If you’ve read my blogs before you know I LOVE Chicago for a wide variety of reasons, and if this is the first blog of mine you’re reading now you know too! The Windy City has an insane amount of character, charm, and variety to it when it comes to gorgeous spaces for a session. While the city is beautiful at all times of the day there is something truly magical about sunrises in Chicago, which is why today we’re going over the 3 reasons you should have a sunrise engagement session in the Windy City!
THE number one reason for you to have your engagement session during a sunrise in Chicago is that the city’s most popular and crowded spaces will be yours to enjoy. Locations like North Avenue Beach, Museum Campus, and the Lincoln Park Boardwalk are usually packed during the day, and for good reason. These spaces have some of THE best views of the gorgeous Chicago skyline that the city has to offer. Having your engagement session during the regular hours of the day means you’re going to have to share these views with everyone else there at that time leaving you with a much less intimate experience. Opting for a sunrise engagement session means the beautiful Chicago skyline will be ALL yours to enjoy giving you a much more intimate experience and making things much more enjoyable as well as easier to photograph!
The other upside of this is that it will be much easier on you logistically to set up and execute the details of your session. If you’re from or familiar with Chicago you know how impossible parking and dealing with traffic can be in the city. Opting for your engagement session to be at sunrise means you’ll be able to avoid that dreaded Chicago traffic, and parking at these busier locations will be readily available!
Like I mentioned before, the city’s skylines and the views you’re able to find of it are jaw droppingly beautiful. Locations like Ping Tom Memorial Park, North Avenue Beach, and Milton Lee Olive Park give you incredible views of the city at all times of the day. Now add in the beauty that comes with a sunrise and you are setting yourself up for an epic session. With the sun rising to the east over lake Michigan, there is a gorgeous soft glow that reflects over the water and on the reflective buildings throughout the city. I LOVE the peaceful vibes and views that come with sunrises in Chicago as they create the perfect environment for your engagement session!
One of the coolest things to do for sunrise sessions is to start your engagement session by Lake Michigan and then head into the city before the rest of Chicago wakes up. The colorful skies will linger a bit and you’ll be able to see them from the city streets. Walking through locations that are typically much more crowded like the Loop, you can stand in the middle of the street without worrying about traffic and soak in the beautiful skies as the sun rises over the city. This makes for some epic photos as well as an epic experience as you wander the streets of Chicago having them all to yourself.
If you’re looking to have some of the charm that comes with the shops, restaurants, bars and other small businesses throughout Chicago, some of your favorite spots might even let you pop in while they’re setting up to open to take some photos throughout the spaces. If you do hope to use a small business or shop in Chicago for the backdrop of your sunrise engagement session or couples session, be sure to contact the owners beforehand. Some spaces do not allow professional photos to be taken, some only allow you to use the space before patrons arrive after opening, and then some allow you to take photos in their spaces as long as you’re not disruptive.
Regardless of the rules, the earlier in the day you use the space for your session (with the exception of coffee shops), the less people there are likely to be there. Some of my favorite indoor spaces include, your favorite bar or brewery, record or thrift stores, and coffee shops!! Some of the coolest places in Chicago that allow you to use their space for photos for your session (as of 2022) include Salvage One, The Art Institute, Gilt Bar, Sawada Coffee, and so many others. There are SO many cool places throughout Chicago that will give you that iconic Chicago feels for your engagement session.
When planning your sunrise engagement session, we will go over all of the details that go into your session. We will start off by talking about you, your relationship, and some of the things you love about the city of Chicago itself. Once we get to know one another a bit more and what you and your partner really want out of your session we will begin to plan the details of your Chicago engagement session.
We will go over outfits, what to expect, the meeting location, and all of the places you hope to go during your session. Each of my couples are SO different from one another, so I work with each of them to personalize their engagement session so that it is a reflection of them as a couple. Then once the day comes, we have a plan, you have your outfits packed and we have a meeting location. This way you and your partner can relax and focus on one another throughout your session.
I absolutely love engagement sessions in Chicago, and even more so when my couples opt for sunrise for their session. The beauty of the sunrise and the city combined with the ease of logistics really makes it a combination that you just can’t beat! If you’re thinking about having a sunrise engagement session in Chicago and need a photographer, I’ve got you covered. Head to my contact page to send over an inquiry and we can start planning your session!