Favorite  Chicago portrait locations for engagements and weddings.

February 1, 2023

Chicago portrait locations for engagements and weddings.

When I meet with a future bride and groom to discuss ideas for their engagement session, they sometimes go blank when I ask them what kind of setting they have in mind. Chicago is such a large and diverse city that it might be difficult to narrow down your options for an ideal Chicago portrait locations

But don’t worry! I’m here to offer assistance. After working with over a hundred different couples, I’ve had enough of opportunities to explore different parts of the city in search of picturesque backdrops. Read on as I unpack my top Chicago engagement  and wedding photo sites in the city and surrounding suburbs.

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool – Chicago portrait location

Lily Pool Intimate wedding

the Prairie School. Alfred Caldwell Lilly Pool is one of most favorite Chicago portrait locations. A photo permit is required.
Kasi + Bobby

Armour House – Suburbs photo spot

Address: 1500 W Kennedy Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045
Website: Armour House

This place is straight out of a fairy tale – think charming gardens, classic architecture, and a peaceful lakeside vibe that’s all about you two. It’s like the place was made for stealing hugs, stealing kisses, and creating memories you’ll grin about for ages. So, if you’re up for turning your love story into frame-worthy art, Armour House is where it’s at.

Michelle + Emeka

Armour House Engagement session

Art Institute of Chicago, South GardenChicago portrait location

South Garden wedding, Art Institute wedding

Address: 111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
Website: Art Institute of Chicago

Engagement and wedding photographs are permitted in the Art Institute of Chicago’s gardens and galleries with the museum’s kind approval.
Maya + Matt

Chicago Board of Trade – Chicago photography site

Address: 141 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604
Website: Chicago Board of Trade

The Chicago Board of Trade, known for its striking clock facade and dramatic beaux-arts style columns on each side, is an ideal location for an engagement session that showcases Chicago’s architectural history.
Jennifer + Mathew

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden engagement session, Best Chicago Photo Locations

Address: 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022
Website: Chicago Botanic Garden

My favorite outdoor spot in Chicago for engagement photos is the Chicago Botanic Garden. There’s a little bit of everything here, from a rose garden to a typical English garden to a Japanese garden. A photo permit is required.

Monika + Jacek

Cantigny Park

Address: 1 S, 151 Winfield Rd, Wheaton, IL 60189
Website: Cantigny Park

Cantigny Gardens is a beautifully designed park in the western suburbs of Chicago, filled with abundant summer blossoms and historical buildings. Garden workers add more colorful high-end chairs to the gardens throughout the summer months so visitors and photographers may take advantage of the beautiful scenery. A photo permit is required.
Christine + Rick

Cantigny Park engagement session
Best Chicago Photo Locations

Chicago Theatre – Chicago portrait locations

Chicago Theatre engagement session

Address: 175 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601
Website: Chicago Theatre

Any couple that lives in the city or has a special connection to Chicago will find the Chicago Theatre’s renowned marquee to be the perfect setting for their engagement photos. The Chicago Theatre is a famous and memorable focal point for Chicago engagement photographs, and it’s just a short distance away from many other remarkable metropolitan elements of the downtown region.
Maya + Matt

Chicago Cultural Center

Address: 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
Website: Chicago Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center, with its stunning Tiffany dome, is a perfect place to do an indoor engagement photo shoot in the city during the colder months without having to worry about obtaining a special permission.

hicago Cultural Center engagement session location

Field Museum Campus

Field Museum Campus engagement session

Address: Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
Website: Field Museum Campus

Field Museum Campus  is located in Grant Park on the northern shore of Lake Michigan, the Museum Campus is a 57-acre park that is home to some of Chicago’s most popular attractions, including the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum.

Garfield Park Conservatory

Address: 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624
Website: Garfield Park Conservatory

While the 184-acre Garfield Park Conservatory is a terrific place to take your engagement photos outdoors during the summer months, the large greenhouse with its vast glass dome and year-round flora is a great place to take your photos any time of the year. If you want to take photos in the parks of Chicago, you’ll need to apply for and receive a photography permission.

Tina + Sebastian

Garfield Park Conservatory engagement session, Chicago portrait locations

Hidden Lake Forest Preserve

Hidden Lake Forest Preserve engagement session

Address: Willowbrook in Glen Ellyn, Maple Grove in Downers Grove, Danada in Wheaton
Website: Hidden Lake Forest Preserve

tall trees

Kirstie + Alex

Independence Grove

Address: 16400 W Buckley Rd, Libertyville, IL 60048
Website: Independence Grove

This beautiful forest preserve features a lake that covers 115 acres and was once a gravel quarry, making it ideal for a variety of outdoor activities and educational programs. At Independence Grove, guests may take advantage of the 7.5 miles of trails, the marina with boat and bike rentals, the native garden, and the Beer Garden. The Visitors Center is a large building with exhibitions and a cafe. You may rent it for parties and ceremonies like weddings.

Independence Grove wedding

Jane Addams Memorial Park – Chicago portrait locations

Jane Addams Memorial Park wedding, Best Chicago Photo Locations

Address: 550 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Website: Jane Addams Memorial Park

If you want to combine several sites for your engagement photography, Jane Addams Memorial Park is easily accessible from Lakeshore Drive, and it’s only a few minutes away via Uber from the Magnificent Mile. The wide lawn in Jane Addams Memorial Park is surrounded by towering trees, making you feel like you’re in the middle of a forest even though you’re in the middle of the city.
Maya + Matt

Lake Katherine

Address: 7402 Lake Katherine Dr, Palos Heights, IL 60463
Website: Lake Katherine

There are 85 acres of forest, prairie, marsh, garden, and a 10-acre lake at the Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens. Couples often choose to take pictures by the waterfall or at sunset across the lake. Lake Katherine is a stunning location for Chicago engagement photos any time of year, but in the fall when the colors are changing, it truly comes alive.
Sierra + James

Lake Katherine engagement session, Best Chicago Photo Locations

Lakewood Forest Preserve

Lakewood Forest Preserve engagement session location

Address: 27277 N Forest Preserve Rd, Wauconda, IL 60084
Website: Lakewood Forest Preserve

It’s one of Chicago portrait locations. You can also find there a historic barn,

Lehmann Mansion

Address: 485 N Milwaukee Ave, Lake Villa, IL 60046
Website: Lehmann Mansion

The Lehmann Mansion’s columned façade and grounds provide the ideal backdrop for your fine art engagement session in Chicago. Originally built as a summer house for one of Chicago’s wealthiest elite families, the mansion has been elegantly refurbished as a wedding location.

Lehmann Mansion wedding
Best Chicago Photo Locations

Lighthouse Beach in Evanston

Lighthouse Beach in Evanston engagement session, Best Chicago Photo Locations

Address: 2611 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL 60201
Website: Lighthouse Beach

Evanston Lighthouse Beach is a public beach. Its one of my favorite Chicago portrait locations
Monika + Jacek

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Address:  2391 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL 60614
Website: Lincoln Park Conservatory

Lincoln Park Conservatory is an indoor greenhouse with many, uniquely landscaped sections. The need for a photographic permit applies to this location.

Ellen + Ben

Lincoln Park Conservatory engagement session location for portraits and weddings

London House Chicago – Chicago portrait locations

London House Chicago, engagement session photography location

Address: 85 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601
Website: London House Chicago

The London House Hotel’s famous beaux-arts style cupola lifts you far over the cityscape of Chicago. Stunning architecture and dramatic views of the city make this the ideal setting for an intimate proposal or engagement session.

Loyola University Campus

Address: 1032 W Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660
Website: Loyola University Campus

Loyal University Campus, is known for its beautiful historical architecture, including towering arches and abundant vine-covered walls.
Sara + Graham

Loyola University Campus, engagement session photo location

Lurie Garden – Chicago portrait locations

Lurie Garden engagement session, Chicago portrait locations

Address:  220 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60601
Website: Lurie Garden

The Lurie Garden spans 2.5 acres in the middle of Millennium Park in Chicago. In the summer, the garden bursts into flower with native plants, providing a striking contrast to the Chicago metropolis beyond the garden’s formal hedge.
Maya + Matt

Lyric Opera House

Address: 20 N Upper Wacker Dr STE 400, Chicago, IL 60606
Website: Lyric Opera House

The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s massive columns facing Wacker Dr. provide for a fantastic architectural backdrop for your engagement photos.

Lyric Opera House wedding Best Chicago Engagement Photo Locations

Michigan Avenue & The Magnificent Mile

Michigan Avenue & The Magnificent Mile engagement session, Chicago photo spots

Address: Michigan Ave, Chicago IL 60604
Website: The Magnificent Mile

If you want to take Chicago engagement photographs against the backdrop of the city’s bustling downtown, Michigan Avenue and The Magnificent Mile, which runs north to south through the middle of the city, are wonderful places to do it. It’s possible to uncover stunning locations like this if you’re prepared to venture out.
Anusha + Balaji 

Milton Lee Olive Park

Website: Milton Lee Olive Park

One of my favorite views of the Chicago skyline is from Milton Lee Olive Park. Take spectacular engagement photographs at the promontory overlooking Lake Michigan after strolling along the beautiful tree-lined walkway, with the unobstructed backdrop of the Chicago cityscape.
Klaudia & Lukasz

Milton Lee Olive Park wedding, Chicago portrait locations

Montrose Harbor

Montrose Harbor engagement session, Chicago photo spots

Address: 601 W Montrose Ave Chicago, IL 60613
Website: Montrose Harbor

I love taking engagement photos in Chicago, and one of my favorite spots is Montrose Harbor because of the variety of backdrops it provides: views of the city skyline, concrete harbor front, access to sandy beaches, and, if you’re lucky, chances to take photos onboard a sailboat!
Aleksandra + Chris 

Morton Arboretum

Address: 4100 IL-53, Lisle, IL 60532
Website: Morton Arboretum

Photography permit is required for all wedding and engagement sessions in the Morton Aboretum, which features tree-lined walkways, a public garden, and an outdoor museum with a library.
Grace + Ben

Naperville Riverwalk

Naperville Riverwalk wedding, Best Chicago Photo Locations

Address: 400 S Eagle St, Naperville, IL 60540
Website: Naperville Riverwalk

Come here to take a stroll along the trails beside the peaceful bank of the DuPage and let the serenity of the setting spark some ideas. Walking about, you’ll find a lot to love, from the covered bridges to the shepherd’s crook street lights. In addition to the clock tower and the dandelion fountain, there are a few more points of interest along the route that might make for good photo ops.

North Ave Beach

Address: 1601 N Lake Shore Dr Chicago, IL 60610
Website: North Ave Beach

North Avenue Beach is arguably Chicago’s most well-known beach during the warm summer months. Take advantage of the sand beach and concrete pathways along the water’s edge, and the spectacular vistas of the cityscape across Lake Michigan, for your engagement photo shoot.
Hane + Ryan

North Ave Beach engagement session, Chicago photo spots

Northwestern University

Northwestern University engagement session

Address: 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208
Website: Northwestern University

Northwestern University, located just north of Chicago, has a number of great spots for engagement photos, including stunning buildings, easy access to the water, and picturesque paths through the woods and along the lakeshore. The Alice Millar Chapel and the Library are two of my favorite Chicago portrait locations on the Northwestern University campus.

Ping Tom Park

Address:  1700 S Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
Website: Ping Tom Park
Ping Tom Park is one of my favorites in Chicago since it offers everything I could want in a park: large grassy areas, towering pillars, classic Chinese architecture, two beautiful murals, and a breathtaking panorama of the city.

Prairie Center For the Art

The Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts in Schaumburg engagement session

Address: 201 Schaumburg Ct, Schaumburg, IL 6019
Website: Prairie Center For the Arts

The Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts in Schaumburg offers an great setting for engagement sessions and weddings. Its expansive, picturesque grounds provide a captivating backdrop, with lush greenery and serene ponds that enhance the romantic atmosphere. With its harmonious blend of nature, art, and versatile spaces, the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts stands as an exceptional choice for couples seeking a captivating and unique setting to celebrate their love.


Address: Riverwalk, Chicago, IL 60601
Website: Chicago Riverwalk

The murals, one-of-a-kind storefronts, and river and city vistas along the Chicago Riverwalk make it an ideal site for a couple’s engagement or wedding photo shoot. This Chicago portrait location is so diverse. You can have a rvier, street , bridges and lot’s of more in your images.

Riverwalk engagement session Chicago photo spots

Salvage One

Salvage One wedding
Best Chicago Photo Locations, Chicago portrait locations

Address: 1840 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60622
Website: Salvage One

Salvage One, with its 60,000 square feet of exhibition space, is a veritable treasure mine of fascinating vintage décor and furnishings, suitable for setting up a number of different scenes for your indoor engagement shoot.
Jenifer & Frank

The Rookery Building

Address: 209 S La Salle St, Chicago, IL 60604
Website: The Rookery Building

This majestic stairway, known as the Oriel Staircase, was straight out of a storybook. From the building’s second to its twelfth story, this iron stairway leads. We were able to get some stunning shots of the couple because to the abundance of natural light in the room. Its one of most popular Chicago portrait locations.
Jennifer + Mathew

Shakespeare Garden Northwestern University

Shakespeare Garden Northwestern University engagement session

Address:  633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208
Website: Shakespeare Garden

Choose this Chicago engagement photo venue if you’ve been fantasizing about a fairytale-like, romantic photo shoot for your big day. One of Evanston’s best-kept secrets is tucked away between Northwestern University’s science building and the Garett Seminary. The Shakespeare Garden has isolated seats and lovely masonry in addition to flowers and plants featured in the bard’s works.

Union Station

Address: 225 S Canal St Chicago, IL 60606
Website: Union Station

Just like Chicago’s Lyric Opera House, Union Station’s front façade is adorned with several columns, but the true beauty of this Chicago landmark lies within. You may take photographs in the station’s newly restored grand atrium for $150.

Union Station wedding

University of Chicago

University of Chicago engagement session

Address: 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
Website: University of Chicago

Since it has so much to offer, the University of Chicago is one of my favorite Chicago engagement session venues. You may spend hours wandering the tree-lined walks, admiring the lush landscaping, and taking in the many examples of Gothic architecture.

Sara + Graham

The Wrigley Building

Address: 400-410 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Website: The Wrigley Building

The Wrigley Building is a popular spot for visitors, couples, and photographers alike. A Chicago engagement picture shoot at this office building on Michigan Avenue, named after a well-known chewing gum brand, is like getting two for the price of one. The Wrigley building has an eye-catching front with a pair of ornate brass rotating doors and a vantage point over the Chicago River.

Madelin + Roy

The Wrigley Building engagement session

Dominican University

Address: 7900 Division St, River Forest, IL 60305
Website: Dominican University

Dominican University, nestled in River Forest, Illinois, is a hidden gem for portrait photography. The campus features stunning Gothic architecture, lush gardens, and charming walkways that offer a variety of picturesque backdrops. The grand arches and historic buildings provide a classic, timeless feel, perfect for creating elegant portraits. Additionally, the serene landscape, with its well-maintained lawns and vibrant flower beds, adds a touch of natural beauty to any photo session. Whether you’re capturing a graduate’s joy or a couple’s love, Dominican University offers a versatile and enchanting setting that’s sure to impress.

Monika + Sebastian

You and your future spouse want to have a special photo from your engagement displayed at your wedding. This photo should be one of a kind and hold a lot of meaning for the two of you. Peruse Our Highly Regarded Chicago Wedding Photography And Engagement Photography Locations Down Below To See What Speaks To You!

These portfolios provide stunning images, creative photo-taking suggestions, and useful information about each potential shoot location. Lincoln Park Zoo is a classic Chicago setting for engagement portraits. Pictures taken at North Avenue Beach are always a treat for us, too.

Get some incredible shots of the stunning Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan in the background! Try Cantigny Gardens and Park for a relaxed photo session. Once you’ve chosen the ideal setting, you can start planning the wedding photos you’ve always dreamed of having. Those are one of my Chicago portrait locations.

Here is some more Chicago portrait locations I hevnt shoot at but I’d love to:

Rooftop of Whole Foods parking on S Canal

Top Indoor Photography Locations in Chicago: Best Spots for Stunning Photos on Rainy Days

Rainy days in Chicago can be a bummer, but they don’t have to ruin your photo shoot plans. I’ve put together a list of the best indoor spots in Chicago where we can take stunning photos, even when it’s pouring outside. From beautiful museums to cozy cafes, there’s a perfect place for every style. Come check out my blog post and see how we can make rainy days just as magical! If you are looking for the venue that you can host your ceremony outside I’d recomend that you also check out 7 Beautiful Outdoor Wedding Venues in Chicago.

If you’re excited to book your indoor session or have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. I would love to help you plan the perfect photo shoot, rain or shine. Let’s create some beautiful memories together!

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Est. 2013 | © 2020 Bozena Voytko Photography
Chicago + Suburbs + Illinois + Wisconsin

Est. 2013 | © 2023 Bozena Voytko Photography  |  Chicago + Suburbs + Illinois + Wisconsin

Wedding & branding Photographer in Chicago, IL   






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