Senior Sessions at St James Forest Farm | Msav Photo

One of the most popular places in Wheaton for senior sessions is without a doubt St James Forest Farm. St James in Wheaton Illinois has been owned by Dupage County since 2007. Prior to that the farm was bought and built by a branch of the Mccormick family. They purchased the property in the 1920s and owned the farm until 2007.

Today the Forest Preserve is used for a variety of events such as cross country races, intimate weddings, photography, and leisure. Most weekends you can find families walking with their pets, joggers, and runners enjoying the outdoor space.

This has been one of my most popular locations for sessions since I started my business in 2019. There is so much to love about this space no matter what the season.

St James Forest farm

St James Forest Farm is an awesome space in Wheaton for senior photos, there are so many unique spots throughout the farm that make for beautiful photos. When taking photos at St James I meet my seniors at the horse statue just past the parking lot at the Winfield road entrance. There is almost always PLENTY of parking unless the weather is perfect and it’s a holiday weekend. In that case, sometimes you have to wait a minute or two to find parking.

From there we head in to use the space and all the unique features St James Forest Farm has to offer!

The Features

The Tree Lines

There are a couple of sets of tree lines throughout St James Forest farm that are absolutely breathtaking in the spring-summer and fall. I imagine that these trees at one point lined a driveway or some sort of road leading from the barns to the homes throughout the area. The trees create an archway over the open space and draw your eye directly towards the subject.

Senior photo in tree line at St James forest farm

The Barns

One of the most notable and recognizable spots on St James Forest Farm Property is the yellow barn. Primarily used for storage at this point, the barns make for a fun and colorful backdrop with the main structure. Then with the large barn doors, you can use them as more of a neutral backdrop.

For Mckenna’s fall session at St James, there were also yellow leaves on the ground that complimented the barns which I LOVE. They made for a perfect backdrop for some of Mckenna’s photos.

The Fields

Though it’s not entirely hard to find fields throughout Illinois, it can be challenging to find open fields in the Chicago suburbs. One of my favorite parts of St James is the vast open fields that make up different parts of the farm. Surrounded by a fence of trees and open sky St James is one of the BEST places for sunsets in Wheaton.

If you plan to have your senior session at St James, I HIGHLY recommend planning your session to end around sunset or start around sunrise so you can take in some of these GORGEOUS views. For Sarah’s session we were chased out of St James by a storm, but had some insanely gorgeous clouds to end our session with at sunset.

The open fields that makeup St James are the PERFECT spot for you to end your senior session at sunset.

Senior photo in field at St James forest farm

The Bridge

Tucked back in St James Forest Farm is a little bridge looking over a stream that is perfect if you’re into a bit of a rustic vibe. Framed by trees and paths, the bridge is the perfect spot to start your senior session.

The Fences

Along with the bridges, there is also a fence that brings a rustic vibe to the table. I love the lines that a fence creates in a photo, especially these pretty white fences that surround the barn.

Senior photos taken at St James forest farm near a fence

The Roads

Though we cannot use them on busy days, it is so much fun running down these roads that fade off into the trees for your senior session. Pop on your favorite pair of mom jeans or a flowy dress with some movement and let’s have some fun running along the little road.

The Seasons

Whether it is the colorful fall trees or the bright wildflowers, every season St James shows up with something breathtaking for your senior session. Soak in the gorgeous leaves changing color in the fall, the wild flowers in bloom in the spring, or the bright green that comes out in the summer. Every season is absolutely gorgeous at St James.

Looking for some more location options for your senior session? Check out my location guide for all my favorite spots in the Chicago suburbs!

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