Karissa and I were going to head to Chicago with our friends Isaac and Shelby to see Hillsong United at the United Center, and we decided to make a weekend out of it! We got great weather and it was a refreshing little break for all of us. 

We got into town after dark, and I was just blown away by how cool the skyline looked. It gave off so much light onto the low-hanging clouds that it reminded me of Christopher Nolan's Gotham in the Dark Knight trilogy...which, of course, I loved. 

The next morning we walked to a breakfast place called Stax, and it had a bit of a wait so we sat outside with everyone else waiting. I decided that it was a good time to get a few shots, so I got some shots of Karissa that I love. The 85mm f/1.8 is so great for portraits.

From there we headed to Wicker Park to check out Goorin Bros. hat store. Wicker park was super cool! Lots of neat people and a very friendly vibe. 

I mostly shot video while we were there, but when we sat outside to enjoy a smoothie I got some more shots with the 85. I camped on a framing of the street that T'd into where we were sitting and waited for someone to walk through, but the only clean, centered shot I got was the girl on the bike. The shot of Shelby is on the second floor of Urban Outfitters, while we were waiting for Karissa and Isaac to resolve something they were doing or talking about. I'm not sure what.

I was really desiring to have more weight to my footage, to try and shoot something that didn't look like I was there by myself and afraid to talk to people. At one point I came across a group of four people who were sitting outside laughing and really enjoying themselves, and I thought to myself that this was the kind of warmer, more intimate footage that I wanted to get.

As unnatural as it was, I decided to step into their little party and say, "Hi, this is going to sound funny but I'm in town for the weekend and I'm making a little video of my time in Chicago. You guys seem to be having a really good time--would you mind if I got some footage of you just doing exactly what you've been doing?" 

They surprised me with their immediate acceptance: "Sure!" 

I went on to explain my desire to create work that is more connected to people, and I lamented that I wish that we as a society weren't so intimidated by the idea of meeting strangers. I got some good shots of them laughing and then I did some "moving portraits" as I like to call them, where I set up a shot like you would a portrait but I record video instead. 

I then offered them free photos to thank them, which they accepted, and then I was off to figure out where Isaac, Shelby, and Karissa were by now.

From there we Uber'd to the Navy Pier, and I shot a few more street shots out the window as we drove. It was pretty hit or miss but I got three that I liked:

At the Navy Pier I again took surprisingly few photos, instead favoring the Ursa Mini as I spent an inordinate amount of time fixated on the swing ride because I love it. It was an awesome spot to get shots of the skyline though!

And here's the resulting video from the trip. We really enjoyed our short stay, and I loved the footage that I got as well.