Hi there! Trying to decide where you should have your photo session? I've put together a list of some of the places in the Chicago Western Suburbs that I've shot at before so you can get an idea of what each location has to offer. I will continue to add to this page/post as I discover new places, so check back before every session!
I will be posting photography session locations in West Chicago, Geneva, St. Charles, Naperville, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Warrenville, Schaumburg and more.
Fabyan Forest Preserve - Geneva, IL
This is one of my favorite places to shoot in the western suburbs because there are so many areas and different characteristics to make every session unique. This is a perfect spot for your session if you want water, forest/trees, flowers, a bridge, a wrought-iron gate, or a beautiful trellis. I usually park in the lot off of Batavia Rd.
West Branch Forest Preserve - West Chicago, IL
This hidden gem is just a few minutes away from my house so I love it for quick mini sessions and golden hour sessions. The forest preserve has a large lake, some open fields with wild flowers, a couple of wooden docks, and a tree covered path.
Leroy Oakes Forest Preserve - St. Charles, IL
Even after countless sessions at Leroy Oakes, I still haven't even utilized all of the areas this place has to offer. It has multiple barns, a pond, fences, lots of tall grass and areas with wildflowers, and a bridge. I like it best in the spring and in September during golden hour. It doesn't get as colorful in the fall as other places though, so you may want to choose somewhere else if you're hoping for beautiful fall colors in October.
Reed Keppler Park - West Chicago, IL
During the fall, this is one of my favorite places for photo sessions. The colors are gorgeous and the park district does a great job with their gardens, providing lots of pretty backdrops for family photos.
Cantigny Park and Gardens - Wheaton, IL
This is an incredibly gorgeous place for photos. There is always something blooming and you can never go wrong. The only negative is that they do require a $40 photo permit per session so if you choose this location, that will be added to your session fee.
St. James Farm Forest Preserve - Warrenville, IL
This is a great place for a golden hour session. In addition, you can get some really nice fall photos taken here and I've even had luck with early mornings. The biggest negative is that it gets very crowded on fall evenings and you have to wait in line for the best spots.
Churchill Woods Forest Preserve - Glen Ellyn, Illinois
This is a small forest preserve that is absolutely beautiful in the fall. It has a river and a bridge, tree covered paths and is a great place for a golden hour session.
Blackhawk Waterfall - South Elgin, IL
Who knew we had this random, but beautiful little waterfall right here in the western suburbs? This is a super easily accessible trail with a waterfall, bridge, and trail. I wouldn't recommend this as a location for families with toddlers and babies, as it can be slippery walking around in the water.
Mallard Lake Forest Preserve - Hanover Park, IL
This is a large forest preserve with a lake, multiple bridges, and some covered paths if you walk far enough back. There's a large hill to the west, so golden hour sessions should start about 15 minutes earlier than usual.
Lilacia Park - Lombard, IL
This is a gorgeous little park for shorter sessions. I especially love it for milestone sessions. It has a fountain, there are almost always flowers in bloom, and it has great light both in the morning and evening.
Delnor Woods - St. Charles, IL
This is a really cute park with a beautiful tree covered path, a pond and fence, a large open field and some amazing oak trees. Very pretty in the fall.
Herrick Lake Forest Preserve - Naperville, IL
I've learned that this forest preserve is not ideal during golden hour because it is heavily shaded, but if you go a little earlier than that it has some really beautiful trees, a river and bridge, a pond and some cool trees.