As I’m sure you already know, Chicago is full of some of the coolest restaurants and bars in the country! There is so much to love about these spaces, and they’re often one of the primary reasons people love the city as much as they do. So, it only makes sense that many people want to have some of their memories from their favorite spots captured in their engagement photos. If that sounds like you and you are planning your engagement session at a Chicago restaurant or bar, here are my top tips for planning a flawless session at one of your favorite spaces!
Chicago has SO much character!! The range of unique environments made up by the small businesses of Chicago almost feels infinite. No matter what you’re looking for, be it a fancy restaurant or an obscurely themed dive bar, Chicago has it all! There is so much to love about Chicago’s architecture and feel that surrounds these locations. After all, Chicago culture is rooted in the small businesses that make up its communities.
Along with this, having your engagement session at a location you love gives your session a much more relaxed and natural feel. Having your engagement session at your favorite Chicago bar or restaurant gives you and your partner something to do and an activity for me to document during your session. This can also help you to document memories from this period of life you’re in right now and help spark memories years from now when you look back at your lives.
When choosing where to have your engagement session, I recommend that you think about your favorite spots to be with your honey in Chicago. Then I would narrow it down to the interiors of the places that you think would make a good backdrop for your photos. It’ll be up to you to think about what’s sentimental and what is aesthetically pleasing. Since you’ll want your engagement session to capture you and your honey having an amazing time, think about what the two of you love doing for date night or even on an ordinary day. Base your engagement session around some of these things whether it be at a brewery, restaurant, coffee shop, or any special place to both of you in Chicago!!
Reaching out to your preferred Chicago restaurant or other location is an incredibly important step in planning your engagement session. Start by focusing on one location at a time with a goal of eventually contacting your preferred location at least a week in advance if possible. You’ll want to explain the situation and emphasize how much you love the space and how excited you are for your session. Let them know you would like to use it for your session and how long you hope to use the space. Typically, 30 minutes is plenty of time. I always recommend my couples reach out to the location rather than myself. Business owners would prefer to hear from the couple that are in love with their space over the photographer that has no emotional ties to it.
When it comes to planning your engagement session at a Chicago restaurant or other location, it’s important to know that many of these spaces will have a preferred night or time that they would allow you to use their spaces. This is great for both you and their business because you will have more flexibility with your session, and you won’t be disrupting other patrons when using the space.
Once you have specified a date and time with your photographer and your restaurant, you will want to do a little more research on the area that your restaurant is in. What is the parking like? What kind of parks are nearby? Is there anything else that you love in the area that you want to be incorporated into your session? And if you do want to travel to another location throughout Chicago, you will want to make sure you plan in transportation from point A to point B.
Some other places for your Chicago engagement session outside your favorite restaurant or bar that I’d recommend include record stores, breweries, coffee shops, and the Art Institute. Similar to bars and restaurants, you will want to call these locations first! I found it’s easiest to get a hold of someone either in person if the location is local to you or calling right when they open. It’s important to either call or go in person rather than email them or message them via social media. It’s so much easier to convey your emotions and how important this session is and how much their space means to you and your relationship!
Like I mentioned above, we will plan to spend around 30 minutes or so at your favorite restaurant or other location for your Chicago engagement session. The rest of your session, I suggest checking out an outdoor location within walking distance or a relatively short drive away! One of the best parts about engagement sessions in Chicago is that in each neighborhood, in addition to the many amazing bars and restaurants, there are so many unique and beautiful parks that make for awesome backdrops for your session.
Now that you have an idea on how to start planning your engagement session at your favorite Chicago bar or restaurant it’s time to reach out to your photographer and get the details ironed out. If you like what you’ve seen of my work on this article head to my blog page to see more of my work, and if you think we’d be a good fit send me an inquiry through my contact page!
[…] I love Chicago restaurants and bars for engagement photos. I actually wrote a whole blog going over how to plan your engagement session at your favorite Chicago restaurant or bar. So when Emma and AJ hired me to photograph their session at The Alderman I was BEYOND pumped! […]
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