We’ve rounded up a variety of our favorite, photogenic locations in Chicago, all of which would make the perfect backdrop to your shoot



We’ve rounded up a variety of our favorite, photogenic locations in Chicago, all of which would make the perfect backdrop to your shoot

If you’re getting married in Chicago, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to amazing wedding venues, but what about locations for your engagement session? Are you city lovers, and want that famous windy city skyline to dominate your photoshoot? Or do you want to get back to nature, and get lost in the city’s amazing parks? Wherever you choose to shoot, the great city of Chicago will not disappoint. A lot of our newly engaged couples begin their first meeting with us by saying, ‘we have no idea where we want our session…’ – which we love as it means we can get super creative with our clients from the get-go. But we also know some people like to have a few Chicago locations mapped out before they meet their wedding photographer. Millennium Moments has been shooting future married couples in Chicago for many years now, and we like to think we know the best engagement session locations in the city. So today, we thought we’d help you all by sharing our top 9 spots in the city! All tried, tested, and loved by our Millennium Moments couples!



The Best Engagement Shoot Locations in Chicago

Lincoln Park Honeycomb


We had to start with this iconic structure on the Lincoln Park nature boardwalk. Locally known as the ‘Honeycomb’, it is one of the most popular engagement session locations in Chicago because it is not only a pretty piece of architecture, but it also frames the city skyline so well. The Honeycomb is our favorite place to shoot in Lincoln park, but there are so many other sweet spots to try. From The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool and the bridge over the South Pond to the tunnel underneath the Grant Memoria – the locations at Lincoln Park are bountiful, any time of the year.


Milton Lee Olive Park


If you want a little bit of everything at your engagement session location, Milton Lee Olive Park in Chicago might just be the place for you. Skyline, check. Nature, check. Beach? Check! Throw in the stunning lake and its wildlife, and we might as well stop this list right here, we’ve found perfect. Both as a wedding and engagement photographer, we have shot here, and the blend of Chicago cityscape and earthy tones of the park never fails to bring out the best looks in our couples.


The Wrigley Building


A favorite not just of Millennium Moments, but also among many a wedding and engagement photographer in Chicago, The Wrigley Building is as impressive, as it is elegant. Located on Michigan Avenue, this grand office building offers two amazing perspectives for engagement photography in the city. Firstly you have the option of the 1920s style facade as your backdrop and its dramatic polished gold doors! Or, you can pose up a storm overlooking the river. If you want to capture a classic image of Chicago, this is the engagement location for you.


Ping Tom Park


If you’re looking for a unique Chicago backdrop, but you don’t want to shoot in the touristy spots, Ping Tom Park could be the ideal engagement session location for you. An often overlooked piece of greenery by the river, this stunning park is hidden away in a residential area, away from the crowds of the inner city – perfect if you’re a couple who don’t like a lot of people watching you. Ping Tom Park is situated in the heart of Chinatown, meaning its architecture and murals are all dedicated to the rich history and culture of China – offering a Chicago wedding photographer like us a multitude of interesting, beautiful backdrops to shoot our couples against. Besides the artwork on display, the park also offers a fantastic view of the city via the cute grassy hills dotted around the perimeter.


North Avenue Beach


Having a sandy beach in the middle of a metropolis like Chicago is a pretty awesome thing! Shooting for clients or even just visiting North Avenue beach never gets old. As a location, it offers so many cute spots to shoot at, like walking along the winding sea wall with the city skyline behind you, or cosied up in the sand against the greenery of Lincoln Park or if you want totally unique, lose yourself in the huge beach house shaped like a marooned ocean liner! In the golden hour this famous Chicago landmark looks even more breathtaking, and certainly worth an early morning start.


Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool




We already highlighted the stunning Honeycomb situated within Lincoln Park, but we also had to give a further mention to the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool – one of the most picturesque landmarks in the park. A favored spot for wedding ceremonies and engagement sessions, this pretty pond is a serene oasis in the heart of bustling Chicago. During the springtime especially, this expanse of water really comes alive with its sea of lilies in full bloom.


The University of Chicago


The University of Chicago is a classically stunning set of Gothic-style buildings that come together to offer a completely different perspective on this great city. Each structure, every monument is more characterful and unique than the next, and as an engagement session location, there’s nowhere quite like it in Chicago. It is full of interesting doorways, bridges, and ornate archways that have made the most romantic backdrop for our couples.


Bahá’í Temple – The House of Worship


A few miles north of Chicago, is one of the 7 wonders of Illinois, the Bahá’í temple. As a structure, it is unique inside and out, with striking and unusual architecture that manages to blend so effortlessly with the stunning gardens surrounding it. As an engagement photoshoot location, there are so many pretty places to try out within their gardens! The Millennium Moments top tips would be the long and elegant walled river that winds up to the entrance of the House of Worship, which looks wonderful as a backdrop. Or find a spot on the steps of the temple with the opulent arches and towers behind you and the palatial gardens in front of you. Choose either one of these, and you have a potential wow shot on your hands.


Chicago Botanical Gardens


Our final spot is endlessly charming and offers so many options for engagement session locations, that we wish we could shoot at this Chicago landmark all the time! The Chicago Botanical Garden is situated on 9 islands surrounded by lakes, over a 385-acre space. Each island is different from the next, with unique walkways and quaint bridges to get you from one to the other. This place is full of hidden little gems to shoot in, inside, and out as there are a plethora of stunning greenhouses you can dive into if the weather turns! If the sun is on your side, however, the English Walled Garden could be the dreamiest and most enchanting place to shoot in the whole of the botanical gardens.



We would love the opportunity to be your engagement or wedding photographer in Chicago! Michael and I are obsessed with weddings and love to bring out the very best of our newly engaged couples, using a fresh modern style and an easy-going approach in our photography and wedding videography. We encourage you to browse our portfolio of past couples and if you feel we are right for you, please do get in touch with Millennium Moments via our contact page.

  • Nicole Bertic


Feel relaxed, at ease, and looking amazing with our simple tips for your engagement photo session.


As experienced engagement photographers in Chicago, we know just how nerve-wracking your engagement photos can be, especially if the last time you were in front of the camera was senior prom! Well, today we thought we’d share a few tips that will hopefully calm that anxiety, allay those fears, and help you nail your engagement photoshoot!

But why do you need engagement photos anyway? Well, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already booked your session, but if you’re still unsure, here’s why we think you should have one. There are many reasons, but for us, the main one is fostering a relationship between you an


d your photographer. During the engagement shoot your photographer will be able to assess just how you are as a couple, are you quiet and intimate or energetic and confident, for example. They can then quickly figure out how best to capture that in your engagement photos, and most importantly they’ll know how to do it on your wedding day. The same is also true for you as a couple, once you’ve had a photo session you’ll know just how your photographer works and what you need to do in order to look your best. Think of your engagement photos as your practice runs before the big day!





How to Look Amazing in Your Engagement Photos

What is the Location of Your Shoot?


What kind of couple are you? Do you love Sundays at home in front of the fire with a good book, or are you more adventurous and daring with your weekends? Whatever you think defines you as a couple, weave that into your engagement photos. As engagement photographers in Chicago most of our clients choose to shoot out in the wilds or at the beach, but if that just isn’t you, then find a scenario that is. Maybe you want to shoot at home or in your parents' garden? If that is your happy place, then why not celebrate it in your photo session.



How Do You Want Your Photos to Look?


Once you’ve decided on the location, it’s important to think about the overall style that you want your engagement photos to have. Obviously, our first suggestion would be to take a look at our past couples and see if they inspire you! But we also suggest you look at Pinterest too, but with one caveat – don’t get lost in a Pinterest wormhole! If you’re using the platform to source ideas for your wedding planning, try and be strategic and only look for things that you logged in to do, and keep a track of time. When it comes to engagement photos, a good idea while putting together a board is to save images you like, along with a few words about why you picked each one. This way you get a better idea of what you like, and we as photographers know exactly why you picked that shot – important when there could be so many elements going on in one photo. Make sure to share your board with your engagement photographer way ahead of the shoot, in order to give you time to discuss it.



Get Your Hair & Makeup Done by a Professional


A lot of hairstylists and beauty professionals will offer a trial day, to make sure you’re happy with the overall look and also, so they know just what’s required of them for the big day. If you want to go full glam in your engagement photos, take advantage of these offers, while also getting to know your wedding beauty team! Although, if you want more of a natural and relaxed look on your session, then put together your own look. The key is to look and feel like the gorgeous couple you really are and be truly comfortable on your shoot.



Wear Something that You Feel Amazing In


Sounds obvious, but it’s really important to wear something that makes you feel good. Be it that cozy old sweater you’ve loved for years, or that sequin evening dress you’ve been dying to wear since college! Whatever outfit puts pep in your step, wear it, because your confidence on the day will be so much stronger. If your current wardrobe isn’t inspiring you and you want to wear something special, then ask your photographer about their client's closet. Ours is full of gorgeous dresses from Flutter Dress, and they are perfect for engagement photos as they are fully adjustable in size, and have lots of different looks available. Plus you’ll be wearing a dress that costs between $300-$500 each, so you’re going to look fabulous!





The Weather…


Nobody can predict the weather, not even us! So if you’re planning a shoot outside, always prepare for the worst or embrace it like a pro! When it rains during an engagement photo session you can either be the couple who brought an umbrella and thought of an indoor Plan B location, or you can be the two who go full Notebook and look like you planned the whole thing around the rain! Besides rain showers, keep in mind the season you’re shooting in because that will affect the light. Normally, mornings are the best time to shoot, as the light is at its most magical, specifically the ‘Golden Hour’. A beautiful time of day shortly after sunrise (or before sunset) when the light appears warmer and softer, it’s like nature's photoshop and will give your photos that glow you’ve been insta-dreaming of!



Have a Blast!


If you’re actually having fun on camera, it makes for the best engagement photos! Photographers in Chicago are famous for their sense of humour, and on an engagement shoot, this is so useful when trying to make a couple relax on film. A well-timed joke that makes you both laugh, is usually the best shot of the day and can also improve every other shot after it!


We hope we have prepared you for your engagement photos and given you the guidance you need to look your best! It would be wonderful to become a part of your wedding journey and take your engagement photos for you! It’s one of our favorite jobs to do (in fact it doesn’t feel like one!), as we get to meet couples at one of the most exciting points of their love-story together. If you would like us to be your engagement photographers in Chicago, please feel free to message us via our contact page.

Your wedding photos are something you’ll cherish forever, so make sure you find the perfect photographer to take them for you


We’re sorry to break it to you, but weddings don’t last forever. Once the champagne is popped, the confetti has fallen, and you’ve had your honeymoon, it’s done. But that is why we have wedding photo albums! So we can relive those joyous moments whenever we feel like it. Receiving your wedding photography post-nuptials, is one of the most special moments you can experience (the wedding gifts are pretty good too…), and often one of the most emotional. These images of your special day will live on your Instagram feed forever, they’ll grow dusty on your Grandpa’s fireplace, and they’ll be pored over by your kids 20 years from now. So make sure they’re perfect! To do that, you need to find the best wedding photographer in Chicago for you.


But how do you go about choosing the right one? Today we thought we’d share some easy steps you can take to help choose the perfect wedding photographer.




Budget

Not the most fun part to start with, but when it comes to weddings it pays to check the prices, otherwise you might get your heart broken. Wedding photographers in Chicago and beyond will all have varying prices, but invariably you get what you pay for. When you start to see big numbers quoted for photography though, remember that your wedding photos are an investment. You’ll never use that stationery again or even wear that dress, but you’ll probably look at your wedding photo album at least once a month.

Your first step should be to look at what you can legitimately spend, and then keep that figure in mind as you search and start to contact people. Many to most photographers will have starting prices on their websites, please do not use this figure as your actual price, it’s just for reference and there will be many other fees that come together to create the actual final quote. Also, please check all the small print for ‘hidden fees’, these can really catch some newly-weds out when they receive their final invoice. These fees may be overtime, a second photographer, rights for printing or a monthly/yearly cost for an online gallery of your wedding album. Make sure your photographer is upfront from the start and shares every little potential cost with you, while you check over all their paperwork with a fine tooth comb!

Style

Are you looking for traditional, modern, reportage? Each wedding photographer in Chicago will have a style that they specialize in, you just need to find the right one for you. That’s the fun part! Look through as many real weddings as you can (even more than you already do) and note down the aspects that you really like from each series of shots, the more you look, the more you’ll notice a pattern emerging. From there you can easily work out which style is to your taste, and you’ll also have a handy roadmap for your chosen photographer to follow.


Personality

This person is going to be following you around all day like your Kim K, so you want to make sure you like them! Nothing looks worse in wedding photography than a bride who is distracted by her photographer. Read through their testimonials and get a feel for them, not just from their own website, but on The Knot, WeddingWire, and social media and on forums. Then if you like what you see, and their style matches yours, get in touch.

Meeting your wedding photographer in person or via Zoom is vital in order for you to get a feel for whom they truly are. Do they put you at ease? Do you feel like they understand what you want? If you like their vibe, check if they are available, before you go any further!


Book an Engagement Shoot

This is the true test for your photographer, and a great bit of on-camera experience for you. This may not be an essential thing when booking your wedding photographer in Chicago, but if you have the time and the budget, then it’s certainly worthwhile. You’ll feel so much more comfortable on the day knowing that you’ve experienced being directed by this person, and they made you feel at ease and confident.


Portfolio

Their portfolio should flow, using a recognizable style, with each image as stunning as the next. You want every photo to be consistent in quality and look. You may realize while browsing that you don’t like the way the photographer shoots in low-light, or their style when shooting group photos doesn’t fit yours. So pay attention to the small stuff now, and it will make a big difference further down the line.

We would love to be your perfect wedding photographer in Chicago! Michael and I are obsessed with weddings and love to bring out the very best of our newly-weds, using a fresh modern style and an easy-going approach in our photography and wedding videography. We encourage you to browse our portfolio of past brides and if you feel we are right for you, please do get in touch via our contact page.

THE BLOGS