Photoshoots are the best way to capture a moment in time. Whether it’s a session just to embrace who you and your partner are currently, to celebrate an engagement, or anything in between, one of the first things you will want to figure out is where to actually take pictures. 

As a seasoned photographer, I have had the chance to take pictures in so many different places and have seen some amazing locations for couples to capture the perfect photos.  Whether you are looking for something more outdoors and secluded or fun and downtown, the Chicago suburbs have it all. 

So, let’s jump into some of the best photo spots in the Chicago suburbs for your next photoshoot! 

Best Photo Spots in Chicago Suburbs


Downtown Naperville

Downtown areas are always so fun to use for photoshoots and Downtown Naperville is no exception. This is a great place to choose if you and your partner want to just take time and explore and walk around a place for your session. 

Going downtown, you’ll get some beautiful brick buildings as your backdrop. There are plenty of small alleyways and corners that you can escape to in order to grab that perfect photo. 

Downtown locations also give you the option to pop into places like coffee shops, breweries, or cafes during your session. This can not only help you and your partner relax a bit (sometimes just doing something like eating or drinking can help you settle into the session), but it is also a great backup just in case the weather takes a turn on the day of your session. 

Naperville also has the riverwalk right downtown, so you can get the best of both worlds with a more urban feel in the main streets and the nature-filled area of the river! 

Knoch Knolls Park

If you are looking for something more immersed in nature, Knoch Knolls Park is the perfect place for you and your partner. This park has so much to explore, and there is plenty of space for you and your partner to escape to without being around crowds. 

The park features a couple of different trails that are all really well-marked (so you don’t have to worry about getting lost during the session)! There are also tons of open spaces with tall green grass and picnic areas, making this a gorgeous place for an outdoor session. 

Keep in mind though, that there aren’t a ton of covered areas here so be sure to have a backup plan just in case the weather isn’t great the day of your session!  

McDowell Grove Forest Preserve

McDowell Grove Forest Preserve is another beautiful preserve right next to Naperville. The area is absolutely amazing, and there are over 7 miles of trails that you and your partner can explore during your session. 

Not only are there great trails (that are all marked really well), but you can also find picnic areas here if you want to pack a picnic for your session, as well as lakes and rivers to stop by during the day. 

You definitely want to have the forest preserve on your list, too, if you are planning a session during the fall. The changing colors on the trees are just absolutely stunning and create the perfect backdrop for any photoshoot! 

Herrick Lake Forest Preserve

Just a couple of minutes down the road from the McDowell Grove Forest Preserve, you’ll find the Herrick Lake Forest Preserve. If you are looking for a lakeside location for your session, this is the dream place to do it. 

Not only does it have some amazing trails like McDowell Grove, but it is also centered around Herrick Lake. This lake is so beautiful, and there is a gravel path leading right along the water’s edge. You really couldn’t ask for much more than this. 

Throughout the park, you’ll find some picnic areas if you want to pack some food for the session, as well as a few benches along the trail. The park is also dog-friendly so you can bring your furry friends along for the session, too! 

Glen Ellyn

Churchill Woods Forest Preserve

While Churchill Woods Forest Preserve is a bit on the smaller side when it comes to the forest preserves in the area, it is still one of the best photo spots in Chicago suburbs. There are trails that not only lead you through some beautiful greenery, but you are also right on the East Branch DuPage River. 

You can walk right along the river for some perfect, intimate photos with you and your partner (and even your dogs, too!). There is also a long wooden bridge that crosses the river, which is not only beautiful to be around but also creates the perfect backdrop for your photos. 

This is also a great place to go if you are looking for golden hour photos. The setting sun bounces off of the river and the trees so beautifully and creates the perfect atmosphere for some romantic photos. 

Lake Ellyn 

If you are in Glen Ellyn and looking for the perfect lake location for your photoshoot, Lake Ellyn may just be your place. This lake is so beautiful and has plenty to offer you and your partner during your session. 

Surrounding the lake, you have some wooded areas with beautiful trees and some open areas that you can walk around. There are also some paths leading through here that you can explore. 

But, the real gem here is the lake itself. There is a path leading around the lake, and there are even some benches throughout if you need to take a break or just want to incorporate them into your session. 

What is even better about Lake Ellyn is that there is even a pier at this lake. You have a beautiful wooden pier that you can step out onto to capture the stunning lake behind you. While it isn’t a super large pier, it is the perfect place for you and your partner to enjoy for your session! 

Lilacia Park 

Lilacia Park is a beautiful, sprawling horticultural paradise of lilacs and tulips across more than 8 acres of space. The first two weeks of May are some of the busiest, with Lombard Lilac Time and its many events keeping the park busy for long stretches of time. There are also regular events throughout the year, and the spot is popular for weddings, so make sure you plan ahead for a big photo session.

The park itself is in central Lombard, with some beautiful historic buildings nearby, and is quite close to the train station so getting in and out is easy-peasy. The plants are largely all labeled, so you can pick your favorite area for photos, or wander around and get a little sampling of everything. There’s a pond and some statues as well for a little variety.

Even outside of lilac and tulip season, the park has beautiful scenery year round. Pets aren’t allowed, on leash or otherwise, so best to skip if you’re hoping to include some fur babies in your photos.

Downtown Glen Ellyn

With its charming storefronts, quaint train station and old-time movie theater marquee, downtown Glen Ellyn makes for a cute, quirky choice for photos. The Glen Art Theatre has been in operation since the 1920s, and the front has changed little in that time. The theater makes for a particularly beautiful backdrop at night when the warm bulbs are all lit up.

Starting at Crescent Boulevard and Forest Ave and heading west, there’s plenty of brick storefronts and historical buildings that make for a nice walk, and if you get tired there’s a nice smattering of bars, cafes, and restaurants to take a little break. Of course, if you’re planning on shooting in any of those bars, cafes, and restaurants, make sure to clear it with the staff first!

The best part is downtown Glen Ellyn is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Lake Ellyn, meaning you can take photos by the lake at sunset and at the movie theater by evening, and still have plenty of time after to grab dinner.



Cantigny Park is often seen as one of the best photo spots in the Chicago suburbs, and it is clear why. This park is absolutely beautiful and has so much to offer when you are just visiting it, let alone during your session. 

It is important to start off by saying that there is a permit fee to have your photoshoot here. It isn’t a huge fee, and the views and areas around the park definitely make it worth it. However, it is something that you and your photographer should plan on before your session! 

Now to the fun park, Cantigny Park has almost everything you could want in your photoshoot. Throughout the park, there are trails for you to walk on, picnic areas, cafes, ponds, open fields, gardens and so much more. 

Regardless of what you are looking for, you will most likely find it somewhere in the park. Even the buildings around the park make a stunning backdrop for your session! This truly is one of the best places to pick for your photoshoot! 

Final Thoughts on Best Places to Take Pictures in the Chicago Suburbs

If you are planning your photoshoot around in the suburbs, there are so many amazing areas for you to go to. Hopefully this list of the best photo spots in Chicago suburbs helps spark some inspiration for you and your partner as you start to plan your session. 

One of the amazing things about this area is that less than an hour away from a massive city, there are such peaceful areas filled with nature and open spaces. It truly is the best of both worlds out here, and your photoshoot is the perfect time to take advantage of that! 

Now that you know where to get photos, all you need is the perfect photographer to capture them for you. If you and your partner are still looking for that perfect person to create these memories with, I’d love to chat! You can click here to learn more about my packages, or you can head over here to get in touch and talk about your session!

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