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Naperville Riverwalk | Scenic Family Portraits

Updated: May 3, 2023


One of my favorite scenic walks in the area is the Riverwalk at Fredenhagen Park. Considered the "crown jewel" of Naperville, we meander the brick paved riverwalk along the DuPage River. This photo walk can cross a covered bridge, traverse flagstone riverbanks, get down to the water level, and catch the red and yellow canopies around the fountain. This is a fantastic location for Naperville family portraits any season!

Working along this stretch of the Riverwalk offers great opportunities for portraits in both the morning and later in the afternoon. My favorite time to meet at the park is early in the morning where your family will be highlighted against the scenery.

The Fredenhagen Park is next to the North Central College football stadium in downtown Naperville. There is ample parking within walking distance and there is access for those who have difficulty walking. A brick path encircles a fountain and connects to the riverwalk.

This spot offers hardscaping, benches, a gazebo, the bridge, and tree lines at your back. I can spend an entire session at this spot and we certainly can if you want a cleaner scene that has tree lines and canopies.

The banks around the bridge are shored up with flagstone and boulders. With a little sure footing, we can stagger among the rocks with the river and its banks surrounding you. It can be quite tranquil with the birds chirping and water babbling. Depending on timing, we sometimes hear the music from the stadium, too.

The kids love to run up the accessibility ramp that leads to the covered bridge. Something about the bridge brings out the silly energy in most kids. It’s a great time to capture some candids while we let them get the wiggles out. The inside renders a darkened tunnel effect with a bright focal point leading to your family. Peek out over the river and catch a quick seat on the stairs.



The shepherd hook light poles are an iconic feature of the riverwalk and this one marks the start of the nature walk.

As we make our way down the path, there are opportunities to get down close to the water.

The rocks and shale shore are often accessible when the river is low and is manageable with flat and closed toe shoes. I like to visit this spot with those looking for natural scenery in Naperville for their family portraits. The area is thick with foliage and has river access with views of the bridge in the late afternoon.


The Naperville Riverwalk at Fredenahgen Park offers everything for traditional family portraits, engagement photos, milestone photos, smash cakes sessions, headshots and more!




A 20-minute mini session will focus on one side of the river. Your family has the choice of the the park or nature walk scene. Both sides can highlight the bridge. A 30-minute session can touch on both sides of the bank and longer sessions will focus on a variety of shots at each point of interest.

Like what you see? Let’s set up a session for your family today!



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