There’s always those people that put their stuff out at the beach at the crack of dawn to stake their claim to sand. There’s a reason for it. This engagement is the perfect example as to why. It wasn’t the crack of dawn, but it was the brink of sunset. My parents live literally above North Avenue Beach and so I called them on my drive in and asked what's the parking lot looking like (since it's rush hour) What started out as 7 cars in the parking lot and empty sand, became absolutely filled! As in I’ve never seen it so busy in my life, filled once it was golden hour. (The time when the sun starts to set, and gives a beautiful golden glow.)

North Avenue Beach is iconic for its jaw-dropping views of the lake and the skyline. Add in absolutely gorgeous weather, and it was place to be! We couldn't go anywhere, in any direction without having essentially the entire population of Chicago in our photos. So what do you do if you want engagement (or wedding) pics in front of iconic locations?

Start your photos before others do! Stake your claim like those early birds on the beach. We were 3/4 of the way through our session by the time golden hour hit. By then, we were more so taking dreamy detail photos. By starting an hour earlier than most, we got the uncrowded, highlighting the iconic location photos. Come golden hour and the crowds, we could be super intentional about our shots so we're not getting everyone and their brother in the save the date. (: