Okay real talk: I get so nervous when I capture proposals! There is absolutely no way to recreate the moment someone realizes their partner is asking them to spend the rest of their lives together. Hunter and Morgan are from St. Louis, but they love Chicago. When he reached out to me to help propose to Morgan, he wanted to capture the vibes of the city. I had the perfect spot: Olive Park. Olive Park, nestled near Navy Pier is one of those semi-hidden gems in Chicago that photographers love. It has a unique view of the skyline that isn’t often captured by tourists or locals. When I suggested this to Hunter, he loved the idea. Cue my immediate anxiety.
Capturing a winter proposal can be so risky! Midwesterners know that a late day in December could be sunny, snowy, rainy, foggy, and it could be freezing cold. The day Hunter wanted to propose, I swear you guys, the weather gods blessed us with good temperatures and the most perfect sunset. Hunter told Morgan they were headed to Olive Park for some family photos and to enjoy the weather. I have shot a lot of proposals, and let me tell you: I cry every single time. I can’t help it! When Hunter got down on one knee in front of that beautiful skyline, and I saw Morgan’s face, I felt their love. It was palpable.
Hunter further surprised Morgan by having some of her friends show up after the proposal! She was elated, and you can see the excitement in the candid photos. Hunter and Morgan posed with their friends and Hunter’s parents, then we walked along the lake. I just let them live in the moment. During engagement sessions, I often guide the couple but I want them to set the mood! After someone says “I do”, the couple usually can’t keep their hands off each other, and I love to see their affection! As the sun set, the light shifted from golden hour to blue hour. Let me tell you, I am OBSESSED with blue hour. Everyone loves golden hour, and I totally get it-I do too! But, Olive Park at dusk in the winter is just a gorgeous experience.
Film is one of the beautiful ways to capture a proposal. I have become obsessed with creating these once-in-a-lifetime moments with a medium that you can’t see the results of right away. For Hunter and Morgan’s proposal, I shot on my Contax G1 with Kodak Portra400 film, and the results were nothing short of magical. Film carries an emotion that some digital photos just can’t replicate.
Thank you Hunter and Morgan for trusting me to capture this picturesque moment for you!
Film developed by Bellows Film Lab
Jan 20, 2023
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