I always get asked about the best places to do family photos that show the Chicago skyline in them so I’ve compiled a short list with photos to show how the city looks from various popular shooting spots around the city.
1. LINCOLN PARK. You can’t beat Lincoln Park any time of year for the scenery, the greenery, the view, and the vibe. Pluses: many different scenarios and environments for varied photos; great view of the Chicago Skyline; Accessible parking. Minuses: It gets crowded and there are lots of photographers and families around doing the same thing you are so it can start to feel a little cliched and overrun.
2. BELMONT HARBOR. The proximity to the skyline at Belmont is just perfect for photos and you get full views of the water, the skyline and greenery. Pluses: Great view of the skyline, water and everything that makes Chicago Great. Minuses: Parking is $6 if you want to go to the end of the harbor; lighting can be tricky and awkward and you have to time it just right; Lots of people.
3. MONTROSE HARBOR. I love Montrose Harbor…its huge with lots of room to roam, the scenery is varied and gives you lots of different photo scenario options and the parking is pretty easy. You can lots of different looks within one session and its just beautiful. Pluses: its beautiful, lots of space and you don’t feel crowded. Minuses: Its large so it requires a good amount of walking to get to the good spots.
4. NORTHERLY ISLAND. We can all thank Daley for digging up the airport that was here and creating Northerly Island. Its fantastic and still feels like a secret place that no one knows about. You really feel like you have left the city altogether when you are out here and it is serene, relaxing and beautiful. Skyline, grasses, water. Pluses: Feels secluded and special like you are really making a special event out of your photo session; beautiful grasses and nooks for photo ops; skyline looks amazing. Minuses: No pets on the “island” at all; parking (and traffic) is somewhat challenging and can get expensive, long walk from the car to all of the good spots.
5. NORTH AVENUE BEACH. Who can ever get enough of North Avenue Beach??? The most iconic spot in all Chicago to view the skyline and Lake Michigan. The Hancock Building is so close it looks almost surreal in photos. The water is beautiful and even though its at one of the most crowded places in Chicago it feels peaceful. Pluses: Iconic skyline; water is so close it can show prominently in photos; Minuses: hard to get to; parking is a pain; can get crowded and chaotic.
6. MILTON LEE OLIVE PARK. Nice little park right in the loop area near Navy Pier that offers a promenade that takes you out a bit from land so you can see the skyline behind you. Pluses: Nice unique view of the skyline; great water views. Minuses: the black fences look ugly in photos and the position of the skyline to the promenade can be awkward; lighting isn’t idea for the skyline behind you.