Chicago Wedding Photographer Blog

Abandoned Cathedral + Urban Decay eSession! Susan + Dennis!

Engagement Session in Gary, Indiana

Get ready for the most ridiculous engagement photos this wedding blog has ever seen. Possibly the best set I’ve ever had. Over 5 years in the making. I first heard about Gary, IN and their abandoned buildings through my friend and fellow photographer, Mike Tanner. I’ve been wanting to bring a couple here for photographs for years. But nobody took me up on the idea…until Susan + Dennis.

Abandoned Buildings!

When S+D brought their idea about shooting an engagement session in abandoned buildings…I told them about this abandoned cathedral in Gary, Indiana. They loved the idea! They drove out their to scout it out…and Susan put together some really cool props for our shoot! She made a S&D sign out of paper mache! They also brought a mini wedding cake, macaroons & other sweets in cute little glass jars!

Handmade signage inside an abandoned auditorium
abandoned ruins letters engagement

One of my favorite photos from the abandoned cathedral!

abandoned cathedral church engagement photo

Love the juxtaposition of their formal suit & dress w/the urban decay of the abandoned church

urban ruins engagement photo

Seriously…one of my favorite locations for an engagement session!

abandoned cathedral church engagement picture

urban decay engagement picture

I love the dramatic feel of the photograph

creative engagement photo abandoned cathedral church gary IN

Cute smiles!

I love the intersecting vertical & diagonal lines-

creative urban engagement photo

Abandoned cathedral beauty-

abandoned cathedral gary IN engagement photo

More urban ruins

creative urban engagement picture

engagement photo urban decay

I went up to the balcony for a cool angle…

engagement picture urban decay

I love they symmetry of the columns…and the brokenness of the church…combined with the beauty of their pose, expression & outfits!

urban ruins creative engagement photo

On the other side of the abandoned building was an auditorium! Soooooo cool!!!!

urban ruins creative engagement photo

Then Susan + Dennis brought out their decor! A polished metal high boy table…complete with a mini wedding cake & glass jars! The cute jars were filled with cookies and sweets!

pretty cake engagement photo urban

A photo from the balcony of the abandoned auditorium-

abandoned building engagement photo

Sharing a cookie together!

abandoned building engagement picture

The best way to eat a macaroon! =)

abandoned building gary IN engagement photo

Having clients who put so much effort into their engagement session only makes me want to work harder too!

beautiful ruins cake cookies engagement picture

Some more fun with their candy!

creative fun engagement photo

Susan brought out her ghost chairs that she had bought…clear acrylic modern chairs in a run down…abandoned building-

abandoned building gary IN engagement photo

The love the combination of fashion & beauty with the urban backdrop

abandoned building gary IN engagement picture

A cute moment amongst the ruins

abandoned ruins creative engagement photo

Through the window frame filled with broken glass…

abandoned ruins creative engagement photo

Loved their outfit change!

urban ruins creative engagement photo

This room had mural painted on the wall…but the weather had peeled it off-

urban ruins creative engagement photo

Walls completely off the side of the building- stealing a moment while someone leaves a mark on the walls-

spray paint urban ruins creative engagement photo

A room once filled with dance class + little ballerinas…we thought to take a photograph in memory of what was once here

ballerina dancing ruins creative engagement photograph

One last photo of our time in Gary, IN

abandoned building photograph gary in engagement

Thanks for checking out Susan + Dennis’ engagement photos! This abandoned cathedral and building was everything I was hoping it would be after waiting 5 years to photograph here! I hope you enjoyed their engagement photos! Feel free to leave a comment below!

Thanks to Susan + Dennis’ for bringing everything for this shoot! Your energy, props & heart!

with love,

Chicago engagement photographer turned urban explorer,



Chicago Wedding Photographer


3334 N Avers Ave #2

Chicago, IL 60618