park Conservatory were beautiful gardens with the John Hancock Building peaking through the trees.
Next, we toured Lincoln Park itself. It was here that Wes proposed to Sydney. I loved the symmetry of the structure and had fun framing them in the shot. Doing a little research, the structure was modeled after a tortoise shell.
Next, we caught an Uber to North Avenue Beach. Chicago kept up its reputation as being the Windy City, blowing pretty hard with no skyscrapers to block the wind. I didn’t matter though; the photos captured a timeliness stillness to them that make them my favorite of Sydney and Wes’s Lincoln Park, Chicago engagement session.
As eh sun began to set, we found ourselves downtown and utilized that iconic backdrop for one more short set of pictures.