DOWNTOWN NAPERVILLE ENGAGEMENT // KATE + CARL

The city of Naperville brought these two together. Kate was working in public relations for the city. Her work assignments kept bringing her and Carl, a film guy from Naperville Community Television, together. Kate was sending signals to Carl …. that it wasn’t just a conquincidence that they kept running into together. But Carl was not picking up on these signals. Kate finally just told Carl they should go on a date. And that is when it all began. Back in 2008.

Four years later, I met these two at the Naperville Riverwalk. One of their favorite places and an area of downtown Naperville that they spent a lot of time. Not only do they both live and work in Naperville, but they love to walk around, dine at the local restaurants and get lost in books at Anderson’s Bookshop.

Kate and Carl just radiate with love. I have never seen two people look at each other with such adoring eyes.

Kate and Carl LOVE to read. So when we walked past their favorite bookstore, I knew we had to sneak in for some photos of them. They headed right to the humor section and were laughing the whole time they looked at books.

I cannot wait to photograph their wedding next September at the Naper Settlement. I know their day will be filled with lots of love and laughter.

To see more from Kate + Carl’s Naperville engagement session, view their slideshow below.

chicago engagement :: marisa + ryan

I love photographing engagements, but I love them even more when the people I am photographing are friends. Ryan and I have been friends for over 22 years! So when he popped the question to Marisa, I was right by his side documenting the special moment for them.

And I couldn’t have been happier (and a tiny bit nervous!) when they asked me to create their engagement photos. Ryan and Marisa are the most generous, kind and loving couple I know, so I wanted them to have a great engagement session.

Ryan & Marisa – It has been so much fun to be such a big part of your engagement! I had so much fun spending time with just you two. I hope you love the photos! xo.

Marisa came down to the city full of ideas and adorable etsy props. We spent a gorgeous October afternoon around River North putting them to use.

Marisa – You are so stunning….I adore this photo! :)Marisa thought of everything for their engagement session including a cute little picnic in the park with vino and these super adorable wine glasses.

Ryan – You truly are the happiest I have ever seen you with Marisa. I’m so happy you found the girl for you!

To see even more photos of these two love birds, watch their slideshow below ::

chicago engagement :: julie + george

It all started in summer nine years ago. Long days, warm nights, and the local pool. During a summer of working together at the pool, Julie developed a bit of a crush on George. He had an inkling that she had her eye on him, however the two remained co-workers. What brought these two together? An evening staff party. With a little liquid courage, Julie went up to George and blurted out “You’re the hottest guy ever.”

The two quickly started dating, however the distance of Julie being at school in Iowa and George being in Chicago made the relationship challenging. The two parted ways, but over the years continued to see each other at different gatherings with mutural friends.

George claims that Julie “broke him down” and the two decided to give their relationship another try years later when they were both in the same state. George knew he wanted to spend the years ahead with Julie at his side, so on NYE 2012, he popped the question….and she couldn’t say no to the the hottest guy ever.

Congrats to you both! I hope that the days, months, years ahead are full of only love and happiness.

To see more of Julie + George’s engagement session, watch the slideshow below or click on the link.

urban chicago engagement :: sandra + chris

She had a very specific vision in mind. She knew what she wanted, and she was going to get it. When I first talked to Sandy about engagement photos, I felt well…a little nervous. You see, Sandy is a family friend of many, many years…and I wanted to make the most. amazing. photos. ever. for her. I wanted her to be as happy with her photos as she is with Chris.

Sandy met Chris by chance. She was at dinner with her dad on a random Sunday night when Chris and his guy friends walked into the restaurant for drinks. Sandy found out that both her and Chris had a mutual friend in common, so the whole crew headed out for drinks at another location that same evening. The two clicked right away….and two nights later they went on their first date. It might not have been love at first site, but rather love at their first date.

I know these two will look at each other the same way in 60 years as they did during our engagement session. Congrats to you both….I loved shooting these photos for you guys!


To see more photos from Sandy + Chris’ Chicago engagement session, click the link or watch it below.

the final rose :: a proposal

He had it planned for months. The day that would change his life forever. Every detail was thought of down to having tissues for her when she arrived to accept his final rose.

Ryan and Marisa met three and half years ago, and on Monday night my best guy friend since I was 4, got down on one knee making him one of the happiest (and luckiest guys). His proposal mirrored the famous Bachelor … Marisa’s guilty pleasure on Monday evenings. But this Monday night, the show was all about her. After being picked up in a limo, she was off to meet Ryan where the romantic proposal happened.

It was such an honor and amazing experience to be there for such a special moment in Ryan and Marisa’s relationship. I know that these two have a lifetime of love and happiness ahead of them. Thank you for sharing this with me….the tears welled up in my eyes as I was capturing these moments….. :)

To see more of this special moment watch the proposal slideshow or check it out below.

what to do with your engagement photos?

Engagement photos are such a fun part of the engagement process. It is usually the first time you get to work with your photographer and it is a time to document your love. But once you are done with the engagement session, what do you do with the photos besides posting them to Facebook so all your friends can gush about how you are really the cutest. couple. ever?

Here are some fun ideas to showcase your photos.

1. Get ’em printed in a book. Work with your photographer or use a site like Shutterfly to print a hard cover book to grace your bookself or coffee table.

2. Create an E-vite slideshow. This is such a trendy way to invite your guests to your wedding. Check out an example of one used for the save the date.

3. Use them for your table numbers. Pick out your favorites and display one on each table.

 

4. Create a guestbook containing the photos while leaving space on each page for guests to sign it.

 

5. Print a canvas that contains a lot of a background details. Have your guests sign it at the wedding and then you have a piece of art to enjoy everyday with the love notes from friends and family. This one is from Rhi at Hey Gorgeous.

6. Play a slideshow of your engagement photos at your reception. Place it on a laptop near the bar or play it during dinner on a screen.

7. Use the photos in your invitations or save the dates. Work with your photographer or use a site like Shutterfly to print them out.

Have another great idea to use those engagement pics? Leave it here to inspire others. :)

tips + tricks :: fun engagement props

When planning my engagement sessions with my clients, I always encourage them to make the session as personalized as possible. I want the final product to be the couple. While locations and wardrobe are great ways to bring a couple’s personality into the shoot, little props can completely transform a simple location like the beach or an open field and really show of what the couple is all about.

Here are some ideas of fun props to use in your session:

 

Chicago Winter Holiday Engagement Session Photography Props Candy CanesBeach Florida Engagement Photography Props Fishing PolesChicago St. Charles Engagement Photo Prop Love SignNumbers Save the Date Chicago Photo

 

Other fun prop ideas include:

– Picnic basket with pinic goodies

– Hats (baseball, fedora, floppy hats, etc)

– Chalkboards + Chalk

– Blankets

– Umbrellas

– Balloons

– Bubble Gum

– Bottle of Champagne

– Bikes, old cars, motorcycles

– Sports gear (baseball gloves, baseball bats, basketballs, etc.)

You can DIY your props, find them at a craft store or order them online. All of the props below were found on Etsy. I would love to do a shoot with any of these. :)

Engagement Photography Prop Ideas from Etsy, Handmade Props for Engagement Phots

I hope this leaves you inspired to think outside of the box to come up with some creative prop ideas for your upcoming session. Have a great idea? Leave me a note. :)

 

Chicago Engagement :: Jennifer + Aaron

The universe brought these two to Chicago. After graduation, Jennifer moved from her hometown of St. Louis to Chicago. She got settled, developed great friendships and enjoyed her single time in the big city. A short time after Jen arrived, Aaron completed law school and also started his life in Chicago. However the two had yet to meet.

Both were living their lives in Chicago until one night their paths crossed. Jennifer went out to a local Wicker Park bar, Boundary, expecting nothing more than a fun evening with friends, but was delighted to meet her future husband. After chatting at the bar, a relationship flourished and the rest is history.

Jen is outgoing, full of life and has a go-with-the-flow type personality. Aaron is a little more quiet, letting Jen take center stage, but has a sense of humor that leaves a group laughing.

It was clear after spending the afternoon with them wandering around Chicago that they are crazy about each other.

The two are planning a destination wedding in Naples, Florida, but they wanted to take engagement photos in the city that brought them together. So we met at the Kinzie Street Bridge, exactly where Aaron proposed in February, to capture their love.



To see more of their Chicago engagement session, feel free to CLICK HERE for a slideshow or simply watch it here….

WHAT TO WEAR FOR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS

Ah…the dreaded “what should I wear?” It is hard enough to pull out a stylish outfit that you feel great in on a normal day of the week, so it is only normal to feel somewhat overwhelmed when picking out what to wear for your engagement photos.

Engagement photos are one of my favorite things to shoot (besides the wedding!). I love seeing a couple be themselves and be so in love. It is such a great way to get to know my couples, for them to take a break from the stress of planning to enjoy each other and for them to learn how I work.

Here are some suggestions when looking for the perfect clothing to wear for your session.

1. Feel good in what you wear. If you pick out an outfit that you feel sexy/hot/beautiful/gorg in, then it is going to come across in your photos. So if you are debating between something, and you don’t have pep in your step with it on…pass on it. Keep this in mind when picking out clothes that you might not be comfortable in (i.e. those jeans that make your butt amazing when you stand, but the ones you can’t quite sit down in….)

2. Don’t be matchy matchy, yet still match. This might be confusing, but let me break it down. You do not want to look like “twinzies!”, but your outfits should instead compliment each other. For example, if you are wearing a bold pattern with purple, blue and yellow, have your finacee wear a solid color shirt in one of those hues. This also means if you have on a cocktail dress, your guy’s outfit should be equally as dressy.

3. Pick out clothes that match the style of your location. If you are going to be taking photos at a rustic location, rock those cowboy boots and sundress. If you are shooting in the heart of the city, pick out a sassy cocktail dress and amazing stilettos.

4.  Wear extra make-up. Engagement sessions are the perfect time to do a trial run for your make-up and a great way for you to see how you will look on your special day. If you can’t schedule your trail and session for the same day, then add a little more make-up than normal and put on some gloss or lipstick (but be careful of the color…all the kissing that happens could leave your guy with some color of his own!). I also recommend that my brides-to-be have a manicure since I typically do a lot of up-close shots of the ring.

5. Have an extra outfit. I always encourage my clients to bring at least one extra outfit to change into. I suggest one casual outfit and one more formal outfit. This is also a great way to meet your guy in the middle on an outfit option – i.e. you can bring along those Chicago Blackhawks jerseys for a few shots and still get your LBD and button down look.

6. Dress in layers. Toss on a sweater over your guy’s button down or layer a blazer over your cami. When you wear layers, it slims and adds dimension to your photos (which is amaz!). And if you opt for darker hues they will have a slimming effect, and who doesn’t want that. :)

7. Wear clothes that reflect YOU! It seems obvious, but it is so true. The best photos are when my couples are themselves which only starts with wearing clothes that reflect them (not necessary that super cute, orange skirt that the sales girl at Nordstrom told you was the “it” piece for summer.)

I hope this helps as you dig through your wardrobe for the right outfit, however the most important thing to bring to your shoot in your love for each other….and I think you already have that down. :)

Tell me your proposal story & win an engagement session!

It is the question asked the whole year leading up to the wedding. How did he propose? You have told it over and over and over again, and yet you still do it with a smile every time because it was one of the most special moments in your relationship.

So future brides & grooms, if you still have “get engagement photos taken” on your to-do list, I am giving away an engagement session for the best proposal story. Here’s what you have to do:

1. Like Brittany Bekas Photography on Facebook (if you don’t already). You must be a fan to enter the contest.

2. E-mail me a photo of you and your fiancee along with your proposal story to brittany@brittanybekas.com by May 17th.

3. Beginning May 18th, the stories and photos will be posted on Brittany Bekas Photography’s Facebook page to be voted on. Have your friends and family vote on your story via the like button, but they must be a fan of Brittany Bekas Photography for their vote to count. Voting ends May 26th at midnight central time.

4. The couple with the most votes will be announced May 27th. The lucky couple will win an engagement session with me. Please note, the session will be in the Chicagoland area.

I look forward to hearing all the romantic/funny/sweet/quirky ways that you got engaged!

 

Chicago Engagement :: Theresa + Anthony

Two months before Anthony boarded a plane for the Peace Corps, he met Theresa. Timing could not have been worse for the two as Anthony was just weeks away from spending two years teaching English in Cambodia.

A mutual friend set them up. Somewhat of a blind date you might say. The two both went to Rolling Meadows High School together, but they never met until their first date at Looptopia Festival in Chicago.

Anthony is a go-with-the flow type of guy. Theresa is a planner and organizer – obsessed with the details. They knew they would end up together after only a few months of dating.

But before they could start the rest of their lives, Anthony headed off to Cambodia.

Skype. E-mails. Letters. They endured the long distance the best they could. Theresa even made the 18-hour flight to visit Anthony. Yet after 18 months, Anthony jetted off to be with his girl – for good.

There is something special about the love these two share. It radiates from their eyes when they look at each other. They will marry this June at Our Lady of Wayside in Arlington Heights. I had the pleasure of spending a Saturday afternoon with the two, capturing their love in all of their favorite places. Here are some of my favorites!


Stop being so stinkin’ cute, you two!

For their first date, the pair met at Ogilvie Train Station before heading to Looptopia Festival. Anthony wasn’t sure what Theresa looked like, but when he saw her he hoped (and prayed!) that she was the girl he was spending the day with!


Theresa, you are stunning! Really.

Theresa and Anthony are the sweetest, most loving couple I have met. I know their wedding will reflect this amazing love they share!

To see more of Theresa and Anthony’s engagement pictures, feel free to CLICK HERE.

Downtown St. Charles Engagement :: Karen + David

They both knew of each other, but they didn’t know each other…yet. David and Karen hung out in the same circle of friends, but it wasn’t until Karen was persuaded into celebrating a friend’s birthday in Chicago over four years ago that she really talked to David. However, Karen still had a month left of school to finish at Northern Illinois, so the distance did not allow the two to get into a relationship right away. It wasn’t until the week before Karen’s college graduation, when David visited her at school with two of their mutual friends that the sparks went off between them. It was official. Karen and David started dating.

Karen is bubbly, care-free and at times, a complete goofball. David is patient, loyal and somewhat of a romantic. They compliment each other perfectly. The yin to the other’s yang. Over the years, the two traveled have to Riviera Maya, Arizona, the Grand Canyon, and Breckenridge together. Snowboarding. Hiking. Biking. Exploring. Always by the other’s side.

They still act like teenagers in love for the first time. Catching glances of each other across the room. Sneaking little kisses when no one is looking. Holding hands down the street. Their love is contagious.

Karen and David will marry at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in River Forest in October. We met in downtown St. Charles for their engagement sessions, and I couldn’t have had more fun with this adorable, fun-loving couple. Here are a few of my favorites……


To see more of Karen and David’s engagement session, feel free to CLICK HERE for a slideshow or view it here…