Studio Ostendo operates in multiple creative fields including photography, design, and education.
Thinking about your Chicago Engagement Session and not sure which spot to choose? Start by reading our tips for How to Choose Your Engagement Session Location.
We love photographing in Chicago, because it offers unique modern lines and a variety of location styles to choose from! We love the way light bounces off of the neutral surfaces downtown, and how so many of the backdrops Chicago offers don't change based on the seasons. To help you select the best Chicago location for your session, we're sharing some of our favorites here!
In the heart of the loop, the Wrigley Building is an iconic backdrop for your engagement photos! It features stunning views from above the Chicago River, as well as an elegant neutral backdrop with gold accents on the building itself. We often recommend pairing this location with another nearby.
The Chicago Riverwalk is accessible at many points for engagement photos! We love the Riverwalk because it makes the city feel larger than life in your images.
One of our all time favorites, we love walking to North Avenue Beach about mid-way through an engagement session when the sun is closer to setting. With a stunning view of the Chicago skyline, surrounded by water, North Avenue Beach is an iconic Chicago show stopper. This location shows both the lake and the city, with spots along the bike path and beach that offer a lot of variety. When the parking lot is open, we often recommend parking right there to save some time!
If you want to add a little nature into your city images, the Lincoln Park neighborhood is the perfect spot! We love taking couples behind the Chicago History Museum or near the Lincoln Park Nature Boardwalk. Parking in this area is easiest at Lincoln Park Zoo, using a parking app, or along N Stockton Dr. or Clark Street if the Zoo is closed at the time of your session.
This epic Chicago location is most accessible on the weekends and offers stunning views of the city on three sides. With classic Chicago architecture, this area offers more than just the iconic Chicago Board of Trade shot!
Milton Lee Olive Park, located near Ohio Street Beach and Navy Pier, offers an unobstructed Chicago skyline view from an elevated location. This location often requires a backup plan, as the gate to Olive Park does close at specific times, and can sometimes close unexpectedly. Regardless, Olive Park is another spot that makes the city feel larger than life!
One of our favorite locations because of the variety it offers, the Museum Campus has timeless Chicago architecture. We love taking couples around the Field Museum grounds, because we love the way the light bounces from its modern terraces. The Museum Campus also showcases a sweeping view of the Chicago skyline. Parking along Solidarity Drive or in the lot next to the Adler Planetarium allows us to use any area of the Museum Campus (Field Museum, Soldier Field, Adler Planetarium, Lakefront path) during the session while ending with the skyline views as the sun dips below the city.
Union Station is one of the best covered locations for engagement photos in Chicago! Open air, its row of columns shelters it from Chicago weather without losing the aesthetic of Chicago architecture.
Located a little further south, the Museum of Science and Industry is another location that balances epic Chicago architecture with opportunities to infuse some natural backgrounds into the session as well. We recommend parking along Stony Island Avenue for this location.
We may be biased as lovers of art and modern architecture, but the Art Institute offers some of the most elevated engagement session backdrops in Chicago. When masks have not been mandated, the Art Institute has allowed patrons to take photos indoors with the cost of their admission as long as they are respectful of fellow patrons. The open air Art Institute Gardens feature the Art Institute architecture as a backdrop, as well as modern seating areas alongside well-manicured gardens. The gardens close about 20-30 minutes before the Art Institute closes, and you can check the hours on their website here. We recommend using a parking app or parking in the Millennium or Grant Park parking garage to access this location.
While we shared some of our favorite Chicago engagement session locations, we're always up for exploring a new one with our couples!
Wedding photography is my heartbeat. For me, it holds the perfect tension between creativity and authenticity, observation and connection. In front of my camera clients transform to friends, and behind it you'll usually find me tearing up, cheering you on, or holding my breath because of the raw goodness of the moment at hand.Get in Touch