North Avenue Beach Photography

Chicago Polar Bear Club - 2010 Polar Bear Swim Photos

So what the heck is a wedding and family portrait photographer doing shooting the Chicago Polar Bear Swim of 2010? The only answer I can think of is that I am both a lover of photography and a little bit crazy. This polar swim is becoming a yearly ritual for me. It all started last year when I went down to North Ave Beach on March of 2009. I was not sure why I was there. It was cold. I was without friends. I had no coffee. All I had was my camera and a crazy idea that I would get some cool photos of a few brave and shivering people. I ended up having a blast and vowed to return this year.

This time I was warm and ready with some coffee and a few of my photog friends. I was also there cheering on my best friend David Fowlie. What a brave and cold soul. I had a blast and cannot wait to do it again in March. You can get more info about the Chicago Polar Plunge here. You can check out some of Gary Middendorf's (my brother-in-law) photos here.

Here are a handful of my favorite shots from the 2010 Polar Swim. Please remember, it was 19 degrees outside:

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Chicago Polar Club Swim 2010 from Otto Rascon on Vimeo.


  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • A lot of layers!!!
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • Flip Mino HD for video
  • iMovie for editing and exporting for web
  • North Avenue Beach 1000 North Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 742-5121

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    By The Way: It would have been nice to have had my 400mm lens today. I then could have captured more facial expressions. Lesson learned: bring my lenses!!!

    Renaissance Hotel Wedding // Diana & Johnny

    I had the pleasure to help photograph the beautiful wedding of Diana and Johnny. The day started at Diana's mothers place, which is near the Cancer Survivors Garden. We were able to spend a few minutes photographing at the Garden, which is a gorgeous setting located south-west of Millennium Park. I will have to go back soon and take some family portraits. The ceremony was at St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago. After the ceremony we all headed to North Avenue Beach for some fun portraits.

    The reception was at the amazing Renaissance Chicago Hotel. I love the deck that overlooks the river! This was a very warm and loving wedding. I could see and feel the affection that the bridal party had for Diana and Johnny. It was a pleasure being around this group of people. Thank you guys!

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    Cancer Survivors Garden Randolph St. & Harbor Dr. Chicago, IL 60601

    Saint George Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago 2701 N. Sheffield Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60614 Phone: 773-525-1793 - Fax: 773-525-2867

    North Avenue Beach House 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60614 Phone: 312-742-PLAY

    Renaissance Chicago Hotel Renaissance® Chicago Hotel 1 West Wacker Drive Chicago Illinois 60601 USA Phone: 1-312-372-7200 - Fax : 1-312-372-0093

    Thanks guys & see you later! - Contact Me | Wedding Portfolio | Little Ones Portfolio | Older Ones Portfolio