The official photo blog of J. David Buerk Photography.

Christmastime in Chicago

It’s no secret that one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies is Home Alone (1 and 2). So when I confirmed a photoshoot at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport scheduled for December, I was elated. I’d just had a photoshoot at O’Hare (and two other airports) two months prior, but visiting ORD in December meant I would get to see O’Hare’s Terminal 3 decked out for Christmas. Made famous in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Terminal 3 is where the McCallisters perform the McCallister family travel tradition of springing to their gate. The McCallisters fly out of the K Gates in Home Alone, and the H Gates in Home Alone 2, while Kevin gets separated at the Y-split, boarding his flight to New York out of the K Gates. A fun factoid if you watch the movies closely is the Terminal 3 Christmas decorations only appear in Home Alone 2.

My flight on United arrived in Terminal 1, and since it was nighttime upon landing and my photoshoot the next day was in the morning, I took an extra hour to walk all the way over to Terminal 3, stand in awe of the beautiful light display, take pictures of it, and walk all the way back to Terminal 1 to exit and claim my bag - this way I was sure to get photos of the decorations during night and daylight. Totally worth it, and a huge airport bucket-list item checked off.

By the way, all these photos were shot on the all-new Canon EOS R, which I will be reviewing in the coming weeks; I had promised a review on Instagram during this trip, but due to migraine and now ongoing shoulder spasm and deadlines, this has been backburnered.

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At the hotel I got some editing done after making my room a bit more… festive.

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The day after my photoshoot was free for flexibility or inclement weather, so I decided to go downtown and explore some of the places I didn’t get to in October. I started at the Christkindlmarket Chicago, a German Christmas market serving German food and selling German Christmas wares. After eating some bratwurst, a stuffed pretzel, and some hot chocolate with Krampus, I embodied Kevin McCallister and set out hunting Christmas trees.

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I started at Millennium Park, photographing Cloud Gate in daylight (since I photographed it at night in October), and worked my way along Michigan Avenue en route to the pizza joint which some of my O’Hare contacts had recommended for dinner.

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This led me to 875 North Michigan Avenue (AKA John Hancock Center), which provided some fantastic views of the city to pair with my night aerials from my October trip up Willis Tower (AKA Sears Tower). These photos will come along later, but I found it interesting I recognized this space at the building’s base before I realized what building I was standing beside.

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