Art Institute & North Ave Beach Engagement Session | Mia + Elliot

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Noelle Thies


Art Institute & North Ave Beach Engagement Session | Mia + Elliot

I am so excited to talk about this beautiful Art Institute & North Ave Beach Engagement session with Mia and Elliot; this session was from back in December of 2023 and is one that I think of and post about regularly. With such amazing locations such as North Avenue Beach and the Art Institute of Chicago, this session was a dream from the get-go. I am always so thrilled to capture couples and engagement sessions at either of these locations, so here I am to talk about this breathtaking session today!


Mia and Elliot met in North Carolina while both serving in the military; Mia was serving in the Air Force, and Elliot was serving in the Marines. They met on Bumble, and it only went up from there! Drawn together by their shared values, sense of adventure, and commitment to serving their country, Elliot popped the question on a beautiful and beloved beach in Wilmington, after two years of dating. As they embark on the journey of marriage, Mia and Elliot are eager to continue to build a life filled with love, joy, and excitement.

Hearing all about why the couples that I work with love each other is one of my favorite things about being a photographer. I could sit with them all day listening to their story and what led them to where they are today. Mia and Elliot were absolutely no exception!


The first part of Mia and Elliot’s Art Institute & North Ave Beach engagement session took place at the Art Institute of Chicago, a gorgeous and classy location that perfectly suits Mia and Elliot’s vibes. Their happy energy and excitement over their engagement was unmistakable and so sweet to witness. This is one of my favorite locations to capture a little more serious, intimate, and documentary-style photography. Obviously, as I go back to the Art Institute as often as I possibly can.

The second half of the session took place at North Avenue Beach in Chicago, and it was such a great complement to the first portion of our photo session. The Art Institute had an artistic, cozy vibe, while this location was more free and open. More open locations make it so easy to capture fun-filled, candid photos. It was also pretty cold here in Chicago in the middle of December, so the warmth came from close moments between Mia and Elliot. This was one of the most perfect Chicago beach engagement sessions that I have had the pleasure of capturing.


Mia and Elliot’s photos turned out so amazing in both locations. They hit the perfect vibe of the classy, serious, and documentary style engagement photos at the Art Institute. Their intimacy was the perfect touch to these photos. I was also able to capture beautiful close-up shots of their rings, which I love.

For their beach photos, they even brought champagne! I love when couples bring their own touch of individuality or an activity to do while at the session. It allows for the photos to be that much more real and feel like the couple, truly. It may have not been the most perfect day to go to the beach for a lot of people, but I personally really loved the gloomy and cloudy mood that Chicago brought that day.

Photography by Noelle Thies Photography – Booking Chicago, Central Illinois, Washington State, and beyond!