#QuarantineEngagement, anyone?

Laura + Matt were one of a handful of couples who decided to make the best of this time and get engaged during Chicago's quarantine! One of the things Laura told me when we got to meet up was that she was so excited to just be doing something that felt a little bit normal, since all the other engagement parties and celebrations were minimized to Zoom calls and digital partying. I was SO glad to hear I could do something for these two that made everything feel a little bit more normal for the time being!

Even for me, it felt amazing to go back out and shoot again and dust off my cameras. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say it feels like the days are blending together, and some days are great and some days not so much--but this was definitely one of the "ups" of the rollercoaster we're all going through lately.

We met up at the Chicago Board of Trade to start off the evening, then finished up at Millennium Park to catch the final moments of the sunset and a few more shots of the beautiful Chicago skyline in the hazy, warm almost-summer weather.

woman in blush pink dress holding hands with man in navy suit walking around Chicago Board of Trade
young engaged man and woman holding hands smiling and walking near Chicago Board of Trade
man and woman holding hands looking at each other by the pillars at Chicago Board of Trade for engagement pictures

And now for those iconic Chicago Board of Trade shots...

man in navy suit walking with woman in light pink dress in front of empty Chicago Board of Trade for engagement pictures
man in navy suit spins woman around in front of Chicago Board of Trade in empty street at sunset
man and woman spin around in the empty street in front of Chicago Board of Trade for engagement pictures

There have been a few place on my bucket-list of engagement pictures locations in Chicago, and the famous Chicago Board of Trade was one of them. Although it's usually insanely busy with traffic pedestrians, and of course people going to take pictures, it was soooooo so empty when we showed up. I probably only saw one car and one bus, and then another group of people taking graduation pictures, plus a few stragglers.

man and woman spin around in front of Chicago Board of Trade at sunset on empty street in downtown Chicago
young couple laughs in front of Chicago Board of Trade for sunset engagement pictures in Chicago

Doing engagement pictures in downtown Chicago when it is so empty is a weird feeling--sure, I don't have to photoshop out any random people in the background, but so much of the "feel" of Chicago is the big crowds, people yelling, horns honking...we didn't get much of that this time around. I think for pictures, I'm okay with it haha...but I'd like to get back to living that way soon. It's why I love the city so much.

man and woman walk away towards Chicago Board of Trade for sunset engagement pictures in Chicago

Out of the few people we saw walking by, almost all of them stopped to have a quick chat (ahh human interaction!!!), including another photographer or two, plus a cop in the area letting us know that the gold doors are a popular photo location...which Laura and Matt had already pointed out, but of course then we *had* to do it!

man in navy suit and woman in pink dress hold hands and look out to the sides in front of gold door in downtown Chicago
woman holds man's face and they both smile and laugh in front of gold door in downtown Chicago
man and woman hug and get close to kissing for downtown Chicago engagement Picutres

I'm always chasing sunsets.

We started our shoot pretty early--about 2 hours or so before sunset, which is plenty of time. When I was Uber-ing to the Board of Trade, I drove right past Millennium Park and the light was so insanely gorgeous with the hazy sky and the building creating some soft shadows, so it was a must for us! We headed over there just in time to not completely miss the sunset, and get some more views of the Chicago skyline from the Loop. Plus, there were still a few flowering bushes there, so of course me being the nature-loving gal that I am, I wanted to include some greenery in the shoot! Plus, the way her dress moved in the wind and while she walked was perrrrfect for some more cute walking in the empty streets.

woman in pink dress holding man's arm in navy suit and smiles in Millennium Park in downtown Chicago
woman in pink dress looks at fiancee in navy suit as they walk along sidewalk near Millennium Park for sunset engagement

We talked a bit about how these two met and their first date which got rained out, but clearly it didn't ruin anything--plus if rain on the wedding day is good luck, maybe the rain on the first date was, too?

man in navy suit kisses his fiancee's cheek near Michigan Ave and Millennium Park for downtown Chicago engagement
woman in light pink dress and red lipstick smiles over her shoulder in Millennium Park Chicago
man in navy suit hugs and kisses fiancee in pink dress who is smiling in Millennium Park Chicago engagement
Man and woman in navy and pink hug and almost kiss in the middle of Chicago's Grant Park for sunset engagement pictures
man in navy suit and woman in pink dress kiss in the middle of Millennium Park in front of Chicago skyline

I love to push people a littttle out of their comfort zones.

Laura mentioned she's a big fan of capturing moments rather than anything too posey--which I totally agree with!! That's why I use a lot of prompts, actions, and don't do too much posing. But when you're all dressed up in an empty city and you have a chance to look like you're on a magazine cover, we're going to make it happen!!!

I always love to push people a little out of their comfort zones, whether it's having them wear something a little fancier or different than they might go for, poses that I think they can rock, or something that I just come up with on the spot--I'm a big fan of seeing the reaction people have when they see how DANG GOOD they look doing something they normally might not have!

man in navy suit and woman in light pink dress stand with hands held in Grant Park Chicago for sunset engagement picture

Laura and Matt finished up their evening with a nice dinner they got to take home and chow down on as a mini-celebration for their engagement pictures in downtown Chicago! It was such a good Friday for all of us, and they've been getting so much love from everyone on Instagram when I've posted the sneak peeks!

Thank you L + M for being such awesome people to get back into shooting with after almost 4 months off--you were so easy to work with, went with the flow, and I'm so glad I finally got to check off a place on my bucket list!!! Cheers to you and your engagement--and what sounds like it will be such a fantastic wedding next fall!

oval white gold engagement ring on pink hydrangeas
man in navy suit kissing woman in light pink dress in Grant Park for Chicago sunset engagement pictures
black and white photo of man looking to side and fiancee leaning on his shoulder in Chicago Grant Park for engagement
man in Navy suit kissing fiancee in pink dress on forehead in Chicago Grant Park for sunset engagement pictures
man and woman in suit and dress holding hands running across crosswalk in downtown Chicago Michigan Ave
downtown Chicago Michigan Ave Grant Park engagement pictures running across street

Wanna see more?

Check out these Chicago Sunrise Engagement Pictures at North Avenue Beach!

Have some wanderlust and wanna travel to LA with me? Check out these Joshua Tree Sunset Engagement Pictures.

Engaged, but not sure what to do next? I tell you here!

$1000 Engagement Giveaway

Engaged and want to win a free engagement session with a bouquet and professional airbrush makeup + lashes, all valued at over $1000?! Read more and enter here!

Alana Lindenfeld is a Chicago wedding and portrait photographer for laid-back couples who want a stress-free experience and a photographer who is going to take care of the hard work for them.

She has photographed couples across the U.S., including couples in LA, San Francisco, NYC, Nashville, Cincinnati, and more.

Read more about Alana here.

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