Photo Session Locations | M3 Creative | Peoria Photographer, Dunlap Photographer

Photo Session Locations

One of the most common questions I get is where should we go to photograph our images. Fortunately, in Peoria, we have several amazing options. My number one recommendation when it comes to choosing a location for your photo session is choose a location that has meaning to you. It could be where you found out you were accepted to your first choice university… Maybe it’s where you had your first date… or the coffee shop where you accepted that job offer… there are so many options to choose from.

As an M3 Creative VIP, you will also receive a copy of our exclusive Portrait Session Style Guide magazine. Another perk of being a M3 Creative VIP.

Still need a little help choosing a location for your senior portrait, couture portrait, or personal branding session? Below is a list of some of our favorite local hotspots in the Peoria area that make an awesome backdrop for your portrait session. Some of these locations are free and some do require a fee for professional photography or admission. These fees do change frequently so be sure to verify fees and restrictions on the venue’s website or by calling the location. Feel free to ask questions or let me know if you have another favorite location not listed here!

Additional expenses will need to be verified prior to arriving and are not included in your session package.

Some of Our Favorite Locations


Your School or Place of Business

Our number one recommendation when working with high school seniors and our personal branding clients is to first think about the locations that you frequent. For the high school athlete, it could mean getting approval to use the field or court where they play or even using the front of the school building as a backdrop. For our branding clients, it is most often their own place of business and other places they frequent on a regular basis like local coffee shops and meeting areas. Don’t be afraid to use the resources you already have access to.


In Studio

In Studio options include a multitude of creative options! Of course, this is the ideal location during those freezing temps and snowy weather we see so often here in Central Illinois. Some session types (like our couture children’s storybook session) are required to be photographed indoors. Many of our couture maternity sessions also opt for this indoor option.


Fulton Street, Downtown Peoria

With beautiful architecture and history make for a fantastic location to photograph in. The exterior of Sacred Hearth Catholic Church provides an amazing backdrop. Let’s not forget City Hall and its courtyard right across the street with it’s red brick exterior, street lamps, and clocks. All are easily accessed and within walking distance from the Fulton Street public parking area.


Luthy Botanical Garden, Peoria

With 4.5 acres of gorgeous botanical garden and an on location conservatory, this location tucked away in Glen Oak Park has so much to offer. Peaceful scenery, arbors, and running water fountains. Multiple gardens to explore and lots of hidden gems to use as inspiration for your next photo session.


Grandview Park, in Peoria Heights

This location is an absolute must see and one of the more popular locations in our Peoria community. Fall colors abound during the autumn season with stunning views of nature and a few overlooking the water. This location has been a hot spot for photography for quite some time and would be an excellent choice for your next photo session.


Forest Park Nature Center, in Peoria Heights

Over 500 acres of nature preserve featuring trails, a natural history museum & a bird observatory. Take a stroll through the park or stop to watch the deer walk through the grounds of the park. There are several stops along the walking path, as well as, a resting bench, farm buildings, and other structures that work as beautiful backdrops for your favorite images. 


Bradley Park, in Peoria

Located adjacent to Bradley University, this park is a favorite among many photographers for good reason. The park traverses a high bluff woodland area that grades down into the floodplain of Dry Run Creek. Along with numerous picturesque sites, the park also features a beautiful Japanese bridge.  


Charter Oak Park, in Peoria

Charter Oak Park has something for everyone.  The park boasts 0.6 miles of paved, but not so level hiking trails. It also includes a fishing dock off the water that makes for a gorgeous scene at night fall.


Detweiller Park, in Peoria

The early spring show of blooming redbuds in Detweiller Park, as well as the colorful fall foliage should not be missed! Detweiller Drive runs through much of the park and features one of the finest, most diverse collections of oaks around. Let’s not forget about the 5+ miles of hiking trails traversing the Illinois River bluffs.


Ready to get started? I can’t wait to meet you! Let’s schedule a phone call and chat about the details of your next photo session.

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