Favorite Locations
Byron Forest Preserve

7993 N River Rd, Byron, IL 61010

*currently my favorite location for 2019

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Features

  • Rolling hills

  • Woods

  • Wildflower and grass fields

Pros

  • Lots of variety

  • Almost always quiet

  • The best place for sunsets

  • Good for families with small children

  • Bathrooms

  • Very rarely buggy

Cons

  • Pretty far out of the way for most Rockford families

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Anna Page Park

3000 N Springfield Ave, Rockford, IL

*one of the best hidden gems in Rockford for family sessions

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Features

  • Various tree groves

  • Creek

  • Open fields

  • Woods

Pros

  • Lots of variety

  • Unbeatable evening light

  • Very quiet

  • Easy to access

  • Good for families with small children

  • Bathrooms

Cons

  • Can be buggy in the summer

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Winnebago County Forest Preserve

5500 Northrock Dr, Rockford, IL

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Features

  • Winding walking path

  • Quarry-like lake

  • Groves of pine trees and shrubs

  • Fairytale style woods

Cons

  • Location can be far for some

  • It gets swampy after a heavy rain which may mean a last minute change of location if there was a hard rain the day of/before the shoot

  • Buggy in the warm months

Pros

  • Great winter light

  • Beautiful year round

  • Is easily accessible

  • Some flowering trees in the spring

  • Always very quiet

  • Outhouse bathrooms

  • If you are looking for early morning photos, this is the best location because of the fog in the spring/fall rising off of the lake

Rock Cut State Park

7318 Harlem Rd, Loves Park, IL

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Features

  • Lake

  • Woods

  • Small glens

  • Open fields

  • Bridges

  • Creeks

Pros

  • Tons of variety

  • Great if you want a lot of different looks

  • Bathrooms

  • Pretty convenient location

  • Beautiful year round

Cons

  • There are always people around

  • Usually buggy in the summer

  • Cell reception in the park is spotty and it can be easy to get lost in if you aren't familiar

Baumann Park

Cherry Valley, IL 61016

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Features

  • Lake

  • Woods

  • Tall hill

  • River

Pros

  • Location is convenient for some

  • Bathrooms

  • Beautiful year round

  • Easy to access, can't get lost 

Cons

  • There are always people around

  • Not the best location for kids prone to running away

  • Hard to get away from people watching you

  • A little one-note with the style options

While these locations certainly don't cover all the amazing places in the Rockford region, they're my tried and true favorites for a reason. Let me know if you have any questions or a location you love. I'm always looking for new places!

Places to Avoid

 

•Anderson Japanese Gardens: As beautiful as it is, the cost for the photo permit simply isn't worth it unless it has sentimental reasons

•Klehm Arboretum: Again, the permit cost isn't worth it. 

 

•Midway Village: They no longer allow photos here and are very strict about enforcing that policy.