Hello Friends! Its Melissa! I’m a Chicago Wedding Photographer with a passion for true-to-color pictures, genuine moments, and of course, Chicago itself! Its truly such a fun, beautiful city and I love the city in the fall!! I created this guide so you can have the perfect fall engagement session in Chicago! I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to prepare for your engagement session. Some of my favorite spots included are North Avenue Beach, historic Old Town Chicago, and Downtown Chicago!
1. Choosing the Perfect Location: Your choice of location sets the tone for your engagement session. Each part of Chicago has its own unique charm, so consider what appeals to you as a couple!
– North Avenue Beach: If you’re looking for a dreamy, beachfront backdrop with the iconic Chicago skyline in the distance, North Avenue Beach is a fantastic choice. The lakefront provides a serene setting, and the fall colors along the shoreline can be breathtaking.
– Old Town Chicago: For a touch of historic charm and cobblestone streets, Old Town Chicago is a wonderful option. The preserved architecture and quaint streets make for a romantic atmosphere, especially when adorned with autumn leaves. Chicago has so many neighborhoods to choose from, so I’m always happy to suggest other great spots too!
– Downtown Chicago: If you want the city’s energy and iconic landmarks as your backdrop, Downtown Chicago offers endless possibilities. From Millennium Park to the Riverwalk, you’ll have a mix of urban and natural settings.
– Coffee shops: I always say an engagement session should feel like a really fun date, plus pictures! So grabbing a coffee at a local spot you love during your session is a great idea. From foxtrot to collective coffee, theres a lot of great options and I’m always happy to suggest some great coffee spots!
2. Timing is Everything
For the best lighting and atmosphere, timing is crucial for a fall engagement session in Chicago. The fall foliage typically peaks early October through the beginning of November. I will always keep an eye on weather forecasts so we can plan accordingly too. The best time to start is about 1.5 to 2 hours before sunset so that you have those beautiful golden hour portraits!
3. Dressing for Success
Choose outfits that make you feel comfortable and confident. While coordinating is great, aim for a look that reflects your personalities. You can dress up, down, or something in between. The biggest tip I always suggest is layers and earthy tones. Denim jackets, cardigans, cute boots, etc. work well for fall sessions in Chicago. Here’s a Pinterest board of some ideas!
4. Relax and Be Yourselves
Soooo many couples feel nervous at first getting in front of the camera. I get it! (I honestly can too!) At my core, my heart is for you. To laugh, joke, have fun, and capture you being you! So relax, be yourselves, and enjoy the experience. I will always direct you into poses, but I truly want you to be you and feel your feels! I promise that you will usually forget I’m even there and just be yourself with your boo! 😉
5. Trust Your Photographer
Choosing the right photographer is key to capturing your story authentically. You spend so much time with your photographer on your wedding day and your engagement session captures such a sweet season! Its so important to really connect with someone and trust their vision and approach, because thats when the magic happens! For me, knowing you, your story, and capturing your moments is such an honor. I step into your moments intentionally and with the fullest heart. Having couples that trust my heart and vision allows me to create and capture their moments even more creatively for them!
6. Embrace the Season
Chicago can get cold! Don’t be afraid to embrace the season. If the weather turns chilly, use it as an opportunity to snuggle up and get cozy. Fall and even winter engagement sessions can be incredibly romantic. (Use this as an opportunity to pick a coffee shop that you love and get a warm drink! 😉
7. Let’s Make Magic Together!
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to plan your perfect fall engagement session in Chicago, I can’t wait to be a part of your love story. If you’re ready to capture authentic, true-to-color moments with a laid-back style that reflects your unique connection, reach out here!
I’m here for you and can not wait to talk with you more and capture your moments!