Destination Hotel Engagement Photos at Pendry Hotel Chicago

Nothing makes me happier than sexy, steamy, out-of-the-box engagement photos. For Marianna & Rob’s destination hotel engagement session, their vibe was exactly that. If you’re looking for unique engagement photo inspiration, you’re totally in the right place!!

M + R’s Engagement Session at Pendry Hotel Chicago

Okay, I’ve got to brag on Marianna and Rob for sec. They specifically sought me to bring their unique vision to life for their photos. They stalked me on Instagram, looked through my portfolio, and decided that I would be the best fit based on my previous work. *Record scratch* THAT IS SUCH A COMPLIMENT. When booking a photographer, it’s super important to book them based on THEIR work and to not try and change their style. M + R wanted photos with a vintage feel (hello, yes), plus a mix of blurry, flash, black & white, and film photos. HELLO, YES! They basically described my portfolio in a nutshell.   

Once I knew the vibe they wanted, the rest was a cakewalk. They wanted engagement photos that were anything but cookie-cutter – they were tired of all the traditional engagement sessions they saw online and on social media. ICYMI: the first words on my website homepage are “San Diego & Destination wedding photographer for people who don’t play by the rules.” Naturally, Marianna and Rob were the perfect fit for LLC. We decided on a boutique hotel and cocktail bar vibe for their location, and then I got to work! 

Our destination engagement photo locations

M + R booked their engagement session for December when the weather can be pretty unpredictable in Chicago. It gets dark super early in the day during this time of year, so I suggested we do their entire session indoors to eliminate having to worry about the weather at all! This is the perk of hiring an experienced engagement photographer – we think about EVERYTHING well in advance so that you can have the most seamless experience possible, including last-minute location changes if need be. 

We landed on Pendry Hotel Chicago Hotel for part of their destination engagement session and Venteux Oyster Bar for the other part. We were able to achieve the ‘old money glam’ vibe with tons of flash photos and steamy, caught-in-the-moment shots. Truthfully, I basically played paparazzi with them while running around the hotel and it was EPIC. They styled themselves perfectly so their wardrobe was on point: their first outfits were fancy black tie, and their second outfits were more cocktail attire to fit the ‘date night out’ vibe at the oyster bar. 

They trusted me to do my thing!

I gave M + R all of the planning information they needed to know about how the photos would turn out being done indoors so they could have the right expectations when their gallery was delivered. Shooting completely indoors is much different than utilizing natural light outdoors, so it was important they knew what look they were getting! Thankfully, it was the exact feel they were looking for, so they were more than happy to have an indoor session. 

We had so much fun because they were so confident in front of the camera and let me do tons of fun prompts and poses, even letting me try out different shooting techniques! They had complete trust in me to follow my creative vision and deliver the engagement photos of their dreams. They had decided to add film onto their session, so that helped us slow down and be in the moment even more! I loved delivering their gallery with the surprise film photos since we obviously couldn’t see how they turned out until they were developed. All in all, we had an amazing time and got even BETTER photos. 

Ready to book your destination engagement session?

HELL YEAH! Whether you want to travel or stay in your home state, I’ll come to you. For more information about what my engagement sessions entail, you can inquire with me and I’ll send you my full planning guide. In the meantime, check out this Downtown San Diego Engagement Session for even more inspo!