Downtown Chicago engagement photography by Candice C. Cusic


I’m sitting in an airport lounge in Frankfort, Germany, in route to Porto, Portugal for the Fearless Conference, an international gathering of wedding photographers around the world, and I just received a lovely email from the WPJA (Wedding Photojournalists Association) informing me I had won an award for one of my favorite Chicago engagement photographs!

From the WPJA:

“The WPJA Judges have just finished deciding on one of the most challenging contests in recent memory. As one judge summarized: “That was a killer competition to judge! Every category was rich with storytelling images…It was enjoyably difficult.”

The cream of the crop was clearly on display in this latest competition, underlined by the fact that we had 31 countries represented! From Colombia to the Netherlands to Turkey, these elite wedding photojournalists continue to prove that stunning visual storytelling is a global brand.

As we have always believed here at the WPJA, storytelling is what sets our members apart from the rest. Pictures are, by definition, wordless. But in the hands of a true master, a photograph will burn with a kind of intensity and visceral emotion not easily forgotten by the viewer.”

Sam and Dave’s engagement session ended here, near a bench they enjoyed sitting on together as a young couple.  As the sun was quite harsh that day, I suggested they lie underneath the bench and my lighting assistant added just a kiss of light to their faces for this touching moment.  Sometimes it’s just that simple.  I always prefer to have my clients laughing and loving together than smiling for me, and I love this moment.  Many thanks to the Wedding Photojournalists Association for the award, and it’s great to see so many friends represented in this demanding photography contest!  Check out all the winning wedding photographs here!

PHOTOGRAPHERS: I have one spot left for my 2-day photojournalism workshop in downtown Chicago!  The Moment-Driven Photojournalism Workshop is designed to recharge your photography. If you’re shooting the same thing each week, the same way … I can help. We’ll take an in depth look at your images and help you step outside your comfort zone, try new things, and produce stronger images that your clients will absolutely love.


how to make stronger images, how to capture moments during a portrait session, and how to overcome any anxiety you may experience in documenting and interacting with strangers


a thorough critique of your website images and will leave with an edited portfolio selection of your strongest photographs.


in shooting assignments in downtown Chicago documenting strangers. This is not a “stand around, watching Candice photograph models” session. This is a hands-on workshop – the best way to learn something is to do it yourself!

I am also looking for couples to model for my workshop students April 5 and 6 at 5PM at Congress and Michigan Ave. Please email my assistants at and mention which date you prefer, and if you’re available even earlier, please indicate so. I’d love a diverse group of people who love photographers and love getting free photos of themselves!

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    Located in downtown Chicago.

    1821 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60622

    By appointment only