Chicago Suburb Lake Michigan Family Portraits


Families often gravitate toward water features when selecting a location for family portraits. In the summer, beaches are a hit! It’s fun to work around water but to create a robust gallery of print worthy images, it’s great to have other points of interest at the location as well. If you want to explore Lake Michigan beaches for family pictures, Glencoe Beach is one of my favorites.

I prefer photographing this location in the early evening when the sun is low and in front of us. The morning can have harsh light and may wash out the color of the water but is beautiful none the less. The crowds pick up in the late morning through the late afternoon. A couple of my long-time clients made their way to the beach for a some of my favorite summer beach photos.

One family wanted to capture the sunset that rendered rich golden light and a pastel colored sky.

The other family photographed in the late afternoon, and we were drenched in sunlight! Afterwards, they were able to enjoy some family time at the beach. Once the session ends, enjoy concessions, bathrooms, a park, and a splash pad!

Before we hit the sand and water, we descend a beautiful stone grey staircase draped in greenery. This is a great spot to stagger your family for some traditional posed portraits. The stairs also help parents rise above those kiddos who have grown taller than them! There is a path for those who cannot manage stairs.

At the bottom are several pergolas with picnic benches. There is a small board walk lined with foliage.

The pier offers great perspective with the patterns created by railings poles. The kids are often mesmerized standing above the crashing waves. Be aware that this spot can be windy and can produce water spray.

At the bottom of the pier, you can find beach glass scattered about. Walk down the beach where there are rental sailboats at the boat house.

The arches in the brickwork offer great neutral tones and texture. The shady wall is a cool place to regroup and kick off your shoes. There is a breaker wall that jets out and makes for calmer water.


This is a great place to allow the kids play and let their personalities shine! Even parents can find a moment together while the kids are at play.

It’s fun to get shin deep for some water shots!

Some will play in the sand and some will run through the waves. I like to sit back and capture some candid moments and let the session come to an end. If you’re interested a Lake Michigan photoshoot and don’t want to travel to the city, Glencoe Beach is one of my top picks!









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