A husband and wide pose together next to a large tree with their dog.

10 Favorite Maternity Photo Locations Near Chicago


Maternity Session Locations in Chicago 

Thinking of documenting your pregnancy? You will miss the little bumps and hiccups you have gotten accustomed to over your pregnancy and having a photo that captures this time in your life will be a very fond object of yours, years from now.

We are fortunate to live in an area where we have such a diverse setting to take photos. Whether you are looking for a cityscape, fields of flowers, a beach, or interesting architecture, Chicago offers them all. Read on to learn about some of my favorite locations to take photos throughout Chicagoland. 

Indoor Portrait Locations near Chicago

While it would be wonderful to live in an area where we could take photos outdoors all year long, that’s just not realistic here in Chicago. Thankfully, there are some wonderful locations that are filled with natural light and offer a beautiful background. For your maternity photos. 

The Art Institute of Chicago

By far one of my favorite places for photos! They have a beautiful marble foyer and staircase that can serve as a beautiful aesthetic for photos- it defiantly lends itself to a high-end look. And they don’t require a permit to photograph there!

Outdoor Locations for Maternity Photos

Wrigley Building / Chicago River Walk

  Another iconic setting that is frequented by wedding parties. The Wrigley building with its beautiful stone architecture overlooking the Chicago rivers provides an artistic and classic backdrop. While there, take the time to walk down Chicago’s River Walk. To add some variety to your session.

South Garden

An absolute favorite of every photographer in the Chicago area. The gardens outside Chicago’s Art Institute are absolutely stunning. While in the heart of the city, you’ll feel far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. Check before visiting, they frequently close the gardens for maintenance. 

Chicago Beach Maternity Session Locations

  • Montrose Beach is a great location because there is plenty of parking within walking distance to the beach.
  • North Avenue Beach – Aim for an early morning weekday session to avoid the crowds

North Shore Maternity Session Locations 


  • Wilmette’s Baha’i Center – This is another favorite of mine. The Bahai Center has beautiful gardens and the architecture is one-of-a-kind. 
  • Chicago Botanic Gardens. A permit is required but well worth it for the backdrop it provides. 

What to Wear to Your Maternity Session

Say yes to the dress! There’s truly nothing more flattering than a long flowy dress. Dresses and skirts tend to look the most stunning on camera because they really flatter the female figure. I recommend choosing long, flowy dresses or skirts because they are flattering on all body types, look amazing on camera, and bring extra movement and dimension to your photos. Maxi dresses will give the best “twirl factor,” and add more romance to your walking photos and look especially gorgeous when juxtaposed with nature, like the beach, woods, or flower fields. 

Many of Chicago’s finer maternity boutiques have closed their doors, but there are plenty of vendors to look for online as well as any dresses that are “bump friendly.” Here are some of my favorites:

If interested in learning more about how to prepare for a newborn photos session, after your baby arrives, click here.

If you are interested in booking a maternity portrait session with Kathryn Jean Photography, please send an inquiry. 

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