Chicago, Illinois — known most famously as “the Windy City” — is a grand metropolis in the Midwest. The city is teeming with history and numerous important landmarks. Whether you’re looking for world-class museums, a flourishing arts scene, glorious architecture (and an especially magnificent skyline), or a mouthwatering deep-dish pizza and some local craft beer, Chicago has it all. The city is well-known for being incredibly clean and beautiful, making it a fantastic place for photo sessions with your beau. Check out some of the best couple photoshoot ideas near Chicago.
1. Explore a scientific museum inside a historic mansion
For couples that love science and the arts, taking photos in this century-old mansion will perfectly capture those proclivities. With design inspired by Versailles’ Petit Trianon, it’s a major Chicago landmark andone of the “Seven Houses on Lake Shore Drive” (an important group of historic Chicago mansions). And while you’re here, you have four floors’ worth of space in which to take photos. Consider snapping dramatic, romantic photos with your beau on the mansion’s gilded metal staircase.
2. Snap elegant photos at the Art Institute of Chicago
One of the largest and oldest art museums in the country, the Art Institute of Chicago holds almost 300,000 works of art — among them are countless renowned pieces, like Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte and Hopper’s Nighthawks. The Beaux-Arts building itself, with its two-ton lion sculptures on either side of the entrance, is a fantastic spot for a romantic couple photo infused with the location’s rich history. This makes the institute one of the absolute best couple photoshoot ideas near Chicago.
3. Embrace grittiness in a former charcoal factory
As the owners describe it, this stunning space holds “a diverse selection of globally sourced artifacts and one-of-a-kind artwork.” Not only does this space offer 3500 square feet of space on two floors, as well as antique cars, a full kitchen, and courtyard, there’s also an ivy-covered roof deck perfect for outdoor photos. And, of course, the most important factor for any photoshoot: massive windows that let in abundant natural light.
4. Capture beachfront beauty on North Avenue Beach
One of the most popular beaches in Chicago, North Avenue Beach along Lake Michigan offers lots of beachfront space right near the city. There’s also the unique, ocean liner-inspired North Avenue Beach House, with portholes to gaze out at the horizon. The lakefront vista, backed by the skyline of Lake Shore Drive, is a picture-perfect spot and one of the best couple photoshoot ideas near Chicago.
5. Find historic Art-Deco charm at this landmark work of architecture
In Chicago’s Gold Coast historic district — one of the wealthiest urban neighborhoods in the country — this Art-Moderne-style home is full of gorgeous curves, natural light, and 16-foot ceilings. With opportunities for both indoor and outdoor photography, this space makes for a beautiful, tasteful choice for a photo session.
6. Take to a trip to an apartment inspired by Paris, France
If you can’t make it all the way to France to visit a Parisian salon, here’s your next best option: a Parisian-style apartment in an ultra-historic 1877 building. In addition to its perfectly romantic styling, this apartment has a massive, 20-foot glass window, so all your photos will be absolutely bathed in natural light. And if you need even more light, you can always head up to the garden rooftop to take your romantic couple photos outside!
7. Make the most of collegiate grandeur at Loyola University
Located near Lake Michigan, the Lake Shore Campus of Loyola University was founded in 1870. The campus abounds with majestic and historic architecture in a wide range of styles. In particular, the Cudahy Library and Madonna Della Strada Chapel exemplify classic Art-Deco architecture, as well as make lovely settings for romantic, tasteful couple photos.
8. Visit “the Bean” at Millennium Park
Sculpted in imitation of liquid mercury, Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, known colloquially as “the Bean,” is a massive monument. It measures 66 feet in length, 33 feet in height, and weighs 110 tons. Since the spot attracts lots of visitors, it’s often quite crowded, so you’ll probably want to visit early in the morning or later in the evening to ensure that you get a photo of just the two of you!
9. Take advantage of Chicago’s glorious skyline
Use the perfection of the city skyline to your advantage during your next couple photoshoot! This downtown condo has an ultra-modern 4,000-square-foot patio with a swimming pool, which is an awesome way to add the element of water to your photos. Plus, it’s a two-in-one: there’s a tastefully decorated, 5,000-square-foot condo if you’d like to take indoor photos as well.
10. Visit the famous Chicago Theater
Here’s a quintessentially Chicago spot for your couple photoshoot! Nearly a century old, the marquee of the theater is an utterly iconic backdrop for your next couple photoshoot. The spot’s old-fashioned glamour will infuse your photos with romance and fun. Heads up: you might want to try taking photos on a weekday rather than a weekend and outside of peak hours, as the streets are less likely to be bustling with tourists.
11. Investigate the Chicago Botanic Garden’s many offerings
With 27 gardens and four natural areas, the stunning Chicago Botanic Garden is undoubtedly among the best couple photoshoot ideas near Chicago. Beautiful blooms and dense canopies of trees make an ideal backdrop for dreamy photography! Since it’s a public space, keep these photo guidelines in mind when you start your photoshoot.
As one of America’s greatest cities, Chicago is unsurprisingly replete with a diverse array of photo opportunities. Arts, culture, nature: the city has it all. Capture snapshots Chicago’s many landmarks and embark on an extraordinary adventure.