Best Photoshoot Locations in Chicago

Chicago has been Home for us since 2017, and my official photography headquarters since 2018 and couldn’t be more thankful for all the support of wonderful humans we’ve met along this ride and the super cool places we’ve visited. Together we’ve explored the wonders Chicago has to offer, and today I want to tell you about my 2018 best photoshoot locations in Chicago for family and couple sessions.

Be mindful that the location will set the mood of the sessions, so if you have super active kids (like me) please choose locations that will be safe for them to explore around at this active stage of their life (the anxious mom in me needed to say that, sorry!).

For 2019, we are getting ready to meet in our favorite spots + a few new awesome locations.

We are designing some fun routes to explore the city together while making sure we have the best backdrops for me to tell the story of the amazing, urban and cool human you are. With that being said, I’m happy to announce that we have adventure sessions coming up soon! But in the meantime, here you will find my 2018 Chicago’s favorite locations for photography sessions. Hope you enjoy them and I encourage you to check them out. They are so beautiful and I’m sure you’ll spend a memorable time with your family, whether I’m taking your photos or not!

Olive Park

Olive Park is a great location right in the heart of the city. The view is breathtaking, it’s a safe space for family photography sessions and during golden hour is magical! Plus it’s right next to Ohio Street beach which makes for an amazing complimentary location (2 in 1). If you choose this location during summer (and I’m your photographer), expect to end up at the beach for a few fun splash shots at sunset… nothing can’t go wrong with that!

Garfield Conservatory

It’s my absolute favorite location during cold or rainy weather. It is so beautiful, warm and diverse. Since it’s the largest conservatory in the area, you’ll be able to get at least 3 different scenes to explore and enjoy during your photoshoot. Plus, parking and admission are free, and it has an amazing indoor playground (this will be the best reward for the little ones after the session is done).

Please be mindful that you will need a media permit for your photoshoot (approximately $70).

Couple Lifestyle Session Garfield Conservatory Chicago

Lincoln Park Conservatory

This is another gem during cold weather season. The orchid room is my favorite and during the holidays they have a beautiful room full of poinsettias and Christmas decor framed by the most beautiful natural light I’ve ever seen. It screams holiday cards perfection! :)

Same as the Garfield Conservatory: parking (on Stockton Drive) and admission are free, but you will need a media permit for your photoshoot (approximately $70).

West Loop

A different take on urban… West Loop is a fun neighborhood! It’s full of great materials and textures like metal, brick, cement & cute alleys and street art. Be prepare to walk a little bit during the session, so we can get the most out of it!

Family Lifestyle Session West Loop Chicago

Montrose Bird Sanctuary and Beach

This is my favorite location when the weather starts to warm up because it’s one of the most versatile locations in all of Chicago.

It has it all; from grassy areas to a paved pathway with a gorgeous skyline view in the background, to the harbor and a nature bird preserve with wildflowers to entertain the kiddos while exploring, and of course, the beach. If this location is speaking to you, expect to wrap up our session with some fun water shots!!!

Parking is free, but it can get quite busy in the summer months.

Lincoln Park

This is by far, my most requested location.

This spot is so pretty and super kid friendly. It has views of the city, the pond in the middle, the honeycomb with part of the skyline in the back and a boardwalk amongst tall prairie grass. From spring to fall you can find a lot of photographers waiting for a spot. That’s something to consider, especially if you are looking for a relaxed, spontaneous, intimate session. Remember that most of the times, locations set the mood for the entire session! I would say, this location is ideal during week days afternoons (1 hour - 1 hour and a half before sunset) or early mornings (near sunrise) in case you & your crew are early birds.

Chicago wonderful walls

There are beautiful walls all over our city… Don’t overlook the simple!

I am building a map with the most amazing walls around the city that I’ll be happy to share with you (pictures and addresses included) soon!

Also, I have a new project coming up that I’m super excited about. It’s related to the subject of segregation in our city. The main idea is to fusion the beauty of street art with family photography, and to photograph as many different families as I can to show the world that there is room for diversity & tolerance in the same space. If you are interested please message me because I need as many families as I can get (special rates will apply for this project).

Family Lifestyle Session Street Art Chicago

I hope this has been helpful for you, and really wish you find a location that fits perfectly with your family’s vibe.

Alicia.