BEST CHICAGO ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS LOCATIONS

Here is the definitive list of the Most Popular Engagement Session Locations in Chicago. This list includes the Best Outdoor and Indoor Engagement Session Locations in Chicago along with the Top Engagement Session Locations in the Chicago suburbs. I’ve created this list of the best engagement session spots in the city of Chicago after more than a decade of capturing weddings and engagement portrait sessions at each of this incredible locations.  I’ve discovered these amazing locations to photograph your engagement pictures in Chicago and am pleased to share with you my favorite locations for your Engagement Photos in Chicago.

I’ve attempted to specify and link to which locations require permits. Many public parks in Chicago require a $35.00 application fee plus a $45.00 per hour, per location media permit.

I suggest contacting a location prior to photographing your Engagement Session to determine if a permit or permission is required to photograph at the location.

I also invite you to explore this helpful article I wrote providing tips and tricks to obtaining photo permits at Chicago’s most popular locations for engagement sessions.

Finally, I always invite you to enjoy my Chicago Engagement Session portfolio, check out my latest Engagement Session highlights or contact me to learn more about scheduling your Engagement Session with me today!

BEST CHICAGO OUTDOOR ENGAGEMENT SESSION LOCATIONS

North Avenue Beach
1600 N Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60613

Chicago Engagement Session location at North Avenue Beach with skyline in background

Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
WEBSITE

“The Bean” Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor 
201 E. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60604
WEBSITE
PERMIT

The Bean Chicago Cloud Gate Photo Permit

BP Pedestrian Bridge
201 E. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60604
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Engagement Session Location in Millennium Park along the BP Pedestrian Bridge in Chicago

(above) BP Pedestrian Bridge 

Buckingham Fountain
500 S Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60604
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Jay Pritzker Pavilion 
201 E. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60604
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Millennium Park Chicago Photo Permit Required

Lurie Garden
South Eastern end of Millennium Park
Chicago, IL 60604
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Engagement Session in Lurie Garden in Millennium Park in Chicago

(above) Lurie Garden 

Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
WEBSITE 
PERMIT

Zoo Lights Lincoln Park Zoo Photo Permit

Chicago Theater Sign & Alley
175 N State Street
Chicago, IL 60601
WEBSITE

Engagement Session location in front of Chicago Theater

(above) Chicago Theater

The Chicago Art Institute – South Garden
111 S Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
WEBSITE

ArtInstituteOfChicagoWedding

Clark Street Bridge at Marina Towers
300 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654
WEBSITE

Engagement Session Location in Downtown Chicago on top of Clark Street Bridge by Marina Towers

(above) Clark Street Bridge

Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
WEBSITE

Montrose Avenue Beach
4400 N Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60640
WEBSITE

Montrose Avenue Beach Engagement Session Location in Chicago

(above) Montrose Avenue Beach 

The Magic Hedge at Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary
4400 N Simonds Drive
Chicago, IL 60613
WEBSITE

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N. Cannon Drive
Chicago, IL 60614
WEBSITE

Kinzie Street Railroad Bridge
Kinzie Street at N. Canel Street
WEBSITE

Kinzie Street Bridge Engagement Session Location in Chicago

(above) Kinzie Street Bridge 

Milton Lee Olive Park
500 N Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60611
WEBSITE

Honeycomb at Lincoln Park Zoo
South Pond Nature Boardwalk
2121 N Stockton Drive
Chicago, IL 60614
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Honeycomb in Lincoln Park Zoo at Night Engagement Session in Chicago

(above) The “Honeycomb”

Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo
2121 N Stockton Drive
Chicago, IL 60614
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Nature Boardwalk Bridge Engagement Session Location in Chicago Lincoln Park

(above) Nature Boardwalk

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
125 W Fullerton Pkwy
Chicago, IL 60614
WEBSITE
PERMIT

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Ping Tom Memorial Park
1700 S Wentworth Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
WEBSITE

Ping Tom Memorial Park Engagement Session Location in Chicago

(above) Ping Tom Memorial Park

Wrigley Field
1060 W Addison Street
Chicago, IL 60613
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Wrigley Field Wedding Party

The Chicago Riverwalk
WEBSITE

Chicago Proposal Photographer

Chicago Board of Trade
 141 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60604
WEBSITE

Board of Trade Engagement Session Location in Chicago in Winter

(above) Board of Trade

BEST CHICAGO INDOOR ENGAGEMENT SESSION LOCATIONS

Garfield Park Conservatory
300 N Central Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60624
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N Stockton Drive
Chicago, IL 60614
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Salvage One Indoor Engagement Session Location in Chicago

(above) Salvage One 

Salvage One
1840 W Hubbard Street
Chicago, IL 60622
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Chicago Sign Salvage One Courtyard Engagement Session Location in Chicago

(above) Salvage One

Architectural Artifacts
4325 N Ravenswood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Chicago Cultural Center
78 E Washington Street
Chicago, IL 60602
WEBSITE

The Chicago Art Institute 
111 S Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
WEBSITE

Lyric Opera of Chicago
20 N Upper Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
WEBSITE

Union Station
225 S Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60606
WEBSITE
PERMIT

BEST MURALS, STREET ART AND GRAFFITI FOR ENGAGEMENT SESSIONS IN CHICAGO

Does photographing street art violate the street artist’s copyright?

Under U.S. copyright law, the violation of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights occurs when an infringer copies and/or creates a “derivative work” that is a copy or “substantially similar” to the copyright owner’s work. Thus, taking the photograph of a colorful mural alone, for the specific purpose of making a copy of the mural itself, may violate the mural artist’s copyright, especially if the image is then sold by the photographer for a commercial purpose (such as an advertisement). However, professional photographers often use street art as a backdrop to their projects or photograph the mural together with other elements, and creatively use lighting and composition to create something that is more unique and thus “original” to the photographer. In such cases, a defense known as “fair use” may apply. Unfortunately, though, there is currently no way to definitively measure when infringement ends and a new work begins.

To avoid a copyright infringement action, photographers must be mindful of a few general benchmarks when photographing street art: (1) whether the street art is copyrighted or copyrightable (perhaps try to find out whether the mural was painted with permission or qualifies as vandalism); (2) if the image uses the street art in a “transformative” or minimal way (the more creative the image is, the more elements embedded in it, the better); and (3) how the photograph will ultimately be used or sold.  Photographing street art for commercial purposes necessarily carries its risks, but these guidelines may help you avoid or defend a possible legal action resulting from shooting street art within your own images.

Rangefinder Magazine
Aaron M. Arce Stark 
March 2017

Greetings From Chicago Mural Engagement Session Location

(above) Greetings from Chicago

Greetings from Chicago
2226 N Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
Artist: Victor Ving
WEBSITE

Love
1863 N Damen Avenue
Damen & Cortland
Chicago, IL 60647
Artist: Matthew Hoffman
WEBSITE

Drink Up
Racine & Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60607
Artist: Pose

Possum
16th Street & Laflin Street
Chicago, IL 60608
Artist: ROA

Weasels
400 N Peoria Street
Chicago, IL 60642
Artist: ROA

Fight Harder, Fly Higher
Ashland & Paulina
Chicago, IL 60622
Artists: JC Rivera & Sentrock

Pilsen 16th Street Murals
16th to the North, Chicago River to the East and Western Avenue to the west

roaChicagoEngagementSession

(above) ROA Possum 

Blue Chinese-Inspired Floral and Butterflies
Under the 18th Street Bridge in Ping Tom Memorial Park
1700 S Wentworth Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
Artist: Chester Chow
WEBSITE

Ping Tom Memorial Park Mural Engagement Photos Location

Colorful Cubes
410 N Peoria Street
Chicago, IL 60642

Colorful Street Art Mural in Chicago for Engagement Photos

(above) 410 N. Peoria Street

BEST CHICAGO NORTHERN SUBURBS ENGAGEMENT SESSION LOCATIONS

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glenco, IL 60022
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Independence Grove
16400 W. buckley Road
Libertyville, IL 60048
WEBSITE

Lighthouse Beach
2611 Sheridan Road at Central Street
Evanston, IL 60201
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Ryerson Conservation
21950 N. Riverwoods Road
Deerfield, IL
WEBSITE

BEST NORTHWEST CHICAGO SUBURBS ENGAGEMENT SESSION LOCATIONS

Monument Park
6167 N River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018
WEBSITE

Prairie Center For The Arts
201 Schaumburg Court
Schaumburg, IL 60193
WEBSITE

Towne Square
150 W. Palatine Road
Palatine, IL 60067
WEBSITE

Volkening Lake
900 W. Schaumburg Road
Schaumburg, IL 60194
WEBSITE

BEST CHICAGO SOUTH SUBURBS ENGAGEMENT SESSION LOCATIONS

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
9800 Willow Springs Road
Willow Springs, IL 60480
WEBSITE

Lake Katherine
7402 Lake Katherine Drive
Palos Heights, IL 60463
WEBSITE
PERMIT

BEST CHICAGO WESTERN SUBURBS ENGAGEMENT SESSION LOCATIONS

Naperville Riverwalk
105 Jackson Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540
WEBSITE

Waterfall Glen Photo Permit

Naperville’s Naper Settlement
523 S Webster Street
Naperville, IL 60540
WEBSITE

Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532
WEBSITE
PERMIT

Cantigny Park
1S151 Winfield Road
Wheaton, IL 60189
WEBSITE
PERMIT

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