By Jordan Geriane
Photos of Osaka, Alfred Caldwell, & Big Monster are from Eric Allix Rogers, Jeff Zol, & Seth Anderson respectively, the rest are from Jordan Geriane
Discover the hidden indoor and outdoor gems located all around Chicago for a Spring photoshoot.
With springtime on the rise, the City of Chicago will increasingly be blooming and bustling with more tourism and photographers as the beautiful weather of Spring sets in. A call for a new adventure around the city you live in is essential. The sun will be shining, golden hour will be much more efficient, it will be a bit warmer to venture outside, and a cool breeze will make your photoshoots instantly Instagram-worthy. Here are some of the hidden gems located about Chicago, indoor and outdoor locations, proving that all you need for a great photo is some good scenery and a smile.
10. The Rookery Building – 209 S. LaSalle St.
As a historically significant building in the downtown area, it is adorned with immaculate marble floors, multiple winding staircases laced with elegance and a minimalist sort of canvas perfect for any portrait.
9. Big Monster Toys – 21 S. Racine Ave.
Located right off of West Madison street on the Near West Side, this small building is packed with BIG models of monsters and other giant objects made by various designers of the “Big Monster Toys” company. It is great for a fun outdoor photo op in front of the giant, yellow front door.
8. The Dial Bookshop – 410 S. Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor
This bookshop is located on the second floor, directly above Artist’s Cafe, in the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue. Like Reckless Records, it is a charming yet modern establishment that not only provides cheap books but also a sleek spot for a bookish photoshoot.
7. Hilton Chicago Hotel – 720 S. Michigan Ave.
If you are looking for a more lavishly decorated and richly elegant backdrop, the Hilton Chicago Hotel is a very fancy place, and one of the best places to inspire a more sophisticated photo spread.
6. Loyola University Lake Shore Campus – 6501 N. Kenmore Ave.
Although Loyola University is a whole other college campus, they have got a fantastic and all-natural view of the Lake Shore. Their information commons, best known as their library, overlooks a long walkway that runs directly alongside Lake Michigan. There you can find the most beautiful sunsets and a wonderful shot of the still waters of the lake.
5. Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool – 125 W. Fullerton Pky.
Near Loyola University, hidden within the Lincoln Park Zoo, is a calm and quiet lily pool ideal for that perfect portrait of nature or a great change of scenery away from all the bustling of the city.
4. Hero Coffee Bar – 22 E. Jackson Blvd.
The front of this hidden coffee shop can be seen on many of college students’ Instagram or VSCO profiles. If you haven’t been there or been able to find it, this tiny place is wedged in between two large establishments and even has its own street (or alleyway) named just for itself: Pickwick Place.
3. A New Leaf – 312 S. Dearborn Street and 1818 N. Wells St.
Scattered all over its shop with a variety of flowers, pots and vases filled with colorful bouquets, this premiere floral store offers a seasonal array of flowers that can meet your photographic and artistic needs for the spring season. With the ability to be up and close to creative arrangements, A New Leaf can be your next location for a lovely Springtime and the place to buy a nice potted flower.
2. Chicago Murals – Wicker Park and the West Side
In case you haven’t driven or walked past them yet (which is doubtful), there are murals painted all over the city. Towns like Wicker Park and the Near West Side have streets and alleyways lined with colorful and masterful murals depicting culture, history, and artistic eyes. Wicker Park is a common place to find these paintings, you simply have to venture out for the hidden ones. The West Side, however, provides a rare collection of physical art that rarely find social media feeds. To boring backdrops, we say, BE GONE.
1. Osaka Garden – 5800 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Finally, the number one spot to take some sweet spring pictures is a clandestine garden behind the Museum of Science and Industry. The garden, also known as the Garden of the Phoenix, has a wonderful view of the museum and a sweeping scene of nature. It is located on a long island only reachable by bridge and does not appear on any map apps (only if you punch in its address: 5800 S Lake Shore Drive).