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The 10 Best Family Photoshoot Ideas Near Chicago

The city of Chicago is a major hub of creativity and the arts, as well as one of America’s most photogenic cities. It’s no surprise that photographers love working here. Huge buildings and iconic spaces make wonderful backdrops for all kinds of work. But because of these landmarks, it can occasionally be difficult to differentiate your work from that of any other photographers. Peerspace can help by connecting you to a unique venue — here are the 10 best family photoshoot ideas near Chicago.

1. Book this photo studio in Grand Crossing

photo studio chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

This fully-equipped studio gives you a variety of options when setting up for portraits. In addition to the traditional white backdrop, you’ll find seven colored backdrops, as well as an exposed brick wall. Lighting equipment and a few classic furniture pieces are also included in the rental. This is a great option for studio work that needs a diverse backgrounds.

2. Enjoy fun and games along Navy Pier

navy pier chicago
Source: Pixabay

Spanning over 3,000 feet long, Navy Pier has something for everyone. While you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take traditional-style outdoor portraits here, consider doing something different like a dynamic shoot. Have your subjects walk around and explore or simply document the whole day. You’re sure to come away with some unforgettable moments.

3. Plan portraits in this contemporary artist loft

artist loft chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

This contemporary loft is a bright space with 15-foot ceilings and exposed brick. The ambiance is creative, and the setting is perfect for portraits. Multiple windows supply natural light, and the modern furniture and house plants give the space a unique touch. A small family should be quite comfortable in this humble abode.

4. Get creative in this loft studio space

loft studio space chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

Another great option for a family photoshoot is this airy studio. It’s largely unfurnished, giving you plenty of room to set up lighting and other equipment. Exposed brick walls and dark hardwood floors give this venue refinement, and the built-in sound system is a nice touch for any photoshoot. In addition to the space, you can also rent paper backdrops, as well as lights and modifiers. This is a great venue if you don’t have a light kit but want to take your images to the next level.

5. Plan a photoshoot in this rustic, naturally-lit loft

Andersonville Loft Space chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

For photographers who need more structure and furnishing in an urban space, this lovely loft has it all. Large windows let in light; the weathered, exposed brick makes for a good vintage background. Tasteful furniture throughout can be incorporated in the photoshoot. If the natural light isn’t enough, be sure to bring your own light kit.

6. Have some fun at the famed “Cloud Gate”

bean cloud gate chicago
Source: Pixabay

Cloud Gate, informally known as “The Bean,” is a fun setting for a family photoshoot. As a big tourist attraction, it’s always a crowded space, so keep that in mind when framing work here. Take advantage of the crowds and general touristic nature of this location by doing something fun with your subjects. And while you’re here, explore the rest of Millennium Park — there are plenty of excellent backdrops for photos all around. 

7. Keep it natural in this lush, roomy loft

bright loft space chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

This loft space is slightly different from other offerings, in that it emphasizes bright open space with lighter exposed brick, white walls, and massive windows throughout. Hardwood and wallpapered backdrops also give you some versatility. Tasteful furniture throughout will make your images stand out, and a white backdrop also lets you shoot more traditional portraits. 

8. Book this lively space with an open-air courtyard

loft and open-air courtyard chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

This enchanting loft makes the list for its unique open-air courtyard. The courtyard is covered in ivy, giving you an outdoor feel with urban touches. Dappled light falls through the trellis work that covers the courtyard, so if you prefer greater control over lighting, plan your photoshoot time when the sun is a little lower in the sky. Inside the venue, you’ll find a library and fully furnished space with white-painted exposed brick and a fireplace. This is a truly unique venue for a photoshoot.

9. Take formal portraits in this sophisticated mansion

Mansion in South Loop chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

If you need to go somewhere big, this refined mansion is a good option. Classy decor and unique rooms give you plenty of settings for your family portraits. The front of the house also makes for a gorgeous backdrop. While there are plenty of windows, the space is large, so additional lighting equipment may be necessary to sincerely get the most out of this space. 

10. Post alongside the skyline at Lake Michigan

lake michigan skyline chicago
Source: Flickr / Roman Boed

There’s plenty of space to spread out along Lake Michigan, and the views are gorgeous. Frame your photos to take advantage of the sailboats in the background, or grab some shots of the reflective water. The lake is at its prettiest in the mornings and evenings, so schedule your photoshoots accordingly and always be mindful of the weather. 

Whether you’re looking to create modern portraits, produce traditional studio work, or capture dynamic outdoor shots, these spaces will inspire you. The best family photoshoot ideas near Chicago range from intimate studios to the mighty Lake Michigan — it’s important to embrace your own photographic vision when doing photography, especially portraits of families. Challenge yourself to do something different, and let Peerspace help by setting you up with a great space in which to work.

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