Best Locations for Engagement Photos in Chicago, Illinois!

September 1, 2021

  Wedding planning is so much fun, albeit time-consuming! Some couples opt for a wedding planner in these instances, some don’t, but in either situation, there’s still plenty to be done! One of the big stressors for most brides is photography – from the engagement photos to the save the date cards to the invitations, the online website, to the actual day of and the albums that follow, it’s a lot to consider! Many brides are a little overwhelmed with all of the options when it comes not only to photographers, but for clothing and locations, too! That’s where we come in! Here at Diamond Wedding Studios, we truly believe it is the photographer’s job to take this burden off of the couple and make this as stress-free and FUN as possible! So one thing we can do is showcase a few options as far as photoshoot locations that work for engagement photos to help you get some ideas! Take a peek through this post for a couple of our favorites!


I recently had the privilege shooting Jordan + Alex at the Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva, Illinois! This place is STUNNING! It has so many adorable options to use for photos, from these beautiful yellow flowers to an actual windmill! There’s also a gorgeous Japanese Gardens on-site as well, but that does have a cost to utilize for photos! The rest of the grounds are open to photos with no permit. There’s an adorable little bridge and plenty of spots that look as though you’re deep in a foresty wonderland, too! Plus, of course, the river that runs through it! Like we said, SO. MANY. OPTIONS!


Rockford IL Engagement Photos

I love utilizing rooftops and an easy option that usually is cheap or no-cost is parking garages! While this may not be an option in Chicago or even the suburbs, out in Rockford, there’s a couple that we can use for said purpose! One of the other neat things about the parking garages is there are usually stairwells and interesting leading lines that you can use indoors as well, especially if you love dramatically lit photos! Great for that urban look!


This location is super interesting for it’s historical aspects as well as the different options it offers! From the bird exhibit to the bunker to the bridge and the riverside, you really can’t go wrong here! Gorgeous spot for the sunset and a cute little cottage house to use, too! PLUS, we saw deer while we were there which was just super magical! And while there were people at this park, it wasn’t quite as packed as some other local options, like Sinnissippi in Rockford!


For the more adventurous or nature-bound couple, Rock Cut State Park is a wonderful option. There are cement driving paths, but other than that, you’re in trails or in the grass and that can really provide some stunning imagery! This shot was taken in some of my favorite wooded spots out at Rock Cut at sunset and it just gives such a magical feel! Bonus: No permit required!


I’ll be updating this blog post when I get some more images from Chicago soon, but there are just so many amazing parks in Chicago to work with! From Milton Lee Olive Park, with it’s fantastic backdrop of the city line to North Avenue Beach, to Chicago Botanical Gardens and Cantigny Gardens, there are so many options! A couple other honorable mentions are the Naperville Riverwalk, Morton Arboretum, and Loyola University Campus, as well as the Art Institute of Chicago! If you’re a couple looking to shoot at any of those locations, let’s talk! Just a word of warning, though, most of these Chicago locations will require either a permit from the Chicago Park District or some kind of payment to enter. Naperville Riverwalk is one off the top of my head with no charge! I believe most permits for smaller engagement sessions are around $50, though a couple of places were significantly more, so gauge how much you want to spend regarding your photos, but know that no matter the location, you’re going to look gorgeous, especially after we send you our new style guide with ALL the perfect tips and tricks! Let’s go!



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photography by amanda lynn cole 2022

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