If you can’t already tell, Garden of the Gods in the Shawnee National Forest has to be one of my absolute favorite places to take engagement photos! I know that it can be tricky to decide on a place to take engagement photos, so I thought I’d start featuring some of best places to take engagement photos in Illinois as their very own blog posts! Of course, it really helps when I have a wonderful couple like Erin & Dylan to photograph as well!
Garden of the Gods is actually one of the most photographed spots in the whole state of Illinois, and it’s no wonder why! The gorgeous sandstone rock formations and sweeping panoramic views make it the perfect spot for engagement photos. Plus, the park is typically open year-round, which is wildly different than a lot of other national parks.
Meeting Dylan & Erin at Garden of the Gods to capture their engagement session was such a joy! They actually traveled 4 hours, all the way from Bloomington, for their session that day. Erin got in touch shortly after they were engaged to book her wedding photography, and I include an engagement session for all my wedding couples. They got engaged just a week before she contacted me, at Matthiessen State Park. Originally high school sweethearts, D & E parted ways shortly after graduation but stayed close friends through the years. Last March, they found their way back to one another, and agreed they wanted to be together forever! Isn’t that the sweetest story? It completely melted my heart when I learned that!
Garden of the Gods Information
Hours: 6 am – 10 pm daily
Parking/Fees: $10/night for a campsite
Busy Season: April & October, plus holiday weekends
Pets: Pets are permitted on a leash
Things to Note: The cell reception can be nonexistent throughout most of the park, so plan an easy spot to meet with your photographer and stick to it! Otherwise, you could be spending half the session wandering around looking for them– no fun for anyone!
Looking for an engagement photographer for your Garden of the Gods engagement session?
Not sure where the best places are to take engagement photos in Illinois? I can help! Click here to fill out my inquiry form with all your details, and I’ll be in touch as soon as I can! In the meantime, check out this blog post to see my tips on how to plan your engagement session!