There are so many awesome Chicago engagement photo locations.
Do you want a skyline view? These places offer great views.
North Ave Beach. (My Personal Favorite)
Lincoln Park Nature Boardwalk.
Milton Olive Park.
Adler Planetarium. (Another place I love)
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary.
The Art Institute of Chicago.
The Chicago Cultural Center.
Lincoln Park Conservatory.
Do we need a permit?
Many people forget that several parks in Chicago require a permit to take commercial photos. Thankfully a good local professional photographer should be able to help guide you as the which ones do. I have an account with The Chicago Park District and they have made it fairly easy to book and pay for a permit online for various venues. When I work with clients I am happy to take care of the permits for Chicago Parks District.
The following locations require a permit through the Parks Department.
Buckingham Fountain (fountain shutdown October 11, 2022 until spring 2023)
Garfield Park Conservatory (A real gem for winter. It is warm indoors year round)
Humboldt Park Formal Garden
Lincoln Park Conservatory
Jackson Park Osaka Garden
Lincoln Park North Pond Laughter Gazebo
Montrose Harbor Dr. Skyline View
Lincoln Park Rosenbaum Gazebo
Museum Campus Skyline View
North Ave. Beach – Chess Pavilion
Lincoln Park Great Garden
Ping Tom Park Pagoda
Lincoln Park Plaza W of North Pond Restaurant
Independently managed and also need a permit.
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool | (773) 883-7275
Lincoln Park Zoo | (312) 742-2000
Maggie Daley Park & Cancer Survivors Garden | (312) 552-300
Millennium Park | (312) 744-6050
Olive Park | (312) 744-6635
When do you want to do the photos?
Like any large city, some venues that are popular are just impossible to work at when certain events are going on or times of the week. If Lala Palooza is on for example, forget about trying to go to Buckingham Fountain. Marathons and Friday traffic will also affect some venues. Plan accordingly. The best light is most often before sunset and sometimes that heaty traffic time, so a Sunday may be best.