Engagement Session Location Ideas- Nature Backdrop

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For Brides


One of the questions I get asked often is what location I recommend for engagement sessions. This is such an awesome question to ask!

There are so many fun locations in our area!

With that in mind, here are a few questions I like to ask my couples…

  • Are you looking for a nature backdrop or more of a downtown feel?
  • Are there any locations that are special to you?

If you’re looking for a more downtown backdrop, check back next week for part 2 & 3 of this blog series. 😉

If you’re looking for a more nature backdrop, this post is for you! Here are my top three favorite nature locations in our area…


Cantigny Park- 1 S 151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, IL 60189

  • Entrance: Use the main entrance on Winfield Rd.
  • Public Restroom to Change: Yes!
  • Are Dogs Allowed? No. (But see below!)
  • Photography Permit: $50 for a Standard Photography Permit and 100% WORTH IT!
  • Parking: $5 on a weekday. $10 on a weekend.

This location is one of my all-time favorite locations! To be fair, Cantigny has a soft spot in my heart as I grew up working on the golf side of Cantigny. 🙂

The grounds of Cantigny Park and perfectly manicured and replanted seasonally so it’s beautiful year-round. They have a stunning fountain, rock garden full of succulents, a new rose garden in bloom most of the year, and a few different buildings for a different look.



If you love the look of Cantigny Park, but want to bring your dog, no worries! St James Farm/Forest Preserve (See next location.) is just down the road and the perfect location to snag a few shots with your pup then head down the road to Cantigny.


St James Farm/Forest Preserve- 2S541 Winfield Rd, Warrenville, IL 60555

  • Entrance: Use the main entrance on Winfield Rd.
  • Public Restroom to Change: Yes!
  • Are Dogs Allowed? Yes!
  • Photography Permit: Already covered. 😉
  • Parking: Lot

What I love about this location is the variety it offers. At St James Farm/Forest Preserve they have these beautiful yellow barns with white trim, a fantastic color pop in the Winter months along with the evergreens in the preserve.

They also have gravel paths that wind through the preserve, white fences, beautiful wild vegetation, a lake and a couple of different tree lines that can be fun to get photos near.

Check it out!



Blackwell Forest Preserve- Warrenville, IL

  • Entrance: Use the main entrance on Butterfield Rd. (By Silver Lake.)
  • Public Restroom to Change: Not Really.
  • Are Dogs Allowed? Yes!
  • Photography Permit: Already covered. 😉
  • Parking: Lot

This is a really fun location I fell in love with this past year. I think what I love most about it is the large lake we can take photos by AND the fact that we can get above the tree line! A really fun feature come the Fall months. 🙂



I hope this post was helpful to you! There are so many beautiful locations in our area. If you have another location you want to check out, let me know! If you’re looking for a more downtown feel, make sure to check out this post for just a few of my favorite spots. 🙂


Much Love,



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February 2, 2022






Based in Batavia, Illinois


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3 Steps for a more personal engagement session


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