The 9 Best Graduation Photoshoot Ideas in Chicago

Graduation photos are a cornerstone of the ritual of moving from either high school to college or the latter to the world beyond. There are countless beautiful American cities ideal for a graduation photoshoot, but few can top Chicago. The city is home to breathtaking historic architecture, world-class arts and culture, and a casserole that calls itself pizza. Look forward to seeing amazing interiors and two great outdoor spaces, and take advantage of that gorgeous spring weather. Here are nine graduation photoshoot ideas in Chicago you can’t miss.

1. Immerse yourself in great design at a sleek, contemporary home

Modern Minimalist Stunning Gem for Upscale Events chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

First on our list of great graduation photoshoot ideas in Chicago is a home that might as well call itself a modern art gallery. If you’re going into or about to graduate from a design or architecture program, this is an ideal location to take grad photos. It’s in a monochrome color scheme; black is the name of the game in this home, and it makes stunning use of that restrictive pallet. Mesmerizing oversized black-and-white artwork draws the eye upward to the vaulted ceilings and the stretch sofa elongates the room further. Throw on a pop of color and you’ll look amazing against this stunning contemporary house.

2. Bask in the bohemian atmosphere of a chic, plant-filled apartment

High-end bohemian oasis chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

House plants abound in this stylish, earth-toned loft apartment conveniently located in Chicago’s West Loop. The apartment has great natural from the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, accented on each side by a strip of exposed brick. This bohemian oasis is a great place to take grad photos, be it casually posed by the record player or reading a book on any number of stylish seating options. After your shoot you can check out all the cool eats the West Loop has to offer, like Restaurant Row and the French Market.

3. Drift back in time at this stunning Art Deco home

80s Deco Bridgeport chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

They say fashion comes in cycles and interior design is no exception. The 1980s saw a revival in appreciation for the Art Deco design of the 1920s. However, it wasn’t a wholesale ripoff of an earlier age, it was a unique reinterpretation. It’s hard to find today, but we bring you nothing but the best, so here’s a rare example of 80s-style Art Deco revival. Your graduation pictures are sure to stand out among the crowd of white backdrops in this home. Some rooms are just straight-up vaporwave and we are living for it.

4. See your future reflected at The Bean

chicago bean cloud gate
Source: Pixabay

If you don’t mind having other people in the background of your photos this next one is a truly iconic piece of Chicago public art and an awesome place to take pictures. The enormous polished steel sculpture is titled Cloud Gate, but everyone just calls it The Bean because, get this, it looks like a giant bean. The sculpture has an arch in the center you can stand under for maximum reflective effect, just be sure your photographer doesn’t get in the reflection! The plaza The Bean sits on remains closed due to the pandemic, but that may change by spring.

5. Take stand-out pictures at a boho-chic creative studio

BoHo Chic Event Space @ Logan Square Creative Studio chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

Get ready to look your best at this beautifully decorated event space. It features hardwood floors, a mount for seamless paper backdrops, and the key piece, a delightful bohemian seating area. You may not initially imagine an event programming space to be the perfect graduation photoshoot location but this one proves all assumptions wrong. Diffused light pours in from the windows behind the seating area to give all your pictures an even look and the stylish seating area will make them pop. All these details make it one of the more interesting graduation photoshoot ideas in Chicago.

6. Gaze at the skyline from a gorgeous downtown high-rise

Amazing Downtown Apartment Loft with Incredible View chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

There’s exactly one huge reason to try out this next location, to snap a picture of yourself with a million-dollar view. The contemporary minimalist apartment is in a downtown high-rise with views you simply cannot beat. The concrete pillar contrasts with the sleek white leather couch to create an air of simplicity in design. So go on and gaze out at that view and let the photographer do the rest.

7. Strike a dynamic pose at a versatile Hyde Park house

Modernized Late 19th Century Urban Victorian House chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

Recline in a one-of-a-kind upholstered chair, take a seat at the piano, or lean by the mantle. There are countless opportunities to get the perfect picture in this 19th-century Victorian home. Located in beautiful Hyde Park, this house sits in an idyllic urban location. And it’s the location that makes this particular home so special. The backyard is just as beautiful as the inside and also makes for a great photoshoot backdrop. You can get in a huge range of shots all at one address.

8. Admire the majesty of the Buckingham Fountain

Our next outdoor location is the Clarence F. Buckingham Memorial Fountain. Located in Grant Park overlooking Lake Michigan, this fabulous fountain is an ideal sunlit place to take pictures. It was constructed in 1927 and at nearly a century old the slowly developed patina adds a rich character. While you may not be able to splash in the Buckingham Fountain like you’re the forgotten seventh Friend, you can still get pretty close to this landmark. At its grand scale with the whole Chicago skyline in the background, you really won’t need to get in the splash zone anyway.

9. Soak up the stunning lighting at a classic loft apartment

Large Logan Square Loft Space chicago rental
Source: Peerspace

You didn’t think we’d do a whole list without a classic loft, did you? In a city this historic? We’d never dare. Closing out our collection of the best graduation photoshoot ideas in Chicago is a breathtaking loft apartment located in Logan Square. It’s fitted with funky eclectic furnishings that’ll have you feeling at home in the warm atmosphere. There are exposed timber beams and untreated brick walls as well as huge industrial windows that let in a ton of natural light. It’s a fabulous place to take graduation pictures no matter the path you’re taking in life.

Chicago is a dynamic city with so much to offer, it’s no surprise we found so many amazing places to take graduation photos. From a historic fountain to an ultra-modern high rise there’s something for every aesthetic in the Windy City. You don’t need to be a professional to make these spaces pop, just some good lighting and a bit of confidence.

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