Living in the midwest, we don’t have a lot of large city visiting opportunities. While our state capital, Indianpolis, is large, it does have a more charming and less “big city” vibe that one might expect from a major metropolitan area. Chicago, on the other hand, very much feels like a thriving, living, entity that never sleeps and has a little something for everyone.
If you happen to follow my social media posting @newadventureproductions on Instagram & Facebook, you’ll know that my wife and I love Chicago. In fact, that is where I proposed to her and where we began our new adventure together. While I’d love to go into details about our engagement (another time) this engagement is actually about my friends, Reyna and Neil.
Reyna and Neil just celebrated three years of dating about a week ago. Coming from very different backgrounds and cultures, Reyna and Neil have spent the last three years growing, loving, and evolving into the people that they are today and who they will be in 50 years. Reyna and Neil both have a heart for service and between nursing and law enforcement, these two are quintessential examples of how you can help better your community through your service.
Like my wife and I, these two love Chicago and frequently visited while they were dating. In the winter of 2017, Neil made a special trip up to Chicago with Reyna to enjoy the Christmas lights, the snow, and the charm of a winter chilled Chicago. After a long day of fun activities, Neil asked Reyna what else she wanted to do and she suggested Macy’s to look at their Christmas lights. Neil, instead surprised her with an impromptu trip to Navy Pier. Due to the chill and time of day, they were denied entrance but were able to make their way back anyway. It was midway down the pier near the water when Neil asked if Reyna would marry him. She of course agreed! He then had to remind her to take off her glove so he could put the ring on her finger.
This engagement session was one that I have been dreaming up since we met earlier this year. I’ve shared a close acquaintanceship with Reyna over the past few years as we have a few mutual friends and because she is also a fellow photographer. I was surprised and excited to see them at a bridal show this past year where we got to chat a bit more–and a few days later, scheduled a time to meet and discuss their wedding. We began by planning their engagement locally but after I offered to be adventurous, they both were in love with the idea of Chicago as the spot to host their engagement. I couldn’t have been happier and so we set off planning.
Our stops included an AirBnB Plus (seriously next level!) in which we could showcase the cozy, warm, and intimate love that a couple has. Then, they both dressed up in a custom tailored suit for Neil and the most perfect gown I could have ever asked a client to wear for Reyna. Our stops included Adler Planetarium and Navy Pier. We also were able to break up the session with a little stop at the best Mexican restaurant I’ve ever eaten at called La Oaxaquena.
If we do one thing right in Indiana, it’s sunsets. So, being in Chicago on the lake and it being nearly summertime, I was thinking we were going to get an epic sunset which we could feature the Chicago skyline behind them. While we did get a few moments of golden hour goodness, it was quickly interrupted by a vast and heavy fog off the lake that made for a moody, gorgeous, and mysterious portion of our shoot. It felt and looked like we had been transported to the Scottish Highlands and that is certainly not something one usually things when visiting the Midwest! We ended our time together at Navy Pier and because it was so foggy, you couldn’t even see the Wednesday night fireworks that they host during the warmer months. What that fog did was clear out the pier and we were able to have a few moments of privacy to capture our finale images in front of the ferris wheel and just steps away from where Neil proposed.
I couldn’t be happier with this session. The time in Chicago was short but perfect in every way. We were even accompanied by their videographer and my friend, Ryan Kingma of KINGMAfilms, who is creating an engagement save the date video for them.
So many amazing things to come from this couple. April 2020 cannot come soon enough!