Guys, I am STRESSED out. Remember my brilliant plan??? Well, the more I thought about it, the more I just didn't like it. It felt...staged. It didn't feel like us. We've bowled a handful of times in our relationship. We're not bowlers. I've been to Margie's Candies before, but A.P. hasn't. We're not Margie's Candies people. We are nature lovers, but neither of us has ever been to Humboldt Park before. We're not Humboldt Parkers.

It just didn't feel right. And now, we're slated to take our photos on Saturday and I have no idea what to do. I have put off taking these photos for almost two years. I've tried to schedule these twice before. Now, we have a time/date, but no plan. I haven't lost all the weight I wanted to before taking them. I'm bloated because I'm PMSing. Ugh. And my biggest fear is to take average, ordinary engagement photos that I will hate. We are not cheesy people. Posing lovingly or jumping up and down by the lake for a photographer is not our idea of beauty. Pretending to be models in weird cityscapes doesn't feel right either. I don't know. I don't even know what I freaking want to wear. I always thought I would wear the black dress that I was supposed to wear during cocktail hour before the wedding, but now I'm not even feeling that! Ugh, ugh, ugh.

What should I do, people??? I write about this kind of stuff every day and I'm at a loss for ideas. I am sort of pooling together a bunch of props we can take, too, but I'm basically looking for Chicago locations and/or themes I could pull off in the city. I also would love wardrobe ideas, but it's too late to order anything and I don't think I have time to shop. Also, I'm pretty sure none of you know what is in my closet, so I think I'm on my own with that one. Seriously, though, anybody have any ideas for Chicago locations/themes we could do? We like vintage, retro, fun, nature/gardens, quirky, and cityscapes. We don't like ordinary, museums, monuments, the train (mostly because we already did it), or cheesy. Any help would be much appreciated!


  1. Oh noes! That sucks. Okay, let's see. I haven't been to Chicago in a few years, but there are SO many pretty places there that you could take photos at without feeling staged and weird. (Which! It's really good you realized that now, because no amount of cute is worth feeling uncomfortable for.)

    What about a bakery? Or a park? Or your favorite grocery store? Or one of the many alleys with pretty brick walls?

    Is there something you guys do together that you like? A certain place you like to go for walks? A restaurant or cafe or bar that's your favorite? The first thing we, as photographers always ask our clients is if there is somewhere that is special to them and their partner/family, and then we try to make that work.

    Speaking of which, have you asked your photographer?? Can you say all of these things to him/her? ('We like x and y but not a, b or c, and we want to do this and not feel weird and fake.') I guarantee that he/she knows lots of pretty, hidden away places to take photos, if they've been working in the city for any length of time. (I can rattle off half a dozen off the top of my head for Fayetteville, and it's tiny compared to Chicago!)

    And as for wardrobe, I would honestly bring more than one outfit if you feel like you'll be bored or don't want to commit to one outfit for the whole time, or if you aren't sure yet if you'll be comfortable in your first choice. Whatever your pick(s), wear them around the house for half an hour tonight or tomorrow to see how it feels. If you decide to go with jeans or pants, you can wear a camisole under a shirt and easily and quickly change to another shirt/set of accessories.

    And props! Props are my favorite. Unless you really like picture frames or something, skip those and go with something that actually means something to you and A.P. Just sit down and think about what you two like to do together, what things are special to you and what would be good with photos, and I'm sure something will come to mind.

    Pictures are stressful! I know Lindi and I are on the behind-the-lens side of it about 99% of the time, and even knowing all that we know, it's really hard to pick things out to wear/places to go when we're the subjects and not the shooters, hah.

    Good luck! Feel free to email me if there's anything I can help with. :)

  2. (Um. That comment was a zillion paragraphs long. I hope it went through. If not, let me know and I'll email you instead!)

  3. Here's a few Chicago-area ideas:

    1. that lovely orchard where you went with the kid you used to nanny a few weeks ago. The photographer can either follow you guys around and get candid shots, do some staged photos, or a combo. BONUS: more apples!

    2. Do you guys like the Shedd? Lots of cool, fun, quirky, offbeat possibilities there.

    3. Go back to the place where you guys got married and do the pictures there. It's a place that is very special to you both, you have some AMAZING memories there, and you know the style and setting that they have going on in there. (Again, posed or candid)

    4. Why not take your guitar outside and do shots of you two with the guitar in a park or something?

    5. At your favorite restaurant, coffee or tea house, bar, etc. You two hanging out, enjoying each other and just being together

  4. Clarke's on Lincoln - crazy awesome diner. Kicking leaves in front of iron-fenced brownstones (also up Lincoln past the five-way intersection). Contemporary Museum of Art? Under the El? Buckingham Fountain - I think sitting and smooching or resting head on lap would be cute there. Zoo? Picnic setup maybe if it's nice? Some kind of faux camping theme? (Since I KNOW you guys go camping!) Ummmm, retro in front of the Biograph Theater? (Is that still there?) As for clothes, what about a nice colorful sweater over cami with skirt? Short skirt and colorful socks? Drinking sangria at Cafe Iberico? Mocking tourists on the Mag Mile?

  5. Take a deep breath! I'm sure anything you come up with will be lovely, based on the pictures you've posted of you and A.P. on the blog! If you're looking for ideas, take a moment to think about what you like to do. People have recommended outside shots, since you clearly like camping and gardening. If you like movies, maybe you could find a neat old theater to pose near. Or maybe you could take pictures baking a cake and playing with sparklers ::winks::. You and A.P. are what will make these photos special, not necessarily the details of what you're doing or where. Good luck! I look forward to seeing the final product!


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