Archive for the ‘Scenic Locations for Wedding Photo and Video in Chicago Illinois’ Category

How to decide which digital photography camera is right for you.

How to decide on which type of digital photography camera and features are best for you.

 

There are basically 4 types of digital photography cameras that a Photographer may purchase. This article will explain the differences with the camera types, the pros and cons, and the cost range for each. The 4 types are: Point and shoot, compact point and shoot, super zoom  & Single lens reflex (SLR) which is the most expensive and would be more for the advanced amateur or professional wedding or portrait photographer.  All of today’s digital cameras can also shoot video as well. The quality of the video recorded will vary with the type of digital camera. All of the below cameras have replaceable digital media. SD, compact flash, XD and memory stick duo pro are the types of media that these cameras record on.  All of the below camera types have built in flashes only the SLR can use a separate more powerful on camera flash. I will also cover Flip cameras, which are essentially hybrids of photo and inexpensive video cameras. I will also explain all of the features that all these digital cameras have so you can make the wisest decision on what digital camera to buy.

The point and shoot cameras “PAS”

The point and shoot “PAS” camera is by far the most popular type of digital photography camera.  They are also the least expensive ($45 to $300) and they give you the largest bang for the buck. These cameras have a permanently attached zoom lens that ranges from 3x to 5x (the number before the x means how many times the image is zoomed in from the widest setting on the zoom) so they are great for general photography purposes. The size of these cameras is small enough for a coat pocket but a little snug for a pants pocket because the zoom lens retracts into the camera. This mechanical telescoping zoom makes it hard to make a very thin camera (.7 inches) and if you want a camera that is thin enough for pants pocket consider the compact point and shoot “CPAS”.  The sensor/lens size averages to about 1/3 to 1/ 2.3 of an inch, the larger the sensor and lens the better the pictures quality regardless of mega pixels.  “PAS” are between zoom cameras and compact point and shoot in size and weight (about 4.5 ounces on average).  These cameras have only an LCD on the back of the camera for a viewfinder; these cameras are not equipped with an optical viewfinder. There are the full mega pixel range represented with “PAS” cameras from 8 to 18 megapixels. Thease cameras are for general photographic use where objects are reasonably close to the photographer. This is a great kind of camera to bring to photograph a wedding.

 

Pros. Large enough to take great photos, small enough to take everywhere you go. Best selection and price offerings. The sensor and lens size is much larger than for the compact point and shoots. Better ergonomics and photo quality than compact point and shoots. Power zoom. Cons. Much thicker and larger than compact point and shoots. Annoying shutter lag between pressing the shutter and taking the photo.   No way to change the lens or its zoom ratio. The motorized  mechanical lens that telescopes out of the camera when the camera is turned on can be a major place that may need service in the future. No optical viewfinder.

Compact Point and shoot  “CPAS”

The compact Point and shoot “CPAS” camera is very popular because of its portability, robustness and compactness. “CPAS” cameras have all the advantages that regular  “PAS” cameras have except they are 40% thinner and are lighter as well. The price range is about the same as “PAS” cameras except these cameras usually have fewer features than a similarly priced “PAS” camera. The major difference is ‘CPAS” cameras have a smaller lens and image sensor so there is no mechanism that moves the lens telescope out from the camera, like on a “PAS” camera. There is usually a sliding cover that protects the lens that also turn on the ‘CPAS” camera.  Having a non-telescoping zoom makes the zoom more reliable because it moves internally and can’t be broken during the telescoping process. The trade off is the lens is smaller in diameter and the imaging chip is also a little smaller too. Having smaller lens diameter and chip makes the camera worse in low light and the picture will have more noise regardless of the mega-pixels of the camera. Because these cameras have simpler optical systems, waterproof and underwater variants are available for underwater shooting with a “CPAS”. These cameras have improved over the years, although they are optically inferior to “PAS” cameras with their telescoping lenses, some of these cameras have as large of a sensor as a “PAS camera (1/ 2.3”).  These cameras are for general photographic use but are better when the photographer needs to keep the camera portable and robust. I-phones and cell phone cameras are in this category.

 

PROS. Smallest cameras available and also the most robust. The lack of a telescoping zoom makes for a more reliable zoom lens. Some of these cameras are waterproof. CONS: Worse picture quality and less low light ability than other types of cameras.  Less camera features than “PAS” cameras Less of a zoom ratio than “PAS” cameras.  No optical viewfinder. CPAS get an annoying shutter lag when taking a photo.

Super zoom cameras or “SZC”

Super zoom cameras or “SZC” and (“SLR like” cameras that can change lenses) are a growing and changing category of digital photography cameras. Super zoom cameras are essentially a Point and shoot camera with a beefed up zoom lens. These cameras are much less portable and more expensive than “PAS” cameras ($180 to $475) because instead of having a zoom that simply telescopes out, the lens is always out and bigger than the rest of the camera. These cameras have a zoom ratio that ranges from 5x to 36x for extreme close-ups and wider wide shots. Most (but not all) of these cameras have permanently attached zoom lenses that dominate the camera body and form factor of the camera. These cameras also have a larger image sensor so they get better image quality and low light ability than the point and shoot cameras. These cameras usually have 2 different viewfinders, one with a 2.7” to 3.0” LCD like on the “PAS” camera and one with an eyepiece electronic viewfinder that is a .24” lcd with a diopter for adjusting for your vision. This eyepiece electronic viewfinder differs from a SLR digital camera viewfinder because on an SLR, the eyepiece is actually looking through a mirror and prism to see directly through the lens.  The “SZC” is less precise in focusing and is less responsive and less expensive than a digital SLR camera. Some SLR “like” cameras have interchangeable lenses but they still have an electronic eyepiece instead of seeing directly out of the SLR’s lens. These  proprietary interchangeable lenses are not compatible with other lens systems from the same manufacturer. This would be a great type of camera to bring to photograph a wedding where you can’t get close enough to the subject to get a good close shot.

 

PROS: Better zoom ration and picture quality than less expensive “PAS” cameras. More responsive, better video recording and  better features than “PAS” cameras. The power zoom makes for different shots when shooting video. “SZC” cameras have the best zoom ratio because SLR lenses are more expensive and can’t zoom in as much. Less shutter lag than  “PAS” cameras CONS: The lack of seeing through the lens makes these cameras less precise for focus than SLRs. More shutter lag than SLR cameras (but less then “PAS” cameras). Most cameras don’t allow change of lenses. These cameras are much less portable than “PAS” and “CPAS” cameras.

Single lens reflex cameras “SLR”

Single lens reflex cameras are the largest, most sophisticated and most expensive type of digital camera. Range from ($500 to $8,000) SLRs are different from the previous type of camera “SZC” because they have an optical viewfinder (not electronic) that has an internal mirror that flips out of the way during the exposure and a prism that rights the image for the photographer to see the actual image going trough the lens. When the Professional photographer or advanced amateur takes a photo, when he presses the shutter release the mirror that is reflecting the image into the optical viewfinder flips up and simultaneously a mechanical shutter exposes the larger imaging chip to light and creating the exposure. This action of moving a mirror and having a mechanical shutter makes a SLR camera much more complicated than other digital cameras that don’t have a mechanical shutter or mirror flipping mechanism. This extra mechanism burns up batteries and makes the SLR a little less reliable than other types of digital cameras. Because of the more precise optical viewfinder and the instant shutter response. and the ability to change lenses, makes SLR’s the only choice for professional photographers. Also the size of the sensor is many times larger than all of the other types of cameras. One comparison is that an older SLR with only 6 megapixels can take better pictures than a newer“PAS” camera with 18 megapixels, because the sensor size is many times larger on the digital SLR.  One other feature, although all the other camera types have built in flashes, most SLRs also have a built in flip up flash. SLRs also have the ability to add a larger on camera flash that is 10 times more powerfull than the built in flash. One new feature of SLR cameras of late is the ability for the camera to show the image on the LCD instead of on the optical eyepiece called “live view”. This makes the SLR operate like a point and shoot camera for certain shots where your eye can’t reach the eyepiece.  The other addition to the features of SLRs is the ability to shoot high definition video with the same Digital SLRs. The superior quality of the larger chip with a SLR and the larger format lens makes SLR’s get a better picture quality than conventional 3-chip video cameras. The draw back of SLR’s shooting video is that the record time is only 10 to 20 minutes as opposed to the 60 or 90 minute record time on a conventional video camcorder. SLRs are what professional portrait and sports  photographers would shoot with.

 

PROS: Best quality photos, best quality video, most precise for focus, iris, shutter speed. The ability to change lenses & add a professional on camera flash. There is almost no shutter lag with an SLR. The most complicated to use, but the best ability to do a manual setting. Professional wedding photographers use SLRs exclusively. These cameras can shoot in camera RAW for better looking photos that are uncompressed. CONS: Most expensive, least portable, worst battery drain, the mechanical shutter makes noise, the mechanical shutter and mirror flipper makes this type of camera less reliable. You need to buy extra lenses for this camera and you will need several to do every type of professional shot that a professional Chicago wedding photographer can do. The zoom is manual not powered so it is tough to do an on camera zoom when in video mode.

Flip style video and photo cameras

Flip style video and photo cameras are quite popular now. Flip cameras (flip is a brand name, but there are many imitators that are similar) cost from $100 to $200 and they usually have the media built in. They have 4 Gigabites or 8 Gigabites depending on if it is a 1 hour or 2 hour unit.  Instead of using replaceable Compact Flash and SD cards, these cameras have built in memory and a flip out USB 2 interface to get video out of the camera. These cameras have a vertical form factor (as opposed to a horizontal form factor for still cameras). They also have a thumb zoom control to operate the measly 2x digital zoom. The type of video compression that these use is H264, which is more, advanced than Motion Jpeg (that the less expensive digital photo cameras record on). These cameras have a simple video-editing program built into the system so you can do simple editing right on the flip camera. The problem with these cameras they have no optical zoom and they shoot still photos at a mere 1 megapixel. Most cell phone cameras shoot at 3 megapixels.  I also don’t like the fact that these cameras can’t change media, so once you filled the memory, the camera can’t record more without deleting or downloading.

 

PROS: Great video compression like SLR video using the more advanced H264 for high definition quality. These cameras have built in editing software so you can edit a finished video right in the camera. This camera is very easy to use.  High definition video CONS: Only 1 megapixel stills makes it a video camera only. No optical zoom means you have to he close to the action to get the subject a decent size in the frame. I would not shoot a wedding where the wedding videographer is restricted on where he can go. The fact that you can’t replace the media, once you shot the full memory of the camera you can’t shoot anything else without deleting or downloading. The 2” screen is smaller than most digital cameras.

Some digital camera features explained

LCD size: The larger the LCD screen the better. These screens range from 2 inch to 3.5 inch diagonal. A larger LCD can indicate a problem with a photo that was taken. The better resolution and size of the LCD will enable the photographer to make better corrections in the field. Most cameras can zoom into the image on the LCD to see if a photo is in focus and to see it there is any blur caused by motion and a too slow shutter speed. There is a hugh difference between a 2” lcd and a 3” lcd because when you double the hypotenuse of a right triangle you quadruple the surface area of the screen. So a 2” LCD is 1/4th the size of a 4” lcd screen.

 

Optical stabilization: This feature has a jelly filled lens that optically counteracts any camera shake that is picked up by a sensor that senses camera shake. This feature fixes shaky video footage and can enable the photographer or videographer to shoot at a lower shutter speeds for still photos.  This makes still pictures have less camera shake than without optical stabilizers.  This feature runs down the battery more than not using this feature, however with electronic stabilization the picture zooms in by 20% which affects the picture quality of the finished product.

 

Face detection: This enables cameras to recognize a human face and this enables the camera to know what is where the human face is, and makes exposure and focus adjustments based on the human face being the subject of the photo. This feature does not work well when shooting a face in profile because the artificial intelligence of the camera only sees one eye.

 

Optical Zoom Ratio: Zoom ratio shown with a number like 12x means how many times closer a camera can get to the subject with just the onboard zoom. The wideness of a zoom before the camera zooms in is also an issue because the wider a lens, the less you have to back up to include a large group of people. Zoom ratio is shown in both optical, which optically makes things closer. Electronic zoom is a virtual way to zoom into an object but electronic zoom loses picture quality based on how much you are zoomed in. Electronic zoom should be avoided because it makes for worse picture quality.

 

Scene modes: Most cameras have preset settings for specific situations for photography. IE for a fast moving sports mode, the camera would automatically use a faster shutter speed. A mode for shooting sunsets would make the camera better in low light and would turn off the flash because the sunset is out of range of the flash. Scene modes are more of a consumer feature than a feature for a professional photographer.

 

In camera Effects modes: Is an in-camera feature that enables the photographer to do Photoshop type effects right in the camera. This enables the amateur photographer to do professional effects and print them remotely without needing or using the computer.

 

Movie Mode: This is a great feature of most all-digital photography cameras. Shooting video on most cameras is lower quality than most video cameras but it just great for the Internet. This means the decision to buy a photo or video camera is less of a decision today. I have found that digital still cameras do a better job of shooting video, than dedicated video cameras do at shooting still photos. Today’s high tech high end Digital SLRs actually shoot better video than video cameras. These SLRs include the Canon 5D mark II and the Nikon D5100 and D7000 that can shoot incredible looking high definition video. The record time of photo cameras has been limited to under 30 minutes for import  tax reasons.

 

Burst Mode: This is a mode on a camera that can shoot many photos quickly so you can capture an important scene with as many photos as possible. The more burst photos a camera can do the better.

 

Megapixels: The more the megapixels the better for taking great quality photos. 6 megapixels is equivalent to 400  asa film in grain and resolution. I have seen cameras for consumers that are as much as 18 megapixels. This is misleading, because the size of the imaging chip has as more effect on the picture quality than the megapixels. After all, a 6 megapixel SLR with a 1.3 inch sensor can get a much better picture quality than a 18 megapixel camera that has only a 1/3 inch sensor. Remember don’t pay too much for a lot of megapixels on a consumer camera that has smaller imaging chips. Bigger chips always improve picture quality.

 

Battery type: Some cameras take proprietary batteries that only work in that camera. This is good but you have to have spare batteries for the chance of running out of power. Some cameras take double AA rechargeable batteries. These cameras can have an advantage because once the AA rechargeable batteries die, you can just use regular alkaline AA batteries that are either disposable or rechargeable. Cameras that take AA rechargeable batteries can be more versatile than the others that take special batteries.

 

Professional external hot shoe Flash: All SLR’s and a few super zoom cameras has the ability to add a more powerful professional flash onto the hot shoe of the camera. This is a good idea because most pop-up flashes and SLRs and “SZCs” are pretty underpowered and can’t really properly expose something over 12 feet. The Canon or Nikon Professional flashes run about $300 to $500 depending on power and features of the external flash.

 

Power Zoom: Most digital cameras that are not SLR’s do have a power zoom. This means you just push a zoom in button to zoom in or out. This makes it harder to get a perfect focal length as you have to stop exactly where you like the focal length. With SLR’s the lens has a manual twist control for zoom. The zoom on an SLR is more exacting, but since there is no motor, when you are shooing video, the zoom speed may be choppy. A power zoom on a non SLR camera is nice for shooting video because you can do a smoother zoom than by rotating the lens barrel on an SLR.

 

Live view (for SLRs): This has been a feature for all digital cameras except for SLRs since the beginning. The consumer can actually view the live moving images on the back LCD screen while framing the photo. This was not the case for SLR’s because they have a mechanical shutter AND a mirror that flips up to enable the photographer to see right through the lens. With the advent of Live view for SLR’s the SLR actually locks up the mirror and the shutter and enables the photographer to frame the photo while watching a live image on the back LCD screen. Because the mirror and the shutter is locked up, you can’t use the optical eyepiece viewfinder until the camera goes out of “live view” mode. Live view on SLR’s makes shooting video possible on these incredible SLR cameras. SLRs can sometimes get a much better picture than conventional video camcorders.

 

Waterproof- Water resistant: This feature will enable the photographer to shoot photos and or video either underwater or near the water. These cameras are usually compact point and shoot cameras that do not have complicated telescoping lenses. This feature will enable the photo enthusiast  to easily take underwater photos that used to take a lot of equipment to shoot underwater.

 

Shock proof: This a great feature too, similar to above, the camera is a “CPAS” type camera that is made to take shock and abuse. Many shockproof cameras are also waterproof. These cameras can take the abuse needed to get these cameras into the field and the photographer does not have to worry about ruining his equipment when taking his equipment into hostile environments.

 

Dust reduction: This is a feature of SLR’s only. Only SLR’s can change the lens and this makes it possible to get dust on the exposed sensor while changing lenses. This sensor needs to be cleaned to keep the dust from making black spots on the finished Jpeg file. When the professional photographer notices a problem with dust collecting on the sensor. He opens the lens and hits the sensor cleaning button. The camera will vibrate and or spray air on the sensor to self clean the sensor in the field. Cleaning a sensor manually is too much work to do in the field. That is why this newer feature is so important

 

Ergonomics: The way a camera feels in the hand, how easy is it to work the controls. This us one of those things that is different for every person. Make sure the camera works easy for you. I once bought a camera that was designed for the index finger to work the zoom, however the camera also was designed for the same index finger to hit the shutter AND the autofocus. This made the camera hard to work for me because the index finger was doing all the work with the thumb doing nothing. I returned the camera and got one where the thumb was controlling the zoom and the separate index finger presses the shutter and auto focus. Always try out a camera in your hand before decideing on which camera is right for you, your hand and your eyes.

 

I hope now the consumer has a better idea of what type of camera to purchase and what features are important to you. This guide does not claim one brand over another, yet I feel that Nikon, Canon and Sony are the leading companies that make great cameras that are updating all the time. Try a camera in the store and see how if feels in your hand. Once you have decided which is best for you it is time to go online and see who has the best price who won’t rip you off. I have had nothing but good luck with B&H camera and video who is the largest camera seller in the USA.

 

This article is written by Bob Busch, he is a professional wedding photographer with 26 years experience and he has sold consumer electronics and has advised many of the purchase of consumer photographic equipment.

 

Copyright Robert M. Busch  and Milestone Photo and video. 2011 all rights reserved. No part of this article may be used without direct written permission from Robert M. Busch.

 

 

Wedding engagement photos taken downtown Chicago at Adler Planetarium and Shedd Aquarium.

Milestone Photo and video includes an outdoor engagement photo session (in the western suburbs extra charge for downtown engagement photos $100) with the full day 10 hour (or less) Chicago wedding photography package. This package is $1399, you get to keep all the photos on DVD (in 2 resolutions) that the Chicago wedding photographer takes regardless of how many, an  8″x10″ leather photo album,photo montage DVD that shows the best photos that the photographer took, a 13″x19″ engagement photo print. The following photos are examples of photos we took at Adler Planetarium: Adler  is an awesome place to shoot photos. Check out Milestone ‘s wedding website.Adler is awesome for the Chicago wedding couple who want their photos shot if front of the Chicago skyline. This is an awesome location to shoot engagement photos for the Chicago skyline. This day it was hazy making the Chicago engagement photo session a good one.

The "dip" pose in front of the skyline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loving arms pose in front of the skyline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great shot in front of Shedd Aquarium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fisheye shot of the grassy area and the skyline in the background

 

 

Wedding engagement photos at Churchill woods of Glen Ellen, a western Chicago suburb.

Milestone Photo and video includes an outdoor engagement photo session with the full day 10 hour (or less) Chicago wedding photography package. This package is $1399, you get to keep all the photos on DVD (in 2 resolutions) that the Chicago wedding photographer takes regardless of how many, an  8″x10″ leather photo album,photo montage DVD that shows the best photos that the photographer took, a 13″x19″ engagement photo print. The following photos are examples of photos we took at Churchill woods: Churchill woods is an awesome place to shoot photos. Check out Milestone ‘s wedding website. Churchhill has the rustic look of a camping trip and a lake. It is awesome to do engagement photos of the outdoors minded engagement couple.

A great prom pose on the bridge near the water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great place for a photo, the 2 trunk tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fun pose with a fun couple!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A cute innovative pose in the grass of Churchhill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great romantic pose on the 2 trunk tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great fireman's carry pose in the middle of the woods!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fun pose in the grass

 

 

 

Wedding Engagement Photos at Lilacia Park in Lombard, a Western Chicago suburb.

Milestone Photo and video includes an outdoor engagement photo session with the full day 10 hour (or less) Chicago wedding photography package. This package is $1399, you get to keep all the photos on DVD (in 2 resolutions) that the Chicago wedding photographer takes regardless of how many, an  8″x10″ leather photo album,photo montage DVD that shows the best photos that the photographer took, a 13″x19″ engagement photo print. The following photos are examples of photos we took at Lilacia Park: Lilacia Park is an awesome place to shoot photos. Check out Milestone

Fisheye engagement Photo

Action Shot at Lilacia Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great Backlit photo at lilacia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying a park bench at Lilacia Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are great flowers at Lilacia Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a lot of great places to shoot at Lilacia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tying the knot at Lilacia

 

 

 

Scenic Locations for wedding photos in South Suburban Chicagoland and Kane County IL

Worth Water Reclaimation District

Worth Metro Water Reclamation District.

Worth Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Worth IL. It is located at  115th & Harlem just of the bridge on the east side. This place is awesome, it is free to use for wedding photographers in Chicago, you just need to call 312-751-5600 and get permission to shoot there. There are several bridges, several layers of water falls, and many weeping willow trees. There is also a building that has posts and a cool vanishing point in the shade. PROS: Free use, waterfalls, not used as much as other places, it ahs many places to shoot with waterfalls, lakes, trees and bridges as scenery. This is a great place for a Chicago wedding photographer to shoot wedding photos in the sounth Chicago suburbs. Cons: none Check out: http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Georgios_Orthodox/ and  http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Garden_Chalet/


Oak Lawn City Hall

Oak Lawn City Hall Gazebo

Oak Lawn City Hall (Gazebo), Oak Lawn IL. Oak lawn city hall is located just north of 95th street at 9446 South Raymond avenue, Oak Lawn IL. The actual Gazebo is right behind the City Hall. Please call 708-636-4400 for info on permission to shoot here. I love this place, though it is not very popular so you won’t have to fight the crowds to shoot here. I took this picture around Christmas and it looked awesome. There is a large field lined with bushes and at one end, a huge gazebo, decorated with Christmas lights! PROS: Gazebo is great for shade, Located right by 95th street, Christmas lights lend a mood for night shots. I do not think there is a fee to shoot there. CONS: Not alot of shade aside from the gazebo: check out the photos athttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/

Lake Katherine

Lake Katherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Katherine Palos Heights IL, It is located off Route 83 at:7402 Lake Katherine Drive Palos Heights, IL  For permission to shoot there call (708) 361-1873 there is a $75 fee to shoot there. Lake Katherine is a great place to shoot Chicago wedding photography in the south Chicago suburbs. It features Gardens, a great multi-stage waterfall, wooded areas. a bridge and some nice shady areas. PROS: Shady, waterfall, beautiful flowers, grassy areas. CONS: It costs $75 to shoot there. Chcek out Milestone photo and video’s photos there http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g114/

Fabyan Forest Preserve Geneva:1925 S. Batavia Ave. (RTE 25) Geneva IL. Fabian Forrest preserve is on the eastern banks of the scenic Fox River in Geneva. This pretty yet Unknown park features Scenic views of the Fox River and mini lighthouse, trees, shade, huge lawns, a bridge over the river and a beautiful restored Windmill built in 1875 and (featured on a famous stamp) that really works and you can even explore its workings. Pros: Shade, River views, Beautiful Lawns, Windmill is one of the nicest in Chicagoland, Undiscovered site has very few others taking pictures (no waiting) Cons: Long walk to picture area.

gardens5001


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philips Park Aurora

Philips Park is located at 901 ray moses drive Aurora IL. Philips park is a multi use park that has a zoo, golf course and sunken gardens.Thease sunken gardens are beautiful and are quite famous. However there is no shade there, so shooting on a sunny day can be tough to put people in the shade. This park can be better on a cloudy day. Pros: Cool location for photos with great flowers. Cons: no shade, possible fee for shooting.

Boy Scout Island, Saint Charles IL. It is located on the east side of route 31, about a half-mile north of North Avenue in Saint Charles IL. Boy scout Island is a peninsula that is used to launch boats on the Fox River in Saint Charles IL. This peninsula juts into the water to enable some great River views with the pretty and scenic views of the town of Saint Charles in the background of the river. This spot is beautiful at dusk as the lights of downtown Saint Charles glimmer and dance in the reflection on the water. Hotel Baker a beautiful hotel just south of the peninsula, it has similar views with a tiny Gazebo right on the edge of the water. Pros: Great river and city views, no fees, Cons: Small parking lot, not a lot of versatility with just the river view.

Island Park, Geneva Park District. Is located at Routes 25 & 38 in Geneva IL. Island Park is a peninsula that extends south of Roosevelt road and is between two tributaries of the Fox River. This park has many trees, flowers, ducks and beautiful river views. And there is a view of the Roosevelt avenue waterfall north of the bridge. Pros: Versatile place with many views of river, flowers, trees,; Lots of shade. Cons: park on Roosevelt and walk quite a ways to the pretty places for photos.

Copyright 2011 By Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo & Video All rights reserved. No Part of this article my be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.

 

Scenic Locations for wedding photos in Dupage county Ill.

Grau Mill Oak Brook

Grau Mill

Grau Mill is located in fullersberg woods forest preserve at 3800 York road in Oak Brook IL at the intersection of York and Spring roads. Grau Mill is on the Salt creek and is a working 150-year-old grist mill and museum. It features an easy to photograph bridge, beautiful working waterwheel, old time wheelhouse, and beautifully shaded views of wooded salt creek nature area. This location is popular because of its easy to get to location and it does not require a permit. It is one of the very few surviving buildings that was used by the “underground railroad” for abolitionists to hide runaway slaves. This gives this great location increased interest for couples of African American decent. This beautiful location has a lot of shade making it great for a sunny day; it is a favorite of mine and many Chicago wedding photographers .Pros: versatile place with millhouse, waterwheel, greenery, bridge, river views; lots of shade; easy to find and get to. Cons: Popular place, you might have to wait to take your turn in front of the waterwheel. Dave & Bob’s Favorite. Please click here and here to see more photos of this great location. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Renaissance_Oak_Brook/ andhttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g59/

 

Indian Lakes Hilton Lobby (hotel entrance)

Indian Lakes Hilton Lobby (hotel entrance)

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian Lakes Hilton Resort Lobby is located at: 250 West Schick Road Bloomingdale IL. Indian Lakes Hilton resort qualifies as a  Location for Chicago Wedding  Photos because they allow people to shoot their wedding photos there even if their wedding is not located at Indian Lakes resort. This is the place to go in DuPage county to do Chicagoland wedding photography on a rainy day or other inclement weather.  Indian lakes Lobby (hotel entrance on right) is designed for photos because they have skylights on the ceiling for natural light. There is a 2 sided wedding photography area both have a cool rock wall with a waterfall. In the foreground is a small pond and pond plants and trees. Pros: Indoor but looks like outdoor with skylights and pond, 2 sides so if the other side is being used you can use the other side and not interfere with the other wedding. Great waterfall, pond trees. Cons: You have to get permission to shoot there. Bridal party from another hall may feel uncomfortable. To see Chicago wedding photos from this location check these galleries: http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g127/ http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g90/ http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Indian_Lakes/ http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g92/


Cantigny Fountain

Cantigny’s Fountain

Cantigny of Wheaton: is located at 1 South 151 Winfield Road Wheaton IL.Cantigny is a memorial army museum and botanical garden located in Winfield IL road just south of Roosevelt road (RT38). It has 2 areas that are very different making this one of the most versatile places to shoot wedding photos. To the south we have the “masculine” area that features about 20 army tanks that are restored in a shady, wooded setting complete with bridges and benches. The groomsmen love to pose on the tanks and the bridesmaids pose in front of the tanks, this makes for some great images. On the Northern “feminine” side of Cantigny there are many flowers, ponds, a gazebo, stairs for group shots and a 30-foot diameter spray fountain that is shaded and is great for shots of the bridal party. I love this place because of its versatility and it has a lot of shade making it a great place for shooting on a sunny day. You do not have to have a Permit to shoot photos here. However they charge $5 per car and $40 per Limo (or bus) if the limo holds over 18 people. If a bus holds 35 or more people it will cost $70 instead Chicagoland wedding photo buffs will a lot of patriotism will love it here Pros: Versatile place with many different areas for different shots, Great spray fountain, lots of shade, army tanks for cool groomsman photos. Cons: Small entrance fee required. Dave & Bob’s Favorite. Click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Prairie-Landing/

Morton Arboretum Shade

Morton Arboretum

Morton Arboretum Lisle: Is Located at 4100 Illinois Route 53 Lisle IL.Morton Arboretum is huge, taking up hundreds of acres in Lisle IL. It is similar to Cantigny in that is features every type of tree in North America. It has open prairies, thick woods, bridges and river views of the DuPage River. There are some very hilly spots there. It is also pretty shady so it is good on a sunny day. There are also 2 reception halls on site that regularly feature weddings. It is very close to the huge Abbington reception hall of Glen Ellen. They do require a Permit of $125 to shoot there for photos. Pros: Versatile place with many areas for good and different shots, not crowed, lots of shade. Cons: Permit and pay required.  Please click hereto see more photos.  http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Morton_Arboretum/

Usher Park Gazebo in Itasca

Itasca Gazebo

Itasca Gazebo in Usher Park: The Itasca Gazebo is located on Irving park and Walnut roads in Itasca IL. This Gazebo is one of Chicagoland’s Prettiest Gazebos being white and is much larger than most Gazebos. There is not much shade there from trees, but the gazebo is great for shooting a bridal party. There is also a small bridge there for great bridal party shots. I don’t think you need a permit to shoot there. Pros: great gazebo looks great in photos, bridge makes this location more versatile. Cons: not much shade aside from the gazebo. Please click here to see more photos http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Holiday_Inn_Itasca/

Bartlet Gazebo

Bartlet Gazebo

Bartlett Gazebo: The Bartlett Gazebo is located on 101 North Avenue in Bartlett IL. This Gazebo is very large 32’ by 32’ and the park has a lot of trees so it is above average for shade. A permit costs $30 for 3 hours (suggested but not required) but is not required to shoot photos there. There is also a real log cabin there if you are doing a rustic wedding. Pros: Great looking gazebo is one of the largest, above average shade, easy parking. Cons: Place is not very versatile the gazebo is the only thing there (besides the log cabin) for photos. Pease click here to see more photos.   http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Stonegate/

0219 MilestonePV.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilder Park Elmhurst

Wilder Park Elmhurst IL is located on Prospect and church streets in elmhurst IL. Wilder park has a very pertty garden of flowers and bushes and a beautiful place for ceremonies (near Wilder Mansion, which was the original Elmhurst library years ago). It also has a small green house conservatory that can be used for wedding photos during inclement weather, (as long as you are only photographing 2 people at a time.) There is not much shade there so this is a great place for a cloudy day wedding. Pros: Great plants and plant archways for photos. Inside conservatory for indoor nature shots. Cons: Not much shade, conservatory is small inside and only be used for photos of 2-4 people at a time. Check out our wedding at the Wilder park adjoining Wilder park: http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g97/


Lilacia Park in summer

Lilacia Park

Lilacia Park Lombard. Is located at 150 South Park ave. in Lombard IL. Lilacia Park is world famousfor its lilac festival in mid may. The flowers in spring are second to none in Chicago. It features a wood deck overlooking a reflecting pond, rows of beautiful trees, flowers of many types, shady areas, statues & benches. Lilacia Has 1,200 lilac bushes and 25,000 tulips. This is very popular place for photos. There is a fee of $75 for 1 hour for photos or wedding ceremony. Chicago wedding photography is great here Pros: Great flowers, reflecting pond, lawns, benches and great shade. Cons: Fee of $75 required (only on Saturday) Milestone Digital uses this great location for engagement photos during the week. Please click hereand here to see more photos.  http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g62/and http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Arrowhead_Country_Club/


dsc_1

Lake Ellen Glen Ellen

Lake Ellen, Glen Ellen IL. Is located at 645 Lenox road Glen Ellen IL. Lake Ellen has beautiful huge Maple trees, Lake views, boathouse & a wood deck that overlooks the water & a veteran’s memorial. This park is small, but has great shade trees, and great lake views. Pros: Lake views, great trees, not popular for shooting. Cons: little shade near the lake. Please click here to see more photos.http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Indian_Lakes/

Churchill Woods

Churchill Woods Forest Preserve Glen Ellen. Is located along the south side of Saint Charles road in Glen Ellen between I355 and Riford Road. You can also enter from the other side of the river on Crescent road just west of I 355 bridge in Glen Ellen. Churchill woods has incredible woodsy views, Dupage river views, beautiful lawns, Limestone banks, walk a 100-foot long bridge to an island that is surrounded 360 degrees by water. This preserve is just plain beautiful, it features a huge accesable island in the middle of the Du page river system of Lagoons. Pros: great woodsy and river views, lots of shade, washrooms, picnic shelter, lots of parking, easy to find, Cons: Long walk from car if you enter on Saint Charles road, Lots of mosquitoes in the woods. Milestone Digital uses this location for engagement photos.\

McDonalds Headquarters

McDonald’s corporate campus Oak Brook. Is located at 2111 McDonald’s dive Oak Brook IL. McDonald’s corporate headquarters is a beautiful place that has a banquet hall and they cater their own weddings there. If you don’t have a wedding there you can still take pictures at this Great site. One place to shoot is by the salt creek river view. The best other place is overlooking the lagoon from the west side of the lagoon by the north-south drive.Pros: Shade, flowers Riverview, Cons: Interference from other wedding occurring there, hard to find. Please click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Empress/

Adams Park Wheaton IL. Adams park is located on the corner of seminary and Main street in downtown Wheaton IL. Adams park has a fountain, gazebo, flowers and benches in a beautiful shady setting right by the Wheaton Library. This park has a lot of trees so it is great to use on a sunny day. Pros: Shady area works great in pictures, has gazebo, flowers and fountain. Cons: Parking is harder in downtown Wheaton.

Ross Ferraro Park Carol Stream IL. Is located on Lies and Gary roads in Carol Stream IL.This Park has the 3 best things that a park needs for great photos (bridge, Fountain, Gazebo) but they did a bad job on the design so this park is not the picture place it that the designers had planned. First of all the fountain is internal, so you have to get in the center of the concrete fountain to actually see the pretty water spraying. You have to take pictures inside of a 15 or so foot circle to take photos with the water in the background. This means unless you are taking pictures of a few people at a time, you can’t zoom out enough to get a great shot of a full bridal party, unless you are using a fisheye lens (and fisheye lenses are not used all the time). Although the fountain is great for individual shots of the bride and groom. This park also has a bridge (to nowhere), which usually would be great for an awesome bridal party shot. However the bridge has a metal support bar on the sides that is exactly the height of bridal party member’s faces. Unless every member of the bridal party is a 7’ 6” NBA player, this bridge is completely useless for photos. There is a Gazebo that looks Pretty good and some flowers in several areas so this place is not bad especially if you are shooting a few people at a time in front of the pretty, internally curverd fountain. There is a fee to shoot there and if you are caught shooting without a permit, the fine is over $150. Pros: versatile place with both a Gazebo and Fountain, easy to find, easy to park. Public washroom Cons: Bridge is useless for photos; Fountain is hard to get wide enough for a shot of full bridal party, almost no shade at all. You must pay a fee (I think it is $75) or you can be fined for taking pictures without a permit.

Covered Bridge on the riverwalk

Covered bridge

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riverwalk Naperville: Located near Jackson and Webster streets in downtown Naperville IL. The riverwalk features an old time wooden covered bridge, beautiful trees, a fountain and it is on the banks of the beautiful DuPage River. The riverwalk also features some flowers and benches. Pros: great shade from the bridge, a place to shoot in a small drizzle because of the covered bridge. Cons: This is a popular place to shoot, be prepared to wait your turn. Check out a wedding shot at the Millennium carillon on the riverwalk.http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g11

Copyright 2011 Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo and Video. No part of this article may be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch

Scenic Locations for wedding Photos In Cook county suburbs Ill.

0647-milestonepvcom


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monument Park Rosemont

Monument Park waterfalls Rosemont Park District:Monument Park is on the NE corner of river road and Higgins road (Route 72) are the most popular suburban location. This artificial waterfall is made for the specific purpose of supplying a beautiful waterfall backdrop for the many wedding reception halls that surround O’Hare airport such a café ‘La Cave, Fountain Blue, and Rosewood banquets. These waterfalls even have the water colored blue the give a great looking photo that looks great in Chicago wedding pictures. There are several areas behind the waterfalls that feature some beautiful evergreen trees. This location requires a permit from the village of Rosemont it is $50 per half hour. There is a police officer there to make sure that you have a permit, they hopefully make sure there are not bystanders or crowds in your way when taking wedding pictures.Pros: Great looking waterfall photographs well, easy to get to. Located near O’Hare airport. Police make sure crowds don’t get in picture. Cons: Permit required and payment required, not as versatile as Community Park.

http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g94/

 

Community park Rosemont

 

 

 

Community Park waterfall

Community Park Is on Glen Lake & willow creek roads in Rosemont IL. (Behind the westin hotel) which is about 1/3 of a mile south west of the previously mentioned waterfalls on river road. This great location is more versatile than the other Rosemont location because it has a waterfall, a gazebo, pond with spray fountain and swans, a bridge, and it has beautiful flowers on a shady hill. It has plenty of shade, flowers, and a public washroom. Because of all these great things, it is one of my FAVORITE locations for Chicago wedding photos. The cost to shoot here is $50 per half hour. This location is not as often patrolled for people paying deposits as the one on Higgins. This is a place for Chicago wedding pictures!  Pros: Versatile spot has trees, flowers, pond, swans, gazebo, waterfall and lots of shade. Cons: Permit required $50 fee. Click here to see more photos.http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g66/

 

0668-milestonepvcom1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schaumburg City Hall

Schaumburg city hall is located at 101 Schaumburg Il. It is near the corner of summit and east Schaumburg road in Schaumburg. This is one of chicagoland’s best and most versatile locations fpr wedding photo and videos. This free location features 2 bridges, Spray pond with swans, gazebo,  sculptures and plenty of shade from beautiful weeping willow trees. This area west of woodfield mall is awesome to visit. Pros: Shade, many locations with 2 great bridges, Free, weeping willows are great for poses. Cons: None except, since it is also a police station location, I would assume no alcohol would be advised for this great location. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g95/


 

Botanical Gardens Glencoe

 

Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens are located at 1000 Lake Cook road in Glencoe IL. These gardens have it all, flowers, trees, scenic bridges, oriental gardens (a favorite), stairs for group shots, ponds and the beautiful Chicago river. Because there are both indoor and outdoor areas this place can be used rain or shine. One high note there is a beautiful evergreen hedge with marble sculptures that shows great depth. I have seen hundreds of wedding photos that use these beautiful 30 foot tall hedges. You need a permit to shoot here, it cost $125 for unlimited time and you can come on the day of the event. Pros: extremely versatile oriental gardens, shade, hedges, flowers and bridges make for a great variety of shots. Cons: permit required, EXPENSIVE! Click here and here to see more photos http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g67/ andhttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Botanical_Gardens_Romanian_Cultural_Center/

Wheeling Fountain on Dundee

Wheeling fountain on Dundee

The Wheeling fountain/Gazebo is located on the NE corner of Dundee (RTE 68) and Milwaukee (RTE 45) in wheeling IL. It has a cool looking limestone fountain, gazebo and flowers in a small area. This location has some shade under the gazebo, and it is easy to get to and it requires no permit. It is a great northwest Chicago wedding photo spots Pros: Great looking fountain requires no permit, easy to get to. Cons: no shade, buildings in background require careful composition to avoid getting in photos. Click here to see more photoshttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g63/


Bahi' Temple in Wilmette

Bahi’ Temple

Bahi’ Temple is located at 100 Linden ave. Wilmette IL. The Bahi’ temple is a beautiful building that has many pretty architecture innovations. It is the world’s largest poured concrete building. It makes for breathtaking backgrounds behind a bridal party. There are also a lot of flowers decorating the outside of the building. It is average for shade and a permit is not required. Pros: Beautiful backdrop, no permit required, pretty area near lake Michigan. Cons: not very versatile only a few shots you can do there, not much shade. Click here to see more photos.http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Phoenix_Resturaunt/

North School Park Arlington Heights IL

North School Park fountain

North School Park is located on Eastman and Arlington Heights roads, in downtown Arlington Heights. It Features a 30-foot diameter fountain, fancy brickwork with flowers and gardens and a Veterans memorial. I don’t think you need a permit to shoot at this awesome park that is handicap accessible. Pros: Pretty fountain has a brick step for layering bridal party, Decent shade, handicap accessible, Pretty flowers. Cons: Fountain is quite small. Sometimes the fountain is turned off for no reason.  Click here to see more photos    http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Rosewood/

Friendship Park Conservatory

Friendship Park conservatory

Friendship Park Conservatory Des Plaines park district: Is Located at 395 Algonquin Road Des Plains IL. It features indoor and outdoor botanical gardens. It is like a tiny version of the Chicago botanical gardens. It is great because it can be used rain or shine because there are beautiful plants both inside and outside. There is even a little gazebo inside just for wedding photos this is great when it is raining, but you still want photos with plant life. Wedding photos come out great here. Pros: Rain or shine use, beautiful flowers and plants, gazebo for wedding use. Cons: I think permit is required. Check out some wedding photos here:  http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g107/

Veterans Memorial Fountain Niles,is located on Milwaukee and Touhy on the NE corner in Niles. It is kitty corner from the Niles police station. This fountain features a beautiful white water fountain that is about 30 feet wide and there is a sidewalk in front that has plenty of room to pose people. The fountain is made out of limestone and is a great place for photos. Pros: Fountain is pretty and wide for great shots for big groups. Cons: Little or no shade.

Copyright 2011 Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo and Video. No part of this article may be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.

Scenic Locations for wedding photos, in Downtown Chicago IL

 

Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adler planetarium/ Shedd Aquarium is one of the most popular locations for doing scenic backgrounds for Chicago wedding Photography. It is located along Solidarity Drive (westbound) on Northerly Island adjacent to the Shedd aquarium on the lakefront. This location has in incredible scenic overlook of the Chicago skyline on the lakefront from the grassy northern facing shores. Because this island has water between the island and the skyline, it appears as if you are on a boat on the lake. There are trees on the northern shore of this island, to give shade for the Chicago Bridal Party, Bride and Groom for photos. Unfortunately the Chicago police don’t allow you to park for more than 5 minutes there, and they regularly tow vehicles that are left unattended for over 5-10 minutes. This are is very congested during a Chicago bears or sox games. Pros: Great skyline shots, some shade if you find a tree to shoot under. Cons: Parking headaches. Click these links to see  wedding s a this location http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Pazzos/and  http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Hyatt_of_Naperville/

Wrigley Building Fisheye

The Wrigley building is located on Michigan Avenue just north of the Chicago River drawbridge at 410 North Michigan Ave. Just south of the “Magnificent mile” It is one of Chicago’s most beautiful buildings and is lit incredibly well so day or night it is a real Chicago landmark. At this location you can take photos in from of the beautiful marble building, do shots by the Chicago River, which runs past this great landmark. Also there is a huge median that can be great for a bridal party shot amongst all the beautiful buildings on the “mag mile”. Sometimes on Saturdays there are fireworks are shot off the Michigan avenue drawbridge. This location has a large curved driveway that is easy to double park on. You can leave your car there about 10 minutes without problems. This is one of the best places for parking of the downtown locations. This is a real downtown Chicago wedding photo location! Pros: different shots by river, Michigan ave; building lit at night, shade, cool architecture. Cons: Parking limited to 10 minutes. Dave & Bob’s Favorite.Click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g60/


The Bean

The Bean

The Bean is one of Chicago’s newest attractions and is one if it’s most popular for wedding photos. Located on Michigan & Randolph Downtown, It is a shiny aluminum modern sculpture that is basically a distorted curved mirror that can reflect the Chicago skyline (distorted) behind a Bridal couple or bridal party. One problem here is there is no shade, so the bridal party might squint if it is a sunny day. Because of this, “The bean” is better on cloudy days. You would double park on Randolph just east of Michigan avenue for a short time without being towed. (you can only double park for 5-10 minutes) There are other places for photos in Millennium Park such as the gardens behind the bean. Aside from the parking limitations and lack of shade, large crowds are a problem, because you can’t control who will be in the photos. This is a favorite of Chicago wedding photographers! Pros: cool reflected skyline shots, great gardens for photos. Cons: Difficult to park, crowd problems, little shade. Please click hereto see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Hyatt_of_Naperville/

NorthAvenue Beach

North Avenue Beach

North Avenue Beach

North  Avenue Beach is located where north ave. (RT 64) (also known as La Salle) ends at the lakefront. It features a similar beautiful skyline shot similar to Adler, but there is no lake in the foreground of the skyline. Also there are some trees amongst the sand so you can shade the bridal party pretty easily. It also had great views of lake Michigan. Because it is not in the loop, parking is a lot easier than other downtown locations. However you should avoid this location during a Cubs games. Pros: great skyline shots, easier to park than other locations, versatile shooting areas. Cons: you need to walk a ways to get to the areas for photos, sand and cameras don’t mix. Dave’s Favorite. Click here to see more photoshttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g60/

 

Lincoln Park Conservatory: Is located at 2391 North Stockton Drive Chicago IL. This conservatory can be used rain or shine because it is both indoor and outdoor. It has most every kind of pretty flower or plant. There are some beautiful rose gardens just north of the building. There is a bridge south of the gardens that goes into the Lincoln Park zoo. This bridge yields an incredible view of the Chicago skyline. Just below the bridge there is a scenic spot where there is a scenic lagoon where there are paddleboats and swans.Parking is tough to find on Cannon drive. If you pay you can find a spot in the lot dedicated to the conservatory. Pros: Rain or shine use, great skyline shots, and beautiful flowers (best in Chicago). Cons: Little shade, parking headaches, Possible fees for indoor use.

Garfield Park Conservatory: Is located at 300 North Central Park Ave. Chicago IL. Similar to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Conservatory is a great place to take indoor photos rain or shine because most of the plant life is indoors in the huge greenhouse. Some of the tropical plants there can not normally grow in Illinois. There is much less outdoor plants life, unlike the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Pros: Rain or shine use, Beautiful flowers and plants. Cons: Not much outdoor plants, High humidity may cause camera lenses to fog up.

Buckingham Fountain: Buckingham fountain is a very popular attraction for wedding photos and is probably the most popular over the years. It is located where congress avenue (RT 290) ends at Columbus drive Park at Grant Park. It is the world’s largest fountain of its type. Buckingham is HUGE so a small bridal party will be dwarfed by it’s huge size. One way to cut the size difference is the have the bridal party be about 50-75 feet in front of the fountain and have the fountain in the background so it is smaller in the frame than it would usually be. There are beautiful rose gardens that flank the fountain and are even prettier than the fountain itself, for a very pretty background. One problem with this location is there is no shade around the fountain so the bridal party will probably squint a lot if it is a sunny day. It is preferable to put the bridal party on the east side of the fountain so the skyline (and the sun) will be behind the bridal party. This location is very congested, like the bean you can’t control how many strangers can get into your wedding photos. Pros: A classic Chicago landmark, great rose gardens, Cons: Crowds, no shade, no direct parking, use Grant Park garage, wind shifts can spray bridal party with water, fountain is not always running.

Copyright 2011 Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo and Video. No part of this article may be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.

Scenic Locations for wedding photo and video in Chicago Illinois

Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium / Shedd Aquarium: Adler is one of the most popular locations for doing scenic backgrounds for Chicago wedding Photography. It is located along Solidarity Drive (westbound) on Northerly Island adjacent to the Shedd aquarium on the lakefront. This location has in incredible scenic overlook of the Chicago skyline on the lakefront from the grassy northern facing shores. Because this island has water between the island and the skyline, it appears as if you are on a boat on the lake. There are trees on the northern shore of this island, to give shade for the Chicago Bridal Party, Bride and Groom for photos. Unfortunately the Chicago police don’t allow you to park for more than 5 minutes there, and they regularly tow vehicles that are left unattended for over 5-10 minutes. This are is very congested during a Chicago bears or sox games. Pros: Great skyline shots, some shade if you find a tree to shoot under. Cons: Parking headaches. Click Hereand Here to see more photos of this http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Pazzos/ http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Hyatt_of_Naperville/

 

 

The BeanThe Bean

The Bean is one of Chicago’s newest attractions and is one if it’s most popular for wedding photos. Located on Michigan & Randolph Downtown, It is a shiny aluminum modern sculpture that is basically a distorted curved mirror that can reflect the Chicago skyline (distorted) behind a Bridal couple or bridal party. One problem here is there is no shade, so the bridal party might squint if it is a sunny day. Because of this, “The bean” is better on cloudy days. You would double park on Randolph just east of Michigan avenue for a short time without being towed. (you can only double park for 5-10 minutes) There are other places for photos in Millennium Park such as the gardens behind the bean. Aside from the parking limitations and lack of shade, large crowds are a problem, because you can’t control who will be in the photos. Pros: cool reflected skyline shots, great gardens for photos. Cons: Difficult to park, crowd problems, little shade. Please click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Hyatt_of_Naperville/

Wrigley Building Fisheye

Wrigley Building

The Wrigley building is located on Michigan Avenue just north of the Chicago River drawbridge at 410 North Michigan Ave. Just south of the “Magnificent mile” It is one of Chicago’s most beautiful buildings and is lit incredibly well so day or night it is a real Chicago landmark. At this location you can take photos in from of the beautiful marble building, do shots by the Chicago River, which runs past this great landmark. Also there is a huge median that can be great for a bridal party shot amongst all the beautiful buildings on the “mag mile”. Sometimes on Saturdays there are fireworks are shot off the Michigan avenue drawbridge. This location has a large curved driveway that is easy to double park on. You can leave your car there about 10 minutes without problems. This is one of the best places for parking of the downtown locations. Pros: different shots by river, Michigan ave; building lit at night, shade, cool architecture. Cons: Parking limited to 10 minutes. Dave & Bob’s Favorite.Click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g60/

 

Buckingham Fountain: Buckingham fountain is a very popular attraction for wedding photos and is probably the most popular over the years. It is located where congress avenue (RT 290) ends at Columbus drive Park at Grant Park. It is the world’s largest fountain of its type. Buckingham is HUGE so a small bridal party will be dwarfed by it’s huge size. One way to cut the size difference is the have the bridal party be about 50-75 feet in front of the fountain and have the fountain in the background so it is smaller in the frame than it would usually be. There are beautiful rose gardens that flank the fountain and are even prettier than the fountain itself, for a very pretty background. One problem with this location is there is no shade around the fountain so the bridal party will probably squint a lot if it is a sunny day. It is preferable to put the bridal party on the east side of the fountain so the skyline (and the sun) will be behind the bridal party. This location is very congested, like the bean you can’t control how many strangers can get into your wedding photos. Pros: A classic Chicago landmark, great rose gardens, Cons: Crowds, no shade, no direct parking, use Grant Park garage, wind shifts can spray bridal party with water, fountain is not always running.

 

Northern and Western Chicago Locations

NorthAvenue Beach

North Avenue Beach

North  Avenue Beach is located where north ave. (RT 64) (also known as La Salle) ends at the lakefront. It features a similar beautiful skyline shot similar to Adler, but there is no lake in the foreground of the skyline. Also there are some trees amongst the sand so you can shade the bridal party pretty easily. It also had great views of lake Michigan. Because it is not in the loop, parking is a lot easier than other downtown locations. However you should avoid this location during a Cubs games. Pros: great skyline shots, easier to park than other locations, versatile shooting areas. Cons: you need to walk a ways to get to the areas for photos, sand and cameras don’t mix. Dave’s Favorite. Click here to see more photos http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g60/

 

Lincoln Park Conservatory: Is located at 2391 North Stockton Drive Chicago IL. This conservatory can be used rain or shine because it is both indoor and outdoor. It has most every kind of pretty flower or plant. There are some beautiful rose gardens just north of the building. There is a bridge south of the gardens that goes into the Lincoln Park zoo. This bridge yields an incredible view of the Chicago skyline. Just below the bridge there is a scenic spot where there is a scenic lagoon where there are paddleboats and swans.Parking is tough to find on Cannon drive. If you pay you can find a spot in the lot dedicated to the conservatory. Pros: Rain or shine use, great skyline shots, and beautiful flowers (best in Chicago). Cons: Little shade, parking headaches, Possible fees for indoor use.

 

Garfield Park Conservatory: Is located at 300 North Central Park Ave. Chicago IL. Similar to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Conservatory is a great place to take indoor photos rain or shine because most of the plant life is indoors in the huge greenhouse. Some of the tropical plants there can not normally grow in Illinois. There is much less outdoor plants life, unlike the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Pros: Rain or shine use, Beautiful flowers and plants. Cons: Not much outdoor plants, High humidity may cause camera lenses to fog up.

Suburban Chicago Locations

North Shore / Northen Cook County

 

0647-milestonepvcomMonument Park Waterfalls Rosemont

Monument Park waterfalls Rosemont Park District:Monument Park is on the NE corner of river road and Higgins road (Route 72) are the most popular suburban location. This artificial waterfall is made for the specific purpose of supplying a beautiful waterfall backdrop for the many wedding reception halls that surround O’Hare airport such a café ‘La Cave, Fountain Blue, and Rosewood banquets. These waterfalls even have the water colored blue the give a great looking photo that looks great in pictures. There are several areas behind the waterfalls that feature some beautiful evergreen trees. This location requires a permit from the village of Rosemont it is $50 per half hour. There is a police officer there to make sure that you have a permit, they hopefully make sure there are not bystanders or crowds in your way when taking pictures. Pros: Great looking waterfall photographs well, easy to get to. Located near O’Hare airport. Police make sure crowds don’t get in picture. Cons: Permit required and payment required, not as versatile as Community Park.

http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g94/

Community park Rosemont

Community Park waterfall

Community Park Is on Glen Lake & willow creek roads in Rosemont IL. (Behind the westin hotel) which is about 1/3 of a mile south west of the previously mentioned waterfalls on river road. This great location is more versatile than the other Rosemont location because it has a waterfall, a gazebo, pond with spray fountain and swans, a bridge, and it has beautiful flowers on a shady hill. It has plenty of shade, flowers, and a public washroom. Because of all these great things, it is one of my FAVORITE locations for wedding photos. The cost to shoot here is $50 per half hour. This location is not as often patrolled for people paying deposits as the one on Higgins. Pros: Versatile spot has trees, flowers, pond, swans, gazebo, waterfall and lots of shade. Cons: Permit required $50 fee. Click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g66/

 

0668-milestonepvcom1

Schaumburg city hall

Schaumburg city hall is located at 101 Schaumburg Il. It is near the corner of summit and east Schaumburg road in Schaumburg. This is one of chicagoland’s best and most versatile locations. This free location features 2 bridges, Spray pond with swans, gazebo,  sculptures and plenty of shade from beautiful weeping willow trees. This area west of woodfield mall is awesome to visit. Pros: Shade, many locations with 2 great bridges, Free, weeping willows are great for poses. Cons: None except, since it is also a police station location, I would assume no alcohol would be advised for this great location. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g95/

Botanical Gardens Glencoe

Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens are located at 1000 Lake Cook road in Glencoe IL. These gardens have it all, flowers, trees, scenic bridges, oriental gardens (a favorite), stairs for group shots, ponds and the beautiful Chicago river. Because there are both indoor and outdoor areas this place can be used rain or shine. One high note there is a beautiful evergreen hedge with marble sculptures that shows great depth. I have seen hundreds of wedding photos that use these beautiful 30 foot tall hedges. You need a permit to shoot here, it cost $125 for unlimited time and you can come on the day of the event. Pros: extremely versatile oriental gardens, shade, hedges, flowers and bridges make for a great variety of shots. Cons: permit required, EXPENSIVE! Click here and here to see more photos http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g67/ and http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Botanical_Gardens_Romanian_Cultural_Center/

Wheeling Fountain on Dundee

Wheeling fountain on Dundee

The Wheeling fountain/Gazebo is located on the NE corner of Dundee (RTE 68) and Milwaukee (RTE 45) in wheeling IL. It has a cool looking limestone fountain, gazebo and flowers in a small area. This location has some shade under the gazebo, and it is easy to get to and it requires no permit. Pros: Great looking fountain requires no permit, easy to get to. Cons: no shade, buildings in background require careful composition to avoid getting in photos. Click here to see more photos http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g63/

Bahi' Temple in Wilmette

Bahi’ Temple

Bahi’ Temple is located at 100 Linden ave. Wilmette IL. The Bahi’ temple is a beautiful building that has many pretty architecture innovations. It is the world’s largest poured concrete building. It makes for breathtaking backgrounds behind a bridal party. There are also a lot of flowers decorating the outside of the building. It is average for shade and a permit is not required. Pros: Beautiful backdrop, no permit required, pretty area near lake Michigan. Cons: not very versatile only a few shots you can do there, not much shade. Click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Phoenix_Resturaunt/

North School Park Arlington Heights IL

North School Park fountain

North School Park is located on Eastman and Arlington Heights roads, in downtown Arlington Heights. It Features a 30-foot diameter fountain, fancy brickwork with flowers and gardens and a Veterans memorial. I don’t think you need a permit to shoot at this awesome park that is handicap accessible. Pros: Pretty fountain has a brick step for layering bridal party, Decent shade, handicap accessible, Pretty flowers. Cons: Fountain is quite small. Sometimes the fountain is turned off for no reason.  Click here to see more photos     http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Rosewood/

Friendship Park Conservatory Des Plaines park district: Is Located at 395 Algonquin Road Des Plains IL. It features indoor and outdoor botanical gardens. It is like a tiny version of the Chicago botanical gardens. It is great because it can be used rain or shine because there are beautiful plants both inside and outside. There is even a little gazebo inside just for wedding photos this is great when it is raining, but you still want photos with plant life. Pros: Rain or shine use, beautiful flowers and plants, gazebo for wedding use. Cons: I think permit is required.

Veterans Memorial Fountain Niles,is located on Milwaukee and Touhy on the NE corner in Niles. It is kitty corner from the Niles police station. This fountain features a beautiful white water fountain that is about 30 feet wide and there is a sidewalk in front that has plenty of room to pose people. The fountain is made out of limestone and is a great place for photos. Pros: Fountain is pretty and wide for great shots for big groups. Cons: Little or no shade.

Dupage County, Western suburbs

Grau Mill Oak Brook

Grau Mill

Grau Mill is located in fullersberg woods forest preserve at 3800 York road in Oak Brook IL at the intersection of York and Spring roads. Grau Mill is on the Salt creek and is a working 150-year-old grist mill and museum. It features an easy to photograph bridge, beautiful working waterwheel, old time wheelhouse, and beautifully shaded views of wooded salt creek nature area. This location is popular because of its easy to get to location and it does not require a permit. It is one of the very few surviving buildings that was used by the “underground railroad” for abolitionists to hide runaway slaves. This gives this great location increased interest for couples of African American decent. This beautiful location has a lot of shade making it great for a sunny day; it is a favorite of mine.Pros: versatile place with millhouse, waterwheel, greenery, bridge, river views; lots of shade; easy to find and get to. Cons: Popular place, you might have to wait to take your turn in front of the waterwheel. Dave & Bob’s Favorite. Please click here and here to see more photos of this great location.  http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Renaissance_Oak_Brook/ and http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g59/

Cantigny Fountain

Cantigny’s Fountain

Cantigny of Wheaton: is located at 1 South 151 Winfield Road Wheaton IL.Cantigny is a memorial army museum and botanical garden located in Winfield IL road just south of Roosevelt road (RT38). It has 2 areas that are very different making this one of the most versatile places to shoot wedding photos. To the south we have the “masculine” area that features about 20 army tanks that are restored in a shady, wooded setting complete with bridges and benches. The groomsmen love to pose on the tanks and the bridesmaids pose in front of the tanks, this makes for some great images. On the Northern “feminine” side of Cantigny there are many flowers, ponds, a gazebo, stairs for group shots and a 30-foot diameter spray fountain that is shaded and is great for shots of the bridal party. I love this place because of its versatility and it has a lot of shade making it a great place for shooting on a sunny day. You do not have to have a Permit to shoot photos here. However they charge $5 per car and $40 per Limo (or bus) if the limo holds over 18 people. If a bus holds 35 or more people it will cost $70 instead Pros: Versatile place with many different areas for different shots, Great spray fountain, lots of shade, army tanks for cool groomsman photos. Cons: Small entrance fee required. Dave & Bob’s Favorite. Click here to see more photos.  http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Prairie-Landing/

Morton Arboretum Shade

Morton Arboretum

Morton Arboretum Lisle: Is Located at 4100 Illinois Route 53 Lisle IL.Morton Arboretum is huge, taking up hundreds of acres in Lisle IL. It is similar to Cantigny in that is features every type of tree in North America. It has open prairies, thick woods, bridges and river views of the DuPage River. There are some very hilly spots there. It is also pretty shady so it is good on a sunny day. There are also 2 reception halls on site that regularly feature weddings. It is very close to the huge Abbington reception hall of Glen Ellen. They do require a Permit of $125 to shoot there for photos. Pros: Versatile place with many areas for good and different shots, not crowed, lots of shade. Cons: Permit and pay required.  Please click here to see more photos.  http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Morton_Arboretum/

Usher Park Gazebo in Itasca

Itasca Gazebo

Itasca Gazebo in Usher Park: The Itasca Gazebo is located on Irving park and Walnut roads in Itasca IL. This Gazebo is one of Chicagoland’s Prettiest Gazebos being white and is much larger than most Gazebos. There is not much shade there from trees, but the gazebo is great for shooting a bridal party. There is also a small bridge there for great bridal party shots. I don’t think you need a permit to shoot there. Pros: great gazebo looks great in photos, bridge makes this location more versatile. Cons: not much shade aside from the gazebo. Please click here to see more photos  http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Holiday_Inn_Itasca/

Bartlet Gazebo

Bartlett Gazebo

Bartlet Gazebo

Bartlett Gazebo: The Bartlett Gazebo is located on 101 North Avenue in Bartlett IL. This Gazebo is very large 32’ by 32’ and the park has a lot of trees so it is above average for shade. A permit costs $30 for 3 hours (suggested but not required) but is not required to shoot photos there. There is also a real log cabin there if you are doing a rustic wedding. Pros: Great looking gazebo is one of the largest, above average shade, easy parking. Cons: Place is not very versatile the gazebo is the only thing there (besides the log cabin) for photos. Pease click here to see more photos.    http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Stonegate/

0219 MilestonePV.com

Wilder Park Elmhurst IL is located on Prospect and church streets in elmhurst IL. Wilder park has a very pertty garden of flowers and bushes and a beautiful place for ceremonies (near Wilder Mansion, which was the original Elmhurst library years ago). It also has a small green house conservatory that can be used for wedding photos during inclement weather, (as long as you are only photographing 2 people at a time.) There is not much shade there so this is a great place for a cloudy day wedding. Pros: Great plants and plant archways for photos. Inside conservatory for indoor nature shots. Cons: Not much shade, conservatory is small inside and only be used for photos of 2-4 people at a time.

Riverwalk Naperville: Located near Jackson and Webster streets in downtown Naperville IL. The river walk features an old time wooden covered bridge, beautiful trees, a fountain and it is on the banks of the beautiful DuPage River. The riverwalk also features some flowers and benches. Pros: great shade from the bridge, a place to shoot in a small drizzle because of the covered bridge. Cons: This is a popular place to shoot, be prepared to wait your turn.

 

Lilacia Park in summer

Lilacia Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lilacia Park

Lilacia Park Lombard. Is located at 150 South Park ave. in Lombard IL. Lilacia Park is world famousfor its lilac festival in mid may. The flowers in spring are second to none in Chicago. It features a wood deck overlooking a reflecting pond, rows of beautiful trees, flowers of many types, shady areas, statues & benches. Lilacia Has 1,200 lilac bushes and 25,000 tulips. This is very popular place for photos. There is a fee of $75 for 1 hour for photos or wedding ceremony. Pros: Great flowers, reflecting pond, lawns, benches and great shade. Cons: Fee of $75 required (only on Saturday) Milestone Digital uses this great location for engagement photos during the week. Please click here and here to see more photos.  http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g62/ and http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Arrowhead_Country_Club/

dsc_1

Lake Ellen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Ellen, Glen Ellen IL. Is located at 645 Lenox road Glen Ellen IL. Lake Ellen has beautiful huge Maple trees, Lake views, boathouse & a wood deck that overlooks the water & a veteran’s memorial. This park is small, but has great shade trees, and great lake views. Pros: Lake views, great trees, not popular for shooting. Cons: little shade near the lake. Please click here to see more photos.    http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Indian_Lakes/

 

Churchill Woods

Churchill Woods

Churchill Woods Forest Preserve Glen Ellen. Is located along the south side of Saint Charles road in Glen Ellen between I355 and Riford Road. You can also enter from the other side of the river on Crescent road just west of I 355 bridge in Glen Ellen. Churchill woods has incredible woodsy views, Dupage river views, beautiful lawns, Limestone banks, walk a 100-foot long bridge to an island that is surrounded 360 degrees by water. This preserve is just plain beautiful, it features a huge accesable island in the middle of the Du page river system of Lagoons. Pros: great woodsy and river views, lots of shade, washrooms, picnic shelter, lots of parking, easy to find, Cons: Long walk from car if you enter on Saint Charles road, Lots of mosquitoes in the woods. Milestone Digital uses this location for engagement photos.

McDonalds Headquarters

McDonalds

McDonald’s corporate campus Oak Brook. Is located at 2111 McDonald’s dive Oak Brook IL. McDonald’s corporate headquarters is a beautiful place that has a banquet hall and they cater their own weddings there. If you don’t have a wedding there you can still take pictures at this Great site. One place to shoot is by the salt creek river view. The best other place is overlooking the lagoon from the west side of the lagoon by the north-south drive.Pros: Shade, flowers Riverview, Cons: Interference from other wedding occurring there, hard to find. Please click here to see more photos.  http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Empress/

Adams Park Wheaton IL. Adams park is located on the corner of seminary and Main street in downtown Wheaton IL. Adams park has a fountain, gazebo, flowers and benches in a beautiful shady setting right by the Wheaton Library. This park has a lot of trees so it is great to use on a sunny day. Pros: Shady area works great in pictures, has gazebo, flowers and fountain. Cons: Parking is harder in downtown Wheaton.


Ross Ferraro Park Carol Stream IL. Is located on Lies and Gary roads in Carol Stream IL.This Park has the 3 best things that a park needs for great photos (bridge, Fountain, Gazebo) but they did a bad job on the design so this park is not the picture place it that the designers had planned. First of all the fountain is internal, so you have to get in the center of the concrete fountain to actually see the pretty water spraying. You have to take pictures inside of a 15 or so foot circle to take photos with the water in the background. This means unless you are taking pictures of a few people at a time, you can’t zoom out enough to get a great shot of a full bridal party, unless you are using a fisheye lens (and fisheye lenses are not used all the time). Although the fountain is great for individual shots of the bride and groom. This park also has a bridge (to nowhere), which usually would be great for an awesome bridal party shot. However the bridge has a metal support bar on the sides that is exactly the height of bridal party member’s faces. Unless every member of the bridal party is a 7’ 6” NBA player, this bridge is completely useless for photos. There is a Gazebo that looks Pretty good and some flowers in several areas so this place is not bad especially if you are shooting a few people at a time in front of the pretty, internally curverd fountain. There is a fee to shoot there and if you are caught shooting without a permit, the fine is over $150. Pros: versatile place with both a Gazebo and Fountain, easy to find, easy to park. Public washroom Cons: Bridge is useless for photos; Fountain is hard to get wide enough for a shot of full bridal party, almost no shade at all. You must pay a fee (I think it is $75) or you can be fined for taking pictures without a permit.

 

Kane County, Far west suburbs

Fabyan Forest Preserve Geneva:1925 S. Batavia Ave. (RTE 25) Geneva IL. Fabian Forrest preserve is on the eastern banks of the scenic Fox River in Geneva. This pretty yet Unknown park features Scenic views of the Fox River and mini lighthouse, trees, shade, huge lawns, a bridge over the river and a beautiful restored Windmill built in 1875 and (featured on a famous stamp) that really works and you can even explore its workings. Pros: Shade, River views, Beautiful Lawns, Windmill is one of the nicest in Chicagoland, Undiscovered site has very few others taking pictures (no waiting) Cons: Long walk to picture area.

gardens5001

Philips Park is located at 901 ray moses drive Aurora IL. Philips park is a multi use park that has a zoo, golf course and sunken gardens.Thease sunken gardens are beautiful and are quite famous. However there is no shade there, so shooting on a sunny day can be tough to put people in the shade. This park can be better on a cloudy day. Pros: Cool location for photos with great flowers. Cons: no shade, possible fee for shooting.

Boy Scout Island, Saint Charles IL. It is located on the east side of route 31, about a half-mile north of North Avenue in Saint Charles IL. Boy scout Island is a peninsula that is used to launch boats on the Fox River in Saint Charles IL. This peninsula juts into the water to enable some great River views with the pretty and scenic views of the town of Saint Charles in the background of the river. This spot is beautiful at dusk as the lights of downtown Saint Charles glimmer and dance in the reflection on the water. Hotel Baker a beautiful hotel just south of the peninsula, it has similar views with a tiny Gazebo right on the edge of the water. Pros: Great river and city views, no fees, Cons: Small parking lot, not a lot of versatility with just the river view.

Island Park, Geneva Park District. Is located at Routes 25 & 38 in Geneva IL. Island Park is a peninsula that extends south of Roosevelt road and is between two tributaries of the Fox River. This park has many trees, flowers, ducks and beautiful river views. And there is a view of the Roosevelt avenue waterfall north of the bridge. Pros: Versatile place with many views of river, flowers, trees,; Lots of shade. Cons: park on Roosevelt and walk quite a ways to the pretty places for photos.

Southwest suburbs

Worth Water Reclaimation District

Worth Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Worth IL. It is located at  115th & Harlem just of the bridge on the east side. This place is awesome, it is free to use, you just need to call 312-751-5600 and get permission to shoot there. There are several bridges, several layers of water falls, and many weeping willow trees. There is also a building that has posts and a cool vanishing point in the shade. PROS: Free use, waterfalls, not used as much as other places, it ahs many places to shoot with waterfalls, lakes, trees and bridges as scenery. Cons: none Check out: http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Georgios_Orthodox/ and   http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Garden_Chalet/

Oak Lawn City Hall

Oak Lawn City Hall (Gazebo), Oak Lawn IL. Oak lawn city hall is located just north of 95th street at 9446 South Raymond avenue, Oak Lawn IL. The actual Gazebo is right behind the City Hall. Please call 708-636-4400 for info on permission to shoot here. I love this place, though it is not very popular so you won’t have to fight the crowds to shoot here. I took this picture around Christmas and it looked awesome. There is a large field lined with bushes and at one end, a huge gazebo, decorated with Christmas lights! PROS: Gazebo is great for shade, Located right by 95th street, Christmas lights lend a mood for night shots. I do not think there is a fee to shoot there. CONS: Not alot of shade aside from the gazebo: check out the photos at http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g99/

Lake Katherine Palos Heights IL, It is located off Route 83 at:7402 Lake Katherine Drive Palos Heights, IL  For permission to shoot there call (708) 361-1873 there is a $75 fee to shoot there. Lake Katherine is a great place to shoot. It features Gardens, a great waterfall and some nice shady areas. PROS: Shady, waterfall, beautiful flowers, grassy areas. CONS: It costs $75 to shoot there.

Copyright 2011 Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo and Video. No part of this article may be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.