Where to Take Fall Photos in Chicagoland

Don’t let the hot weather fool you. Soon Old Man Winter will show his ugly head and the first holiday card will appear in your mailbox. So now is the prime time for capturing beautiful outdoor family photos. Whether you use a professional photographer or DIY some snapshots, here are some gorgeous locations for Fall photos in Chicagoland:

Photo by Kristen Lisa Photography

In the city

Most popular: Lincoln Park Zoo Nature Boardwalk, Cancer Survivor’s Garden at Maggie Daley Park, Emily Oaks Nature Center

Off the beaten path: Ping Tom Memorial Park, Milton Lee Olive Park, Burnham Park Promontory Point

While it might be hard to find trees in full bloom within city limits, these locations are great for showcasing our beautiful city as well as the colors of the Midwest. Just keep in mind that many of these locations (like the Nature Boardwalk, for example) are EXTREMELY popular for Fall photos so be prepared to wait for your turn. But you know what helps waiting? Lollipops. 😉

Photo by Kristen Lisa Photography


Near suburbs

Most popular: Gillson Beach (Wilmette), The Grove (Glenview), Little Bear Garden Park (Glenview)

Off the beaten path: River Trails Nature Center (Northbrook), Lighthouse Beach (Evanston), North School Park (Arlington Heights)

There are so many gorgeous and free nature centers throughout the Chicagoland suburbs and you can’t go wrong taking photos outside any of them. My personal favorite spot for photos is Little Bear Garden Park because it has a beautiful pergola and hanging benches similar to what you will find at the Chicago Botanic Garden–no permits required!

Photo by Kristen Lisa Photography

Far suburbs

Most popular: Cantigny Park (Wheaton), Naperville Riverwalk, Independence Grove (Libertyville)

Off the beaten path: Fabyan Villa (Geneva), Lippold Park (Batavia), Crabtree Nature Center (Barrington)

Bridges combined with fall foliage makes the perfect Fall photo set up. No bridges? No problem. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes that can get a little muddy and hike up and down some trails in order to get the perfect snap.

Photo by Kristen Lisa Photography

Fall colors simply not turning or turn too fast? Then don’t overlook another fun Fall photo option–BARNS! There are tons of unique and beautiful barns throughout Chicagoland, from the classic, red barn at Wagner Farm in Glenview to a hidden gem, Fidler Farm Park in Aurora. And if you combine your photos with a trip to the apple orchard or pumpkin patch, life is EVEN EASIER!


Wondering what to wear in your family photos? Here are my tips and tricks, whether you are taking Fall themed photos or smiling for holiday themed photos. And be sure to check out my favorite family photographers in Chicagoland.

Happy Fall, Y’all!


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  1. Heather @ Kraus House Mom says

    We have never done a professional family portrait. My sister in law wants to do one with the ENTIRE family, if we do then I’ll have the photographer do some of just the five of us. Getting my husband to do it twice would be pushing it.

    • Amanda says

      I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have professional photos to look back on, especially now that so many of my parents and grandparents have passed away. Photos truly are cherished memories.

  2. Jaime Nicole says

    These are so absolutely gorgeous locations! The one with the arched greenery is just perfect – this would be great for engagement shoots too – romantic!

    • Amanda says

      We are so lucky to have found some great photographers to partner up with not just for blog articles, but also for our family photos!

  3. Emily says

    I love taking pictures outside, especially this time of year, there is so much color! We have not taken our family pictures so I am on the hunt for some nice locations. It is hard to know some good places to go.

  4. Anosa says

    These pictures are truly gorgeous, I wish I lived close enough to Chicago land to be able to book this photographer and have amazing pictures taken

  5. Jenn says

    We have taken family photos, but looking at these and others I see online, I wish we had. Now our girls are grown up, it would be nice to have a nice set of photos too look back at.

  6. Anita says

    Such beautiful pics for a beautiful family. Whoever did your photos did an amazing job. I can tell everyone had a wonderful time taking them.

  7. Whitney says

    YES. I am ALL about this. If only Toddlers weren’t so difficult to drag around everywhere! Or followed directions just a LITTLE bit better. HAH! I avoid areas with water nearby because my kid will gravitate toward it IMMEDIATELY, but I need to find a nice little toddle rsafe stream to take some puddle/splashing photos in!

    • Amanda says

      Now that would be a fun photo backdrop…my kids would love to splash over and over just to get the right shot!

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