We’ve rounded up a variety of our favorite, photogenic locations in Chicago, all of which would make the perfect backdrop to your shoot
If you’re getting married in Chicago, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to amazing wedding venues, but what about locations for your engagement session? Are you city lovers, and want that famous windy city skyline to dominate your photoshoot? Or do you want to get back to nature, and get lost in the city’s amazing parks? Wherever you choose to shoot, the great city of Chicago will not disappoint. A lot of our newly engaged couples begin their first meeting with us by saying, ‘we have no idea where we want our session…’ – which we love as it means we can get super creative with our clients from the get-go. But we also know some people like to have a few Chicago locations mapped out before they meet their wedding photographer. Aspen Avenue has been shooting future married couples in Chicago for many years now, and we like to think we know the best engagement session locations in the city. So today, we thought we’d help you all by sharing our top 9 spots in the city! All tried, tested, and loved by our Aspen Avenue couples!
The Best Engagement Shoot Locations in Chicago
Chicago Botanical Gardens
Our final spot is endlessly charming and offers so many options for engagement session locations, that we wish we could shoot at this Chicago landmark all the time! The Chicago Botanical Garden is situated on 9 islands surrounded by lakes, over a 385-acre space. Each island is different from the next, with unique walkways and quaint bridges to get you from one to the other. This place is full of hidden little gems to shoot in, inside, and out as there are a plethora of stunning greenhouses you can dive into if the weather turns! If the sun is on your side, however, the English Walled Garden could be the dreamiest and most enchanting place to shoot in the whole of the botanical gardens.
Milton Lee Olive Park
If you want a little bit of everything at your engagement session location, Milton Lee Olive Park in Chicago might just be the place for you. Skyline, check. Nature, check. Beach? Check! Throw in the stunning lake and its wildlife, and we might as well stop this list right here, we’ve found perfect. Both as a wedding and engagement photographer, we have shot here, and the blend of Chicago cityscape and earthy tones of the park never fails to bring out the best looks in our couples.
The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a classically stunning set of Gothic-style buildings that come together to offer a completely different perspective on this great city. Each structure, every monument is more characterful and unique than the next, and as an engagement session location, there’s nowhere quite like it in Chicago. It is full of interesting doorways, bridges, and ornate archways that have made the most romantic backdrop for our couples.
Ping Tom Park
If you’re looking for a unique Chicago backdrop, but you don’t want to shoot in the touristy spots, Ping Tom Park could be the ideal engagement session location for you. An often overlooked piece of greenery by the river, this stunning park is hidden away in a residential area, away from the crowds of the inner city – perfect if you’re a couple who don’t like a lot of people watching you. Ping Tom Park is situated in the heart of Chinatown, meaning its architecture and murals are all dedicated to the rich history and culture of China – offering a Chicago wedding photographer like us a multitude of interesting, beautiful backdrops to shoot our couples against. Besides the artwork on display, the park also offers a fantastic view of the city via the cute grassy hills dotted around the perimeter.
The Wrigley Building
A favorite not just of Aspen Avenue, but also among many a wedding and engagement photographer in Chicago, The Wrigley Building is as impressive, as it is elegant. Located on Michigan Avenue, this grand office building offers two amazing perspectives for engagement photography in the city. Firstly you have the option of the 1920s style facade as your backdrop and its dramatic polished gold doors! Or, you can pose up a storm overlooking the river. If you want to capture a classic image of Chicago, this is the engagement location for you.
Lincoln Park Honeycomb
We had to start with this iconic structure on the Lincoln Park nature boardwalk. Locally known as the ‘Honeycomb’, it is one of the most popular engagement session locations in Chicago because it is not only a pretty piece of architecture, but it also frames the city skyline so well. The Honeycomb is our favorite place to shoot in Lincoln park, but there are so many other sweet spots to try. From The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool and the bridge over the South Pond to the tunnel underneath the Grant Memoria – the locations at Lincoln Park are bountiful, any time of the year.
Bahá’í Temple – The House of Worship
A few miles north of Chicago, is one of the 7 wonders of Illinois, the Bahá’í temple. As a structure, it is unique inside and out, with striking and unusual architecture that manages to blend so effortlessly with the stunning gardens surrounding it. As an engagement photoshoot location, there are so many pretty places to try out within their gardens! The Aspen Avenue top tips would be the long and elegant walled river that winds up to the entrance of the House of Worship, which looks wonderful as a backdrop. Or find a spot on the steps of the temple with the opulent arches and towers behind you and the palatial gardens in front of you. Choose either one of these, and you have a potential wow shot on your hands.
North Avenue Beach
Having a sandy beach in the middle of a metropolis like Chicago is a pretty awesome thing! Shooting for clients or even just visiting North Avenue beach never gets old. As a location, it offers so many cute spots to shoot at, like walking along the winding sea wall with the city skyline behind you, or cosied up in the sand against the greenery of Lincoln Park or if you want totally unique, lose yourself in the huge beach house shaped like a marooned ocean liner! In the golden hour this famous Chicago landmark looks even more breathtaking, and certainly worth an early morning start.
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
We already highlighted the stunning Honeycomb situated within Lincoln Park, but we also had to give a further mention to the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool – one of the most picturesque landmarks in the park. A favored spot for wedding ceremonies and engagement sessions, this pretty pond is a serene oasis in the heart of bustling Chicago. During the springtime especially, this expanse of water really comes alive with its sea of lilies in full bloom.
We would love the opportunity to be your engagement or wedding photographer in Chicago! Michael and I are obsessed with weddings and love to bring out the very best of our newly engaged couples, using a fresh modern style and an easy-going approach in our photography and wedding videography. We encourage you to browse our portfolio of past couples and if you feel we are right for you, please do get in touch with Aspen Avenue via our contact page.