Northwest Indiana is a picturesque place to take photos, so long as you know where to take your photos. As a Northwest Indiana wedding photographer, people ask me all the time about Northwest Indiana wedding photo locations, what my recommendations are, and about the places that I have been to and photographed. There are many more places that could surely be added to the list and over time, I may add to it.
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Bailly Homestead / Chellberg Farm – (Porter, IN) – The Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm is a historic settlement in Porter County and is part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The site is located north of US 20 near Mineral Springs Road in Porter, IN, not far from the entrance to the Indiana Dunes State Park. This site features an old settlement house, wooded areas, old farming equipment and more.
Buckley Homestead County Park – (Lowell, IN) – Buckley Homestead is located just east of Lowell, Indiana and south of State Road 2. It is a living farm with a pioneer log cabin, a one room schoolhouse and farm equipment that date back to the 19th century. It is open daily until sunset and is part of the Lake County Parks.
Carmelite Fathers – (Munster, IN) – The Carmelite Fathers is located in Munster, Indiana along Ridge Road just east of White Oak Ave. There are several acres of wooded land filled with tons of religious memorabilia including a large grotto, holy steps, and several other attractions. The Carmelite Fathers has close ties with the Catholic and Polish communities in Northwest Indiana.
Centennial Park – (Munster, IN) – Centennial Park is located in Munster, Indiana on Calumet Avenue just south of 45th St and the CN railroad tracks. The park is a former landfill that was active up until sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s and was converted into a large park, reception hall, dog park and 9 hole golf course with driving range. There is a large retention pond in the middle of the park with several wooden boardwalks and bridges that make this place picturesque. Don’t be dismissed by the fact that this was a former landfill; there is little to no evidence of that era left. A Saturday in the summer can see as many as a dozen or more wedding parties that come to the park for pictures.
Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy – (Chesterton, IN) – Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy is located along State Road 49 in Chesterton just north of the Indiana Toll Road (I-80/90). This park and conservancy was built to accompany a large residential and commercial development that was suppose to develop in that area in the early 2000s. There is a creek that runs through the park and much of the creek area has been professionally landscaped with many natural large stones brought in and used. There is also a large fountain and a pavilion in the park, but much of the area is open field and some wooded areas.
County Line Orchard – (Hobart, IN) – County Line Orchard is located just east of Hobart in Lake County on County Line Road. County Line Orchard is a seasonal place for photos and you may need advanced permission in order to take photos here. This place is a great location for fall photos. There are large apple orchards, bails of hay and plenty of other county photos that can be taken here.
Deep River County Park – (Hobart, IN) – Deep River County Park is located just east of Merrillville and north of US 30 at Old Lincoln Highway and County Line Road, about four miles south of County Line Orchard. This park offers many great locations and has quite a few open areas as well as wooded areas. Deep River runs through the park and there are several bridges available for scenic photos. There is also an old brick building that was built in 1876 with an attached Grist Mill and a gazebo not too far away as well. Towards the back of the park is an old sugar shack, where maple syrup is made every March. This is one of my favorite locations to photograph weddings and I think October is the best month to shoot here, although May has a lot of spring beauty too.
Downtown Crown Point Square – (Crown Point, IN) – Downtown Crown Point offers a historic square that surrounds a historic and ornamental courthouse. There is a theater that has a box office window and many other old structures. The Old Lake County Jail, which once locked up John Dillinger and is famous for being the jail Dillinger broke out of in the early 1930s, is located just one block south. The jail is only opened with limited hours and arrangements to take photos here may need to be made in advance.
Downtown Valparaiso – (Valparaiso, IN) – Downtown Valparaiso offers a town square that surrounds a courthouse. The downtown Valparaiso courthouse is not nearly as ornamental as Crown Point’s courthouse; it has a more traditional stone appearance. The square and downtown area, however, is about twice the size of Crown Point’s downtown. There are several alleys and old brick that can be used as backdrops.
Gibson Woods Nature Preserve – (Hammond, IN) – This nature area is located near 165th and Cline Ave on the far east side of Hammond. The Gibson woods is mainly wooded with paths and can be picturesque at various times of the year.
Indiana Dunes State Park & National Lakeshore – (Lake and Porter Counties) – The Indiana Dunes is by far one of the most popular places for wedding, but more so engagement photos. The Indiana Dunes State Park and National Lakeshore stretches from Marquette Park in Gary east to Michigan City, with various points unaccessible due to the steel mills. The majority of that stretch of land, which is roughly twenty miles of lakefront, is open to the public. The best areas to photograph engagements and wedding photos is in the actual State Park. There is a century old bathhouse, the dunes, trails, woods, and the shoreline. Be prepared to get your wedding dress sandy; it’s completely unavoidable to leave the park without sand in your shoes and on the bottom of your dress.
Lake George – (Hobart, IN) – Located in downtown Hobart, this location has limited photo opportunities but is picturesque nonetheless. The best time for photos at this location would be at sunset and just after sunset.
Lemon Lake – (Cedar Lake, IN) – Lemon Lake is a county park located south of Cedar Lake, IN in rural Lake County. Lemon Lake offers a lake, nature trails, woods, and rolling prairies as photo backdrops.
Marquette Park – (Gary, IN) – Marquette Park is the crown jewel of Gary, Indiana and is located in the Miller Beach neighborhood along the lakefront. Marquette Park is undergoing a major renovation currently, but much of the park has been complete. There are views of the marshlands, the lakefront, woods, trails and more all through Marquette Park.
Michigan City Lighthouse – (Michigan City, IN) – The Michigan City Lighthouse has always been a popular wedding photo destination. The lighthouse is located in the heart of downtown Michigan City along the lakefront near Washington Park.
Shrine of Christ’s Passion – (St John, IN) – The Shrine of Christ’s Passion is one of the newer wedding photo locations in Northwest Indiana and is less than ten years old. Located on US 41 in St. John just north of US 231, this location offers a pathway that depicts the life of Jesus Christ with bronze statues representing different times during the life of Christ.
Wicker Park – (Highland, IN) – Wicker Park is located in Highland, Indiana at Ridge Road and Indianapolis Blvd. This historical park has been visited by at least two U.S. Presidents (Calvin Coolidge delivered a dedication address in 1927 and then Senator Barack Obama made his last public campaign stop on Halloween in October 2008). Wicker Park is wooded with old growth trees, has a large golf course, driving range, a public walking trail, and river banks making up the Hart Ditch and the Little Calumet River.
These locations are considered private locations, either restaurants, banquet halls, or other areas that are not public property and permission may be needed in order to take photos.
Abandon Downtown Gary Buildings – (Gary, IN)
Anderson Winery – (Valparaiso, IN)
Meyer’s Castle – (Dyer, IN)
Taltree Arboretum and Gardens – (Valparaiso, IN)
The Lighthouse restaurant – (Cedar Lake, IN)
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