Best 100 Fearless Awards of 2023

It was one of those rare November mornings at Chicago’s North Avenue Beach.The weather was a warm 65 degrees, which was exceptional as only a few days later the temperature dipped down to a brisk 21. The last vestiges of Fall’s colorful leaves were still clinging to the trees, and Lake Michigan was smooth as glass that morning.

We were fortunate to have ample sunshine without a cloud in the sky: The kind of weather photographers from the Midwest dream about in late Fall!

Konark and Deepthi came prepared for our early 6:28 am start time. I lived in Chicago’s western suburbs and woke that morning at 4:45 am to commute into the city.

The sun rises over Lake Michigan from the east (left of frame), which is the perfect time to illuminate subjects and capture a kiss of light on the edge of the skyline. I love photographing this location at this hour too because it’s often overrun with pedestrians throughout the remainder of the day.

There’s a break in the skyline where Lake Shore Drive rounds Lake Michigan just before reaching the Lake Point Tower Condominiums where I wanted to capture my couple walking together while framing them between the skyscrapers. I knew I had the moment when both Deepthi and Konark were mid-stride, and Deepthi’s dress mirrored Konark’s gait.