There’s something pretty awesome about shooting downtown a large city, especially when it’s Chicago, IL senior pictures. Erika contacted me last month about doing pictures downtown and after just getting back from Madison’s senior session downtown Chicago, I was definitely ready to go back. Erika is from Wisconsin, so not only was it a drive and something pretty special for us, but it was something special for her as well. She desires to live downtown Chicago some time soon and having pictures of downtown in the background was something she wanted for her senior portraits. Upon arriving to Chicago, we started taking pictures, but noticed behind the buildings the clouds looked pretty dark. It was only 5:00 but the lighting felt more like sunset. We continued to push through as much as we could until a light rain turned into a downpour. Looking for a place to take cover, as we were away from the buildings at this point, we were fortunate that the World Triathlon Championship was taking place that day because there were tents all around. Apparently they ordered an evacuation of Grant Park as we later found out, not sure if this is because of the lightning or because something worse was possible. We didn’t know what was happening, all we knew is we didn’t want to get wet so we took cover in one of the event tents. While not the most ideal situation during a senior session, especially since both of us drove quite a distance to get there.
However, after about 10 minutes or so (but what felt like hours) of rain, it stopped. It didn’t clear up, but I’ve always been a fan of cloud cover. I’m also a huge fan of wet roads in the pictures. If I could spray down roads with water just for sessions I would! Wetness adds drama and vibrance to everything as opposed to when its dry. Because of the triathlon event, many of the roads were shut down, so this allowed us to get middle-of-the-road pictures, so this was pretty cool and unique for being downtown Chicago. After a good time of exploring Grant Park we made our way downtown. By this point it was nearing sunset and because of the clouds it was practically night time lighting out, so all the street lights were one, car lights were shining and the roads were still wet. All of this made for some pretty awesome downtown pictures, but what came next was even better in my opinion. At this point we decided it was a good time to make our way out to get some skyline pictures. Because of the event, traffic was backed up like crazy. It was getting pretty dark out at this point and it was only about 6:45 so we still had enough light to get a bright sky, but we were pushing it. Of course, after it took 20+ minutes to drive 1.5 miles, we lost any lighting we had. Oddly, I was thankful for the traffic. Because of this delay, the sky was dark and the city was lit up, it’s not very often we get a chance to do nighttime pictures in Chicago simply because by that point we’ve been shooting for quite a while, but with Erika’s pictures we were able to capture some pretty cool images with the lit up skyline in the background. Overall, what seemed like a session that could be ruined by rain, ended up being one pretty unique senior session downtown Chicago.