Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Phil & Mary Ann in Chicago!

By far, the hardest thing about blogging is narrowing down the pictures. And when you have Phil and Mary Ann looking like freaking supermodels in every picture, they are certainly not making it any easier. But it's a good problem to have, and even Chicago showed up to grace us with its gorgeousness. Can I get a woo?

Billy had class the day I did this shoot, so I went into town by myself and hung out with Amy all day, taking pictures and wandering around. We seriously walked like a zillion miles, but that is totally irrelevant to this post. I'm just really impressed with myself. Anyway, Amy stayed with me during the shoot as my assistant, and you know? She was amazing at it. She carried my bags, held onto shoes and purses and earrings, kept us hydrated, and made hilarious jokes. And she had the best assistant skill of all--she was totally attentive. Amy, I would hire you again any time, and I think we're an awesome team. :)

Now, on with the hotness, shall we?!?!


Obviously, if you're going to be doing engagement pictures in Chicago and you're meeting at the Bean, you've gotta take pictures with it! There are always tons of people around it, but it relatively cleared out for a few seconds so we could get this shot. And again, I know it's not for everyone, but the red tone was totally my favorite. And I love her shoes.


And since we were already at Millennium Park ... ! I don't have any idea what this little area is called but if you live around here, you probably recognize it. It's where the stage is, and there are always people lounging on the lawn and playing frisbee and soccer and so forth. And you know, when Amy and I were on our marathon walk that day, I kept thinking about how many people there were just lounging around, and how European I felt the whole thing was. I wanted to take a lounging picture and here it is, and thanks to my gorgeous subjects (doesn't THAT sound royal?), it's even better than I had imagined.


From Millennium Park, we hopped in a taxi over to the museum campus(es?) near the Shedd and the Field Museum. This was all Phil and Mary Ann's idea, and it was a great one. We hopped out of the cab and saw this weird little round sculpture that you could get in and had a little fun with that. And you know what? I'm just going to say it. I love these two people's faces. It might sound weird, but I do and I don't care who knows it.


This is SO CUTE. I love it.


This is Phil's supermodel picture. Easy. And don't get me wrong, Mary Ann looks amazing here too, but Phil is like Mr. GQ. Mary Ann claims that he's always striking poses, and all I can say is, keep it up! Their wedding pictures are going to be outrageously gorgeous and I can't even wait.


I loved this so much, because it was such a genuine moment. And Mary Ann has the cutest smile in the world. And also, this was one of my favorite Amy moments, because what they're looking at/laughing at is her getting all girly and crazy in the background. We're just going along, and I'm snapping pictures and Phil and Mary Ann are chatting and looking hot, and all of a sudden, I hear this excited voice in the background going, "TWEAK HIS CHIN AGAIN! THAT WAS SO CUTE!" And it was so funny and for me, surprising. Billy is, obviously, not a girl, and Jessie, who is my go-to alternate assistant is pretty quiet (though hilarious), so having some crazy girl behind me squealing like we were watching The Notebook was hysterical and refreshing and fun. Plus, it was kind of fun for me that Phil and Mary Ann got to experience one of my closest friends in the world and the insanity that she brings.


But, like all good professionals, they got right back into romance mode. I've realized that I really like face touching, and I think it's very romantic and intimate. I've had people slap me on the butt and not given it a second thought, and if that same person had touched my face it would've been completely weird, and so I think it's kind of special. As a sidenote, when Flash gets up on Billy and tries to lick the inside of his mouth, he sometimes puts his paw all tender and lovingly on Billy's face, making it extra funny.

WOW, there was a lot of weirdness in that last paragraph. But life in general and my life in particular is full of weird, so I'm going to let it stand.


A lot of times when I'm doing sessions with people, I'll stop in the middle and take random shots. I've learned to just embrace this and not feel awkward about it, because it just means that the creative juices are flowing and everything is looking extra beautiful, and that means the shoot is going well. Plus, these are things that were also going on at that moment, which I think is cool. This is a shot toward Navy Pier from the museum campus, not long before dark, and I love the boats and bird.


This one, again, was just so sincere. I don't know what they were laughing at by this point because we were all just having such a good time, and I love that. I'll say it again: I cannot wait for their wedding. It is going to be awesome.


Phil and Mary Ann, by now, you both know that I think that you're completely beautiful, and this picture is no exception. But I have to take a moment to say something to someone else.

Dear Chicago Skyline,

Now that I know where to find you, you are mine. I own you. You are magnificent and I will be back for more.

Love, Sarah


Seriously, I was working on these pictures and I kept thinking that they couldn't get any more amazing, and they just did--over and over. Beautiful.


I loved this too. Wow. We were walking over to a little beach near the museums, and this ledge was the perfect height. Also, I think this may be the stop where Amy delcared that "this will be the picture they screen print on a pillow". I might be messing that up a little bit, but not by much. And all I'm saying is, if you think I'M crazy ...


We did make it to the beach, and this was one of the many cute pictures of the happy couple, but get ready, because my favorite one of the entire session is next.

Are you ready?

Okay, deep breath ...


SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP! There are no words.

Whew! Have we all recovered? Okay then!


It started to rain and it was getting late, but we found a bus really close by and as Amy pointed out (because she is one of my biggest fans), I do sort of LOVE pictures on public transportation! And I really liked this one, including the pole running through the middle of it. And the black and white just really suited the mood.

And let me tell you, I don't think you can see it on their faces here, but we were all SO happy to be sitting down. Phil and Mary Ann were troopers--Mary Ann in her high heels and Phil with a hole in his shoe, and we did do an awful lot of walking. They probably would've gone on as long as my slave-driving ways kept up, but it did eventually get dark and rainy enough that we were forced to call it a night. And it's probably a good thing--I was totally that kid who would read under the covers with a flashlight way past my bedtime, and it carries over into my photography sometimes. :)

BUT ...


We didn't call it before this awesomeness happened!

I love this shot. Billy was watching me process this one and he didn't love the color, but I like it. It WAS really yellow, and cooling it off makes it look less "nighttime", which I wanted. There's a black and white version too, but this one was my fave.

And you know, getting this shot took some doing. The rain was really starting up at that point, and people were scrambling to get under any cover that they could. We were under one of those sidewalk walkway things that they build up during construction projects, right near a corner. So every time the light changed, a flood of people came through, and we'd have to squish up and make ourselves tiny to let them through, and then frantically assume the position again to snap a few frames.

But this was PERFECT. Amy told me when she saw this one in the camera that it was totally worth getting in the way of pedestrians to get it, and that's high praise from her, since she is very high strung and that's the kind of thing that might stress her out. But I am really used to being in the way, and also to being patient with crowds, because it's just one of the hazards of shooting in public, and I think totally worth it--I wouldn't trade it in for a Wal-Mart portrait studio ever. :)

These are two amazing people, beautiful and fun and funny and interesting, and I am SO excited that I got to spend time with them and that there's more to come! Show the comment love, y'all!


lynn said...

Sarah, these are EXQUISITE! Wow! You knocked it out of the park! It looks like for part of it you were near where Andy and I were for our e-session in May. I think it's cool we were both in the same area taking engagement photos. Andy just told me that you asked where that Metra station was and I have no idea, but our couple probably knows because it was in walking distance to their place. I'll ask them. I thought it was so cool, but I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, because I thought maybe it was old hat to the locals. LOL.

These are gorgeous photos. You have to talk them into ordering a guestbook with them.

Gail said...

THE BEAN!!!!! I love the Bean...I want pictures of Nick and I at the Bean!

Hey, I just got a title from Frommer's to copyedit later this month and it's CHICAGO!!!! I would love it if Nick and I could get up there for a little get-away this fall. Maybe we could swing by and see you if so!

Jessie said...

Love the photos once again :) And p to the s, my family would find it hilarious that you put 'Jessie' and 'quiet' in the same sentence. I try to tell them I'm not loud all the time. [Unless you are talking about another, 'just as awesome' Jessie. Then I retract my comment ;)]