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Chicago Wedding Photographer - Nakai Photography
click an image above to begin your journey
scroll down to view the most current blog posts!
Best Chicago Engagement Session Locations
Eleni + Thad chose some of the best locations in Chicago for their engagement session photos! They got the skyline view from the Adler Planetarium, a park in the West Loop, and Buckingham Fountain at night! These first three are the best of the set!
As an engagement photographer, I love creating ‘new’ photos with these iconic Chicago symbols! Buckingham Fountain at night is simply amazing! Scroll down to the bottom to see more Buckingham Fountain photos!
I think Chicago has one of the best skylines in the world! When I have an opportunity I try to incorporate the Willis Tower in the background!
Adler Planetarium Engagement Photos
Found this great reflection to incorporate the Chicago skyline! And I love their expressions!
The photographer in me couldn’t resist the strong compositional lines in the Adler Planetarium’s architecture!
West Loop Engagement Pictures
As the sun began to set, we headed over to the West Loop for a few photos! I love the strong angles and metal beams juxtaposed with their soft embrace and smile!
Buckingham Fountain Photos
Buckingham Fountain at night never ceases to amaze me. Ever since I posted my first Buckingham Fountain engagement session on my Pinterest page three years ago…I keep getting requests for these photos! It’s one of the best places to take engagement photos at night!
Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest water fountains in the world! The water shoots over 150ft in the air!
Every engagement photographer looks for those ‘wow’ images for their clients- I think Eleni + Thad have more than plenty of ‘wow’ photos! =)
Thanks Eleni + Thad for having me as your Chicago engagement photographer! You guys picked some of Chicago’s best locations! Looking forward to your wedding!
Chicago Wedding Photographer Yelp Review
I love getting thank you notes in the mail and through email! My wedding and family photography is personal to me, and I do my very best to give my clients a wonderful experience on their wedding day! I am super thankful for those that go the extra mile and leave a yelp review! I’ve never thought to highlight my reviews on my blog…but why not!?!? Finding out I have a 5 star Yelp Review makes my day! Thank you to all my past clients who have left Chicago wedding photographer Yelp reviews…it means a lot to me!
Thanks to Matthew + John for their recent Yelp review! Totally unsolicited and deeply appreciated! You can view their wedding photos at their blog post: Matthew + John’s Intercontinental Chicago Wedding Photo Blog Post
Kenny’s photos were so good, we were immediately contacted but Chicago Style Weddings magazine who wanted to use them. Our wedding was the most amazing experience of my life and I can’t imagine anyone capturing it better than Kenny. He is an artist and he’s fun when you need him to be and he disappears when you don’t need him, but all the while he is taking stunning photographs from every angle. Thanks Kenny, you are truly worth it.
Thank you Matthew + John for taking the time to leave a wonderful review!
Golf Course Wedding Photos in St Charles, IL
My old college buddy Nathan married Eling, another college friend of mine! The crazy thing…they didn’t know each other back then! 10 years later they meet and fall in love! Nathan knew me when I bought my first film DSLR, a Canon AE-1 back in college…who would have thought I would be his wedding photographer! And for those that haven’t seen their engagement session photos in San Francisco – you have to check those out at their San Francisco engagement session blog post!
A quick shout out to three past clients/friends that were at this wedding: Nick & Danica (2009), Dru & Nicole (2009) and Jason & Hannah (2011). It was great seeing you guys again! And now you all have kids!!! =)
Here are a few of my favorite photos from the day! The skies opened up on the golf course for this awesome wedding picture!
St Charles is has this really cool bridge – we had to take photos on it!
Wedding dress + shoes!
The ladies ready to celebrate with a sip of champagne!
A photo of the beautiful bride!
Those that know Eling…know she likes to smile and laugh! I think this is my favorite picture of her!
The groom needing a little help getting ready-
The groom looking sharp!
I don’t support this type of behavior on a wedding day, but I couldn’t help but have fun at my friend’s wedding…we set him up with one of his best men during the first look! lol…it wasn’t who he expected!
Inclement weather derailed some of our photo locations, but we found refuge in this tower for bridal party photos!
We walked really fast through the rain….the bride escorted by the Secret Service groomsmen-
Gotta love the St Charles bridge!
A beautiful photo with the Fox River in the background-
These two like to laugh together…and this photo captures it all!
The skies cleared for their golf course wedding! It was amazing!
The perfect weather for a wedding ceremony!
We had to take a few photos on the golf course!
Their secret handshake-
The newly weds being serenaded at the end of the night!
Thanks to the bridal party for being so great as we made our way through St Charles for all those photos!
Thanks again to Nathan + Eling for having me as your wedding photographer! I’m so happy for you both and I had a great time spending the day with you! I hope these photos help bring back all the memories! Praying for you guys as you start this new chapter in your lives!
Chicago Luxury Wedding Photos at the Field Museum
There is just too much amazingness in this blog post! Congrats to Julia and Anthony! I can’t even begin to write about their day…so let’s just get straight to the details! Scroll on down!
Photo of Julia and Anthony on the rooftop terrace of the Public Hotel in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood!
Getting Ready Venue: Chicago Public Hotel
Wedding Ceremony Venue: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago
Wedding Reception Venue: Chicago Field Museum
Florals and Decor: Kehoe Designs
Day of Coordinator: Kensington Florals and Decor
Photographer: Nakai Photography
Wedding Dress: Inbal Dror from the Dimitra’s Bridal Couture Chicago
Hair: Shelby Doehemann
Makeup: Kimbery Patterson Makeup
Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Bride’s clutch: Prada
Groom’s Shoes: Louis Vuitton
Groom’s Cufflinks: Burberry
Groom’s Wedding Sunglasses: Versace
Wedding Cake: Vanille Patisserie
DJ: Joe Maz
MC: Ben Quam
Videography: Amor in Motion
Ice Sculpture: Alexander’s Arctic Ice
Live Painting: pARTy Scapes Portrait
Entertainment: Cover Girls Violin Show
Love this wedding picture on the steps of the Field Museum! Her veil blowing in the wind!
My third photographer managed to grab this first dance photo from the balcony at the Field Museum – I love how you can see the columns, arches and elephants in the Field Museum lobby!
Public Hotels Chicago – Getting Ready Photos
Gorgeous Inbal Dror wedding dress photo
Ummm…her Christian Louboutin wedding shoes…do I need to say more? Bringing the luxury in the little details!
A picture perfect Prada wedding clutch
A fun photo of the Julia and her bridesmaids before they get dressed!
Priorities first…these Christian Louboutin shoes go on before the dress!
A cute photo of Julia and her maid of honor putting on her earrings!
This might as well be a luxury magazine ad photo for her Inbal Dror wedding dress! Beautiful bouquet by Kehoe Designs
A celebratory sip of champagne with the bridesmaids before seeing Anthony!
Had to photograph the groom’s Louis Vuitton patent leather shoes
His gold Burberry cufflinks next to his Versace sunglass case
A couple photos of the groom at the Public Hotel
A picture of the groomsmen all ready to go in the Public Hotel lobby
I love Julia’s veil! Not to mention the beautiful location with the Chicago Skyline in the background!
One more photo on the Public Hotel Chicago rooftop terrace
Love the chandeliers in the Public Hotel entrance!
Just before the stretch humvee limos pulled up, I managed to sneak a quick photo in of the bridal party in front of the Public Hotel-
Field Museum Wedding Photos
We headed down to the Field Museum for their wedding photos!
On the steps of the Field Museum for a full bridal party photo with the four ushers in the background! It’s my job as their wedding photographer to find the right light…the right composition…AND make sure everyone looks good!
The ladies wanted to have fun with this picture
One of my favorite photos at the Field Museum! We draped her veil over the side of the ledge!
We found a spot of take photos with the Chicago skyline in the background!
Since the Field Museum has a lot of stone, I wanted to incorporate some nature in a wedding photo!
I love the strong horizontal lines and the perfect spacing of the bridal party in this photo!
Taking advantage of the Field Museum architecture…I’m a wedding photographer that loves symmetry, lines and architecture! It all comes together in this photo!
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago
For those that have never witnessed a Greek Orthodox wedding, there are a lot of traditions involved! Thanks to the Priests at Annunciation for allowing us to get these fabulous photos!
Great photo by my second photographer, Tom, the father kissing the bride and Anthony smiling as he looks on!
The beautiful Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago
As a wedding photographer, I’m always trying to get the best angle and capture a photo at just the right moment!
As a wedding photographer, I get to see what the audience cannot…Julia may not have known ‘exactly’ what to do during one part of the ceremony! oops! =)
The mothers of the bride and groom throwing petals as they walk around-
The exit! As their photographer, I tried to stay as close as possible to feel ‘in the middle of the action!’
Chicago Field Museum Luxury Wedding Reception Photos
Kehoe Designs provided the centerpieces and decor- I wanted to showcase their beautiful decor pieces AND the iconic elephants in the lobby of the Field Museum! Food for Thought Chicago catered the food for their wedding!
Beautiful escort table by Kehoe Designs
Love this wedding cake by Vanille Patisserie with Sue in the background
Another close up of Kehoe Design’s centerpieces! The mirrors and gold candlabras bring the perfect touch of luxury!
Love the decor around the sweetheart table!
A photo of their Ice Sculpture!
Another room picture of a Chicago Field Museum wedding reception
The Cover Girls Violin Show provided the guests with live entertainment during dinner!
Love the way Julia is looking at her dad-
First dance at the Field Museum! We tried to incorporate various Field Museum design elements into their photos!
Traditional Greek wedding dancing!
These guys definitely deserve a shout out on the blog! They got the moves!
Food for Thought Dessert table-
These two provided the energy and excitement all night! DJ Joe Maz from Miami and MC Ben Quam from Minnesota!
Live painting by Party Scapes Portrait
Thanks to Julia and Anthony for having me as your wedding photographer! It was an amazing day! The day went by so quickly and I hope you enjoy your wedding photos!
your Chicago wedding photographer,
My Best Nighttime Engagement Session Photo Ever?
I know this is bold of me to say…but I think this first nightime engagement picture taken at Millennium Park might be one of my best engagement photos ever. I love the color, the composition and their pose! And I love the feel of Chicago at night! I’ve been shooting these nighttime engagement sessions for the last 5 years and they make my job as a Chicago engagement photographer all the more exciting! It is truly a thrill to capture a moment like this!
Another Millennium Park engagement picture! I love the reflection off of the wet ground! I just feel the energy in this photo! There are more nighttime engagement photos at the bottom of the this blog post…so scroll down for more!
Chicago Engagement Session Photos
We started their day by the Chicago river!
Nothing says Chicago more than the Wrigley building in the background!
The Marina City towers are also pretty iconic structures in Chicago…I used to call them the ‘corn on the cob’ buildings when I was a kid =)
We took a few pictures at their hotel…and as much as we take amazing engagement session pictures all over Chicago…I LOVE this photo of the two of them!
Millennium Park Engagement Pictures at Night
Wow…these next few photos are some of the best engagement photos I have ever taken in Chicago at night- I love the composition, the red color & the Chicago skyline in the background! Moments like this…I am thankful for my job as a photographer!
And if you didn’t know…Arielle can dance! Brett does a good job of holding her hand while she twirls around! The Millennium Park bandshell glows different colors at night! So romantic!
Only at night do these Millennium Park colors come out!
Stealing a kiss during their session =)
We stopped by the iconic Bean for a couple photos! It looks so different at night!
One last photo from their engagement session!
Thanks Arielle + Brett for braving our Chicago weather for these engagement pictures! They are the best! Millennium Park made for the perfect backdrop for you guys! Can’t wait until the wedding!
your Chicago engagement photographer,