Chicago is a vibrant city filled with endless opportunities to capture stunning photos. From iconic landmarks like Cloud Gate to lesser-known hidden gems, there's no shortage of photo spots for travelers to explore. This blog post uncovers some of the best Chicago photo spots to help you capture perfect pictures and make lasting memories.

The Bean: Cloud Gate


If you're looking for the perfect spot to take a photo in Chicago, Cloud Gate - also known as "The Bean" - should be at the top of your list. Located in Millennium Park, this iconic sculpture designed by artist Anish Kapoor comprises 168 stainless steel plates and reflects the city's skyline like a distorted mirror. Plus, with its unique shape and shiny surface, The Bean makes for a one-of-a-kind photo backdrop that's sure to impress.

Cloud Gate, or "The Bean" in Chicago, is made up of 168 stainless steel plates and reflects the city's skyline like a distorted mirror.

To get the best shot possible at The Bean, it's essential to keep a few things in mind. First, try visiting early in the morning or late at night when fewer crowds are around. Also, consider playing with angles and perspective – from below or above – for added visual interest. And don't forget about other nearby photo spots like Adler Planetarium or BP Pedestrian Bridge overlooking the Chicago River, where you can capture stunning city views alongside famous landmarks such as Chicago Sign!

Millennium Park


Pritzker Pavilion: This iconic outdoor performance venue is a must-visit spot for anyone interested in unique architecture. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the pavilion's undulating silver curves will surely capture your attention and make for stunning photos.

Lurie Garden: Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and find beauty in nature at Lurie Garden. Located in Millennium Park, this 5-acre garden boasts an array of vibrant flowers, plants, and wildlife that provide endless photo opportunities.

Crown Fountain: Looking to add some playfulness to your photos? Look no further than Crown Fountain! With its two 50-foot towers that project images onto water cascading down into a shallow reflecting pool below, this popular attraction is the perfect backdrop for fun and memorable shots.

Chicago'sdon'tBonus Tip: For even more breathtaking views of Chicago's skyline, walk along BP Pedestrian Bridge or head over to Adler Planetarium for panoramic vistas of Lake Michigan and the cityscape. And don't forget to snap a photo with the iconic Chicago Sign as your backdrop while exploring Millennium Park!

Tips for Photographing The Bean

Playing with Reflections: To capture unique angles of The Bean, try playing with reflections. You can take stunning shots by positioning yourself or your subject in a way that reflects off the curved surface of the sculpture. For instance, you could try capturing a reflection of Adler Planetarium or BP Pedestrian Bridge on The Bean's character.

Be creative and experiment with different angles to get the perfect shot.

Watching is Key: As one of Chicago's most popular tourist attractions, crowds around The Bean can be overwhelming during peak hours. If you want to avoid this hustle and bustle, plan your visit early in the morning when fewer tourists are around. Additionally, watch for weather conditions - shooting during sunrise or sunset will give you softer light and more dramatic skies over Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.

Experimenting With Perspectives: Using people and objects as props can add depth to your photos, making them more interesting than just taking pictures from straight-on views. Incorporating Chicago Sign into your composition allows it to stand out among other photos taken at Millennium Park while adding context about where it was taken! Furthermore, using people as subjects helps create scale, which gives viewers an idea of how massive Cloud Gate truly is!

Chicago Skyline


There's no shortage of breathtaking views. Chicago's skyline is a sight to behold, and there are many incredible spots around the city where travelers can capture stunning photos. From the iconic Navy Pier to the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. However, if you're looking for something unique and off-the-beaten path, consider exploring some hidden gems throughout the city. You never know what kind of fantastic shots you'll be able to capture!

When it comes to photographing the Chicago skyline, timing is everything. The best time for photography enthusiasts to shoot this magnificent view is early in the morning or dusk when the sky has a beautiful blend of colors that perfectly compliments its tall buildings. Additionally, don't forget about composition - try experimenting with different angles and perspectives for truly unique shots that will make your memories last forever.

Navy Pier


If you're looking for the perfect photo spots in Chicago, Navy Pier should be on your list. Here are some must-see locations to capture stunning photos:

  • Capture the Ferris Wheel at Night: The iconic Ferris wheel is a sight to behold, especially when lit with colorful lights. Get creative with your angles and framing to capture the beauty of this classic attraction.
  • Take a Shot of Lake Michigan from the South Dock: Navy Pier offers fantastic views of Lake Michigan, one of North America's largest lakes. Head down to the south dock for panoramic shots that showcase its sheer size and natural beauty.
  • Shoot the Fireworks Display during Summer Nights: During summer nights, Navy Pier puts on an impressive fireworks display that attracts both locals and tourists alike. Position yourself near the end of the pier for unobstructed views and snap away as explosions light up the sky.

Navy Pier has so much more than just these three locations - explore every nook and cranny to find hidden gems waiting to be discovered!

360 Chicago Observation Deck


Get ready for breathtaking views of downtown Chicago during sunset from the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. This is one of the best spots to capture unforgettable photos of the city skyline and Lake Michigan. Zoom in on famous landmarks such as Willis Tower, Navy Pier, and John Hancock Center for unique perspectives that will make your friends back home envious.

Trying out time-lapse photography is a must on this observation deck. Capture stunning shots of the city lights illuminating as night falls over Chicago. With some creativity, you can take unique photos here to impress your followers on social media!

Tips for Photographing the Chicago Skyline

Use a tripod to stabilize your camera and reduce blur. The skyline can be stunning at night, but keeping your camera steady is essential for the best results. Experiment with different angles and heights for variety. The Chicago skyline is one of the most photographed in the world, so try something a little different to make your photos stand out. Find interesting foregrounds to add depth and context. Including something in the foreground can help give scale and perspective to your image.

  • Use a Tripod
  • Try Different Angles
  • Add Foregrounds

Street Art


Street art is a vibrant part of Chicago's cultural landscape and offers travelers plenty of opportunities to capture unique photos. One of the best areas for street art is the Wabash Arts Corridor, which features large murals and installations by local artists. Another great spot is Logan Square, where visitors can find colorful graffiti adorning buildings and alleyways.

payingWhen photographing street art, it's essential to pay attention to lighting and angles is necessary. Try shooting early or late afternoon when the light is softer and more flattering. Experiment with different perspectives, such as getting low to capture a mural from below or shooting from above for an aerial view. And don't be afraid to get up close - capturing the details can make for some truly stunning shots.

Wabash Arts Corridor

The Wabash Arts Corridor is a must-visit destination for any avid photographer looking to capture unique and vibrant images of Chicago. The colorful murals on the walls of buildings are a standout feature, showcasing an array of styles from abstract shapes to lifelike portraits. But don't overlook the artistic graffiti in alleys and side streets; these hidden gems offer an edgier backdrop for your photoshoots. And if you're looking for something extraordinary, keep an eye out for the unique sculptures and installations that dot the corridor, providing unexpected pops of color and texture against the city's skyline.

Logan Square

Logan Square is the perfect spot if you're looking for unique and picturesque historic architecture to capture in your photos. Stroll down Milwaukee Avenue and snap a shot of the stunning Logan Theatre with its iconic marquee sign. But don't stop there - keep exploring, and you'll find plenty of other hidden gems waiting to be photographed.

Logan Square isn't just rich in architectural beauty and is home to lively street scenes filled with people enjoying restaurants, shops, and more. Capture the energy of this neighborhood by taking candid shots of locals relaxing at cafes or strolling along busy sidewalks.

For those who prefer natural beauty over cityscapes, head to Palmer Square Park, where you can snap gorgeous photos amidst lush greenery. This popular outdoor spot offers ample opportunities for nature photography, from capturing blooming flowers during springtime or striking fall foliage later in the year.

Tips for Photographing Street Art

Experiment with different angles and perspectives to capture the unique aspects of each piece of street art. Instead of simply taking a frontal shot, try shooting from above or below to add an exciting twist. Don't be afraid to get up close and personal with the artwork - focus on details like texture, color, and shape for a more dynamic photo.

Play around with lighting when photographing street art. Try capturing shots during different times of day, such as sunrise or sunset, when the light is softer and warmer. Alternatively, use artificial lights at night to highlight specific parts of the artwork you want to showcase in your photos.

When photographing street art in Chicago (or anywhere else), it's essential to respect artists' work by not defacing or damaging it. Always provide proper credit when sharing your photos online so that others can appreciate your photography skills and the talent behind each piece of street art you capture.

Lake Michigan


With its crystal-clear blue water and stunning skyline views, Lake Michigan offers many photo opportunities for Chicago travelers. One hidden gem to capture breathtaking photos is North Avenue Beach. This popular spot provides a perfect view of the city's skyline while you relax on the sandy beach or stroll down the pier.

Another picturesque location is Promontory Point in Burnham Park. The park juts into Lake Michigan, offering panoramic water views and downtown Chicago. Whether you're taking shots at sunrise or sunset, this scenic spot won't disappoint! And remember, when photographing Lake Michigan pay attention to lighting and weather conditions for the best results!

North Avenue Beach


North Avenue Beach is a must-visit destination for travelers looking to capture stunning photos of Chicago. With the city skyline in the background, colorful beach umbrellas and chairs, and a lighthouse that offers a unique photo opportunity, this beach has everything you need to take your photography skills up a notch.

Here are some highlights of what North Avenue Beach has to offer:

  • The picturesque view of the Chicago skyline makes for an impressive backdrop.
  • The colorful beach umbrellas and chairs provide pops of color against the sand and water.
  • The lighthouse at North Avenue Beach offers visitors a unique photo opportunity as they can pose with it in their shots.

Promontory Point

Promontory Point is a must-visit spot if you're looking for a panoramic view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. This hidden gem offers breathtaking views that will make your Instagram followers jealous. Rustic stone steps lead down to the water's edge, providing the perfect photo backdrop for those looking to capture stunning shots.

Beyond the impressive cityscape, Promontory Point boasts beautiful natural settings with colorful foliage. Whether you're snapping pics during fall when leaves are at their most vibrant or in summer when flowers dot the landscape, this location is an excellent choice for photographers of all skill levels. So grab your camera and head to Promontory Point - an experience you won't want to miss!

Tips for Photographing Lake Michigan

Golden hour is the best time to capture stunning photos of Lake Michigan. During this time, the lighting conditions are perfect for photography. Experiment with long exposure shots to capture the movement of the waves or clouds. This technique can create a dramatic effect and add depth to your photo.

Utilize the "rule of thirds" composition technique when taking photos of Lake Michigan. This means dividing your frame into thirds horizontally and vertically, then placing essential elements of your image at one or more intersections. It provides a balanced feel to your photo while adding interest and drawing attention to specific parts of the shot. Using these tips, you can take beautiful pictures that will serve as unforgettable memories of your trip!

Photographing Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago


Chicago, known for its vibrant cityscape and iconic landmarks, offers many photography opportunities for amateurs and professionals. Among the many captivating locations, Lincoln Park Zoo is a must-visit spot for photographers seeking unique and memorable shots. Situated in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, this urban oasis provides an enchanting blend of wildlife, nature, and architectural beauty. Here are some tips to make the most of your photography experience at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Explore Different Perspectives: Lincoln Park Zoo offers diverse subjects, from exotic animals to stunning landscapes. Experiment with various angles and focal lengths to capture the personality and essence of the wildlife. Get close-up shots of animal details, or step back to include their habitat and surroundings. Don't be afraid to try different compositions to create visually engaging images.

Utilize Natural Light: The zoo's outdoor exhibits benefit from ample natural light, especially during golden and blue hours. Plan your visit accordingly to take advantage of the warm and soft lighting conditions. Play with shadows and silhouettes, allowing the interplay of light and dark to add depth and drama to your photographs.

Capture Candid Moments: Observing the animals' natural behavior can lead to captivating photographs. Be patient and ready to capture spontaneous moments, whether a playful interaction between animals or a tender moment between a parent and offspring. Candid shots often convey the true essence and beauty of wildlife.

Embrace the Zoo's Architecture: Beyond the animal exhibits, Lincoln Park Zoo features stunning architecture that adds a unique charm to your photographs. Capture the ornate details of the historic buildings, or use them as a backdrop for portraits and street photography. Explore the hidden corners and find creative ways to incorporate the architecture into your shots.

With its diverse flora, fauna, and captivating architecture, Lincoln Park Zoo offers endless possibilities for photographers seeking to capture the essence of Chicago's beauty. Once you've captured your stunning images, don't let them gather digital dust. Consider entering them into photography contests to showcase your talent and gain recognition. Viewbug, a renowned photography platform, hosts regular city and architecture-themed competitions. Here are a few recent contests you may want to explore:

  • City Views Photo Contest: Link
  • Architectural Masterpieces Photo Contest: Link

Entering these contests not only allows you to showcase your work but also allows you to connect with a community of like-minded photographers and gain valuable feedback. So, unleash your creativity and capture the beauty of Lincoln Park Zoo and the vibrant city of Chicago through your lens.

Final Thoughts

If you're visiting Chicago, add Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory to your list of must-visit spots. These locations offer great opportunities for animal and nature photography. The Nature Boardwalk, with its scenic walkways and honeycomb structures, is also a good choice for capturing unique shots.

For those looking to capture the city's iconic architecture, the Chicago Theatre and Marina City are great options. With so many hidden gems to uncover in Chicago, you're sure to find the perfect spot to take your photography skills to the next level.