Engagement Photos | eighthandsweddings.com

Education

view the story

The Importance of Printing Your Wedding Photos

Anyone who has had a consult with us knows how we feel about printing your wedding photos after the big day but for those of you that haven’t heard our talk, here goes!

Rue and I have been married for a little over eight years at this point.  We printed a handful of photos in relatively small sizes from an online lab to hang on our wall.  We didn’t know much about printing or print labs at the time so we went with one of the first places we were able to find on Google.  We had the digital files of our photos so we didn’t think much of it.  Neither one of us felt it was important to get an album or go any further with print.  We thought we had what we needed.  We were never educated on the importance of this stuff.   

Flash forward a few years and the laptop that we had ALL of our wedding photos on started to have problems.  We had issues accessing the photos and could not find more than eight of them.  Our photographer didn’t offer any type of photo back-up so we didn’t have them anywhere else.  A few years and two kids later we found that old, broken, computer in our basement collecting dust.  I realized that we never actually got those photos off of the computer and that they were likely gone.  

I am no computer genius by any means but I was able to find the old downloads tucked far away in the corners of technology and extract them to our new computer.  So much stress was lifted off of my chest when it finally worked.  So many years had passed and the fear of losing them forever was now gone.  We backed them up the same way we do client photos so they are never going away.  

This experience has changed the way we look at physical items like prints and albums.  We want to educate every couple we work with about our mistakes and why printing is so important.  The grand photos we print now from a silly day at the park or the beach far exceed the quality of our wedding photos that we printed.  I love seeing my kids huge smiles in a 20”x24” frame on our wall but seeing Rue in her wedding dress in the same frame would make my soul happy.  

We have been offering some print items from the beginning but have just recently added frame collections as well.  We want to be that one stop shop to encourage as many people as possible to print their photos.  Those real moments that we capture deserve to be showcased on your walls and you deserve artwork that you can display for eternity.  

Artwork For Your Walls

Engagement Information

view the story

Engagement photos are often seen as a “tossed-in” item when choosing a wedding photographer but they should be so much more. The engagement process is the first step in a long journey of planning one of the biggest events of your lifetime, your wedding day. This journey should be celebrated, cherished, and remembered forever. Rue and I like to take the time and invest in our engagement couples in the same manner that we invest in our couples that are getting married; you deserve it. Our couples get an opportunity to get in front of the camera together, often for the first time, and get a feel for what that’s like before their big day.

You have your own personality and style, of course. You may have a vision for your engagement photo style and we also have our own style that we typically photograph. However, the options for styles, outfits, and locations are endless (and even overwhelming!), so I wanted to take some time to try and break them down a bit to make choosing a little easier. Now, it’d be great if we could have an engagement session in a wooded city next to a grassland on the beach all while walking through an abandoned building, but Illinois doesn’t really offer that (if you know where this unicorn exists, please hit me up). The great thing about all of the locations in this blog is that you can change the vibe just by going from formal wear to a more casual look. I was going to dive into the specific on different clothing styles here but then I realized Rue should probably write that since I struggle to dress myself appropriately most days.

Types of engagement photography locations:

  • Industrial
  • Cityscape
  • Beachfront
  • Grasslands
  • Home bodies
  • Woodsy

Industrial

The industrial look is trendy right now and can work with both formalwear and a more casual look. The colors, the grit, and the just naturally tough look makes for some amazing photos. Take a look at the Fulton River District session we recently did.

Cityscape

We have this really cool spot that no one knows about, but I’ll let you know since it’s just the two of us here. It’s called downtown Chicago. The opportunities are endless here because you can get 3-4 vibes just by walking 3-4 blocks. Our River North session was our favorite.

Beachfront

Beachfront engagement photos are some of my personal favorite. There is just something about a couple dressed to the nines with their shoes off kicking up sand that makes me smile for days. Warm, colorful sand and some of Chicagoland’s best sunsets are timeless photo backgrounds. We took these two lovebirds to Kemil Beach

Grasslands

What does Illinois have an unlimited supply of? Grasslands. No matter where you live in the area, I can almost guarantee you there is a forest preserve with a beautiful prairie within twenty minutes. They are super popular right now and really make photos pop with the colorful greens and flowers in the spring and summer while providing those warm color feels in the fall.

Home Bodies

We meet quite a few couples that just want to capture their engagement in their natural habitat. If that describes you then this may be a good option for you. The comfort of being in your own space really seems to let people be themselves and open up for the camera

Woodsy

Almost any time of the year is a great time to find a tree lined path or street for some really moody, romantic, and colorful engagement photos. Deep greens… Fall colors… Snow covered branches… You name it and it looks good in these locations.

These six general locations/styles are pretty broad. You could break these down further and have subcategories but being a little more general allows for some flexibility to capture your moments in multiple styles possibly in one location. Hopefully we have already chatted, and this is just helping you narrow down your style, but if we haven’t let’s connect and chat about what will work best for your personalities and your vision. We want your engagement photos to fit you and your style, so let’s make this happen together.

6 Types of Stunning Chicagoland Engagement Photo locations

Engagement Session

view the story

Should This Be Our New Favorite Location?

Colleen and Josh… there is so much I could say about these two, but none of which would describe how they made us feel as human beings. It took me the entire ride home to figure out the connection, the connection that made me feel drawn to Colleen. Rue was still giddy from this amazing session and talking about how much she loved spending time with them because they were so honest and real. That’s when it hit me, Colleen is just like Rue…. Honest…. Funny…. Beautiful…. Compassionate… and so many other wonderful things that I can’t even find the words to describe. 2020 has been a rollercoaster year and this was exactly what we needed to cap it off.

How did you meet?

We met in HS when where we shared a US history class freshman year. We both felt it was wonderful to find a friend so quickly, even though we hadn’t shared any prior schooling together.

Colleen and Josh are having a destination wedding later next year (somewhere much warmer than Chicago) so winter engagement photos will be a great contrast to the tropical wedding photos.

What is your favorite date night like?

We are the ultimate homebodies. An ideal date night is grilling up our favorite food to enjoy. That’s typically followed by playing a game of some sort – some of our favorites are: dominoes, Yahtzee, chess, and euchre!

Rue and I have been eyeing the Fulton River District in downtown Chicago for engagement photos for quite some time. We wanted a place where we could capture everything the city offers, and this place did not disappoint. I know, I know, its December in Chicago and I should just move somewhere else if I am going to complain about the weather, but it was COLD!! I will say however, I learned a lesson from the last shoot and wore some warmer boots so I could actually feel my toes while driving home. I guess you just have to look at the positives.

What has been your favorite part about wedding planning?

Knowing that at the end of it all, we’ll be together with everyone we love on a beach in Mexico!

What would be your best advice you would give to newly engaged couples?

Enjoy your engagement! While wedding planning is not without its challenges, it’s an incredible opportunity to work as teammates and have fun with your partner.

Engagement photography is all about capturing the love between two people, and there was certainly no shortage of genuine love and connection between Colleen and Josh. They had so much fun and showed off their goofy sides throughout. The funny poses, piggy back rides, dancing, and jumping…. That was all them, we did not prompt them to do those things! Just two real people being real. What’s not to love?

If you want to see some other locations, go check out our 6 Stunning Chicago Locations for Engagement Photos blog post.

Fulton River District Engagement Session

Engagement Session

view the story

Cold weather… Flurries… Sleet…. Overcast skies….

None of this would have stopped Hailey and Andrew from joining us in River North for an amazing session with this beautiful backdrop. I have to admit I was cold, but I definitely wasn’t going to complain since Hailey was being such a trooper with a sleeveless dress. Getting to know these two was so much fun and really made this cold, wet weather much easier to handle.

How did you meet? What was it like?

“We met at work when we were younger. Andrew and my mom worked together before I started there. Andrew had heard my mom listening to recordings of me singing and asked who she was listening to. My mom, later on, gave Andrew my phone number to try and play match maker. However, this only embarrassed me because I did not know him yet. When Andrew introduced himself, I brushed it off. This only made Andrew want to know me more. So, he began changing his schedule so he was my trainer. Since we spent so much time together, we really got to know one another, and then we began dating. My mom will still say it was her doing that we ended up together.”

Hailey and Andrew were amazing. They were constantly smiling and laughing with one another while just being super adorable. The love they have for each other was so clear in the way they interacted together. Hailey was constantly looking to touch Andrew and he was always reaching his hand out to help her when she needed it. They have been together five years and are getting married at the end of May at Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park. It is really easy to do your job as an engagement and wedding photographer when the couples love for each is so natural like this.

What is your favorite date night like?

“We love to go out to La Mex for dinner, and to get our favorite strawberry mango margarita. It’s a pretty laid-back date night that we enjoy because it allows us to catch up on the little things that we might have missed out on one another because of how crazy life can get.”

Between the Chicago Riverwalk, The Merchandise Mart, and the Wells Street bridge this River North setting was perfect for an overcast Sunday afternoon engagement session. Sure, it rained, sleeted, and snowed all at the same time, but that didn’t stop us. Rue and I have a lot of fun shooting engagement sessions together because we can capture all these little moments in between when one of us is switching lenses or changing spots. It can be a lot more work but it really gives our clients a greater variety of photos, and who doesn’t want that?!

What are you most excited about for your wedding day?

“We are both excited to read our own vows to one another, because we are writing them ourselves. This will be a very personal and emotional part of our big day that we have looked forward to for years.”

We loved hanging out with these two and I’m sure their wedding day will be just as magical. Congratulations you two, you truly are wonderful together.

If you want to see some other locations, go check out our 6 Stunning Chicago Locations for Engagement Photos blog post.

Chicago Winter Engagement Session in River North

Engagement Session

view the story

Dreamy. Candid. Beautiful. Full of love. Magical. Magazine-worthy. Fun. High-end. Special.

It has been a challenge to come up with the right words to start this post because so many emotions ran through my mind while photographing this beautiful couple during an engagement session. We laughed together, cried together, laughed so hard we cried together, and witnessed some of the most amazing moments we have seen so far between two human beings. This was an unforgettable experience for sure.

Meet Macy and Dustin, two people obviously made for each other. You can see it in every way they function together and apart. Their eyes are almost always on one another and when they aren’t they are touching. During the first phone consultation and the entire engagement photo session they were smiling and laughing about some inside joke or something that was happening in the moment. It was truly magical to witness.

How did you two meet? What was your first date like? Tell us your story.
We met at a wedding and I (Macy) pursued him because I knew I wanted to be with him and I didn’t want him to get away. He texted me one day when he happened to be in the area that I lived and finally asked me out. We went out to dinner and then headed for the beach to sit by the water and talk. It started pouring rain but we were both enjoying it so much that we stayed in the rain just to be together. We finally packed up and went back to his car to find that his battery was dead. So there, drenched with rain on our first date, I met his parents when they came to give his car battery a jump.

The Session
Macy and Dustin decided on two locations with two different looks: a casual, cozy forest vibe and then a serene beach session. The first half, the cozy session, was full of warm sweaters and laughing snuggles. The second half featured Dustin in a sleek, navy suit and Macy in a gorgeous dress from Sheln, finding their deep connection for each other on the sandy dunes overlooking Lake Michigan.

What is your favorite date night like?
Our favorite date night is just a simple Friday night drinking wine and watching Dateline. We just cuddle up on the couch enjoy being together. Other than that, board games are our jam. We could lose an entire night playing “What Do You Meme?” or “Cards Against Humanity” (Their favorite card in the game, while funny, was a little to risqué to end up in the blog post).

I feel like I would normally have more to say but I think the photos speak for themselves. This couple truly has me at a loss for words. What an incredible evening with these sensational human beings.

If you want to see some other locations, go check out our 6 Stunning Chicago Locations for Engagement Photos blog post.

Winter Beachfront Engagement Session at Kemil Beach