Museum Campus And The Art Institute
Chicago is lucky to have many amazing and world-famous museums right in the heart of the city. The Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium are close by and share common outdoor spaces. This area is called the museum campus, and it is a great place to visit and walk around.
You also get great views of the city and the lake from the campus area. On the other side of the campus is a marina. If you love boats, then this is a great place to go watch them and get some iconic boat pictures. Chicago also has the Art Institute right in the heart of downtown off Michigan Avenue. Besides the cultural experience of seeing a wider range of art, the Art Institute is worth visiting for the range of spaces to photograph. The modern wing is particularly bright and beautiful.
The Cloud Gate & Millennium Park
The Cloud Gate is one of the coolest pieces of public sculpture ever installed at least in my humble opinion. And one of the 5 Tourist Spots Worth Visiting in Chicago. This massive, mirrored bean-like piece has some of the most beautiful reflections of Chicago, making it a marvelous place to shoot no matter the time of year.
But definitely make a plan to stop by there to shoot sometime in spring the blooming trees around the Cloud Gate are particularly magical and led to one of my all-time favorite backdrops of last year too.
Half Acre Brewery Balmoral
- A behind the scenes look at the brew scene.
- This venue has beers that you cant get anywhere else, so if you enjoy unusual beer, then try some of whats on offer.
- A quick, educational tour that ends with a beer. Does it get any better than that?
Why its awesome: Unusual brews, free samples, and a cheap and interesting tour that teaches you the basics about what youre drinking. No matter what brew you enjoy youll find it and learn about it here, and you might find a new favorite while youre at it!
What to do there: For 10 dollars you can take a tour of the brewery and learn about how your favorite drinks get from field to the bottle. Youll learn a little something and get some free samples as an added bonus. Sounds like the perfect lazy afternoon!
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Grant Park One Of The Most Incredible Free Places To Go In Chicago
- Over 300 acres of natural space.
- It includes bike trails and softball diamonds so you can play sports.
- Its also known as a public art space, so theres no shortage of things to see.
Why its so awesome: Grant Park is located between the city and the riverfront so its basically Chicagos front yard. This is the perfect place to enjoy a bit of nature, get your blood pumping with some sports, or take advantage of the free music concerts that are frequently held in the area. There are also a number of art installations around the park, so no matter what youre interested in, youll find something to occupy your time here.
What to do there: While youre in the area you can go biking, play some softball or baseball, or just sit on the grass. The gardens themselves are gorgeous and well worth a look on their own, but you should also have a look at the headless figures dotted throughout the landscape. These art installations are striking and make an interesting statement about modern life.
Where To Eat In Chicago
If youre looking for great places to eat, I have several posts on all the local favorites. Im sure youll be hungry after running around the city, and a lot of the restaurants mentioned are near the photo spots listed here.
If you end up in the Old Town/Gold Coast area, definitely stop by for Jenis ice cream . If youre interested in photographing interiors as well, consider visiting The Allis or 3 Arts Club Cafe. 3 Arts also has a rooftop open to the public that you can get some shots from.
If you love happy hours, dont miss Remedy from 4-6 pm Monday through Friday all drinks are half off! Best priced happy hour in the city.
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I hope this photo spot list gave you a little taste of what Chicago has to offer. If youre familiar with the city and have any spots to add, Id love to hear about it in the comments. Im always looking for new places to explore and photograph. Below Ill link some of the highest-rated tours and things to do in Chicago to make it easier.
Remember to check out the Go Chicago Card if youre planning on visiting multiple locations. .
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Skydeck At The Willis Tower
One of Chicagos most well known attractions is the Skydeck in Willis Tower. The Skydeck offers an entire floor for you to see 360 views of Chicago. More commonly photographed is are the glass ledges which allow a dizzying and breathtaking view of the city underneath you. Be forewarned, though, these often have a ~30min+ line so be sure to go early. I recommend getting tickets on their website before visiting.
Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago
- A smaller, but no less impactful art museum than others in the city.
- Has a permanent collection that showcases Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Alexander Calder.
- The venues eatery is well worth checking out for the food and the ambiance.
Why its so awesome: This imposing building fits perfectly with the contemporary art that it showcases. It houses a smaller collection thats absolutely fascinating for art lovers and people who are curious about modern art. The restaurant also has a range of startling dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner, so whatever time you go make sure that you check it out!
What to do there: If youre an art lover then youll probably recognize many of the famous names that showcase their art in this museum. But if you dont know as much about contemporary art then its a chance to wander and maybe find some new favorites! Make sure you check out the rotating display as well as the regular one to get the full effects. And grab a snack or a meal at the Marisol restaurant to experience some truly innovative dishes while youre there.
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Gorgeous Photo Locations In The Chicago Suburbs For Wedding + Engagement Photos
May 30, 2018
Outside of figuring out what to wear for your photo shoot , I find that my clients arent sure where to take their photos at.
Over the years, I have photographed families, weddings and engagement all over Illinois, and I have found that some locations make my heart swoon every time I shoot there.
Here are my 11 favorite locations in the Chicago suburbs.
1. Mayslake Forest Preserve // Oak Brook
I call this location a hidden gem because I have yet to see any other photographers shooting at this spot. Nestled in a beautiful nature walk around, is a gorgeous tree-filled area. I adore the tall grass, trees and a beautiful lake.
This spot is extra private, and for all my dog parents, this is the perfect spot for photos with the fur baby because there is a dog park just steps away from this scenic spot.
2. Morton Arboretum* // Lisle
Morton Arboretum is PACKED with endless gorgeous spots for photos. There are miles upon miles of beautiful trees, open fields, seasonal flowers. I truly believe you can pretty much take photos anywhere here, and your background will be a-maz-ing.
If you want to take your photos here, I recommend obtaining a photo permit.
3. St. James Farm // Warrenville
No matter what season you are taking photos during, St. James Farm is a great location. It has open fields, lots of trees, gorgeous black barn doors and a pretty white fence.
4. Danada House // Wheaton
5. Independence Grove // Libertyville
6. Busse Woods // Schaumburg
Best Photography Spots In Chicago
Boasting many parks and world class museums, Chicago is a great place to take photographs in all seasons. Its iconic skyscrapers make for some fascinating shots, and there are lots of contemporary artworks that are equally photogenic.
These are the top Chicago photo locations, from street art to skyscrapers.
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Cloud Gate Aka The Bean
The most famous landmark of Chicago is Cloud Gate. This sculpture is nicknamedThe Bean because of its shape as you can see! Its pretty cool to capture it because of the reflection: you can see the skyline of Chicago inside it!
Its so photogenic under every angles that I couldnt resist to take a ton of pictures there!!
Best moment of the day to take photos there: definitely early morning at sunrise. Firstly, you will get the opportunity to capture the reflection of the sun rising on the surface of The Bean. You will see its pretty epic! Secondly, being one of Chicagos most popular sights, Cloud Gate gets very crowded during the day. Being there early will ensure you to avoid the crowd.
Location: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602
Shabbona Lake State Park
Shabbona Lake State Park is in northern Illinois, about 70 miles west of Chicago. This park includes prairies, woods, and a large man-made lake. If you are in the Chicago area and looking for a place to find some nature, Shabbona Lake State Park is a good option.
Shabbona Lake State Park by Good Free Photos / Public Domain
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Location #1: The Chicago Theatre
- Located in the heart of Chicago, this great landmark is part of what makes this city great. If you have in mind to truly capture the heart and soul of this city, then Chicago Theatre is a must on your list.
- No permits are required, as youll be on the streets and thats public property. Most times no-one will say anything even if youre in the median. In my opinion, this is the best place to capture the theatre and the feel of the streets.
- No photo-shoot takes a long time here as the location is not very big and theres not too much to do besides getting the big sign in the background.
Address: 175 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601
Parking: As with any Chicago landmark, parking is an issue, best is to be dropped off if you have a larger party. Otherwise, there will be lots of walking involved.
Personal Suggestion : Beautiful landmark thats worth having in your photos at any time, but night-time photography is my favorite.
Chicago Lakefront Trail A Beautiful And Scenic Place To Check Out In Chicago
- Great views of Lake Michigan!
- The most scenic route you can take to Chicagos hotspots.
- A great way to get some exercise in beautiful surroundings.
Why its so awesome: Lake Michigan is iconic, and youll never be able to get a better view than along this trail. Its 18 miles of stunning views of both nature and the city and is the ideal way to travel when you have a little extra time and dont mind the walk. There are also several beaches, parks and attractions along the way, so you dont have to go one more step than you want to.
What to do there: Run, walk or job along the lakefront if you want to get some exercise in during your stay. And if youre just there for the views and the experience, walk a little way and then stop off at some of Chicagos best attractions. The Field Museum of Natural History and the Shedd Aquarium are both easily accessible from the walk, so you dont have to stick it out for the whole 18 miles.
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Location #: North Avenue Beach
- North Avenue Beach is a favorite amongst tourists and locals alike. It offers a great view of the city not just from the pier, but from the boardwalk as well. A great plus is the lighthouse they have at the end of the pier, which makes for great photos.
- The beach is large and you can even bring your pets. Theres no permit required and you can stay for as long as you want. Though, if you go in summer afternoons, youll have lots of people in the background, as this is a favorite location for all types of athletes.
- In the season you have full amenities, the restrooms and bars are open at Castaways, so you could easily change outfits.
- Its a 2 min. walk to the Lakefront Trail and that also offer great downtown and lake views for photos.
Parking: Parking is easy as they have their own parking lot. Though not large enough, if you go in a busy summer day, you might have to park on a city street and walk to the beach.
Personal Suggestion : One of my favorites! Great view of the city and lots of amenities.
Clark & Lake Parking Garage
Of all the Chicago photography spots Im sharing, this one may be the most unique. I discovered this spot through my friend who found it in an article online. Its SUCH a unique city vibe and the proper sunlight can create a mesmerizing reflection on the surrounding buildings.
Its a bit tricky to find. Youll head to the intersection of Clark & Lake and locate the parking garage in the north west corner. Take the elevator thats facing Clark street up to the 7th floor. Then walk to the wall that faces south. Youll be overlooking the Lake Street train tracks.
To get this photo, both you and your photographer need to step up onto a ledge and hang out of the small window. Its not easy or comfortable, but its worth it!
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