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Hey, I'm Kristen!

I'm a family, senior portrait, and wedding photographer based out of Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area. I love sunshine, cacti, chocolate chips, and a great cup of tea - but most of all I love photographing joyful and lively families, high school seniors, and couples. :) 

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Lifestyle Family Photography | Kristen Hazelton Photography

Family portrait of three at Thatcher Woods in River Forest, IL by Oak Park family photographer Kristen Hazelton

What a delight to photograph these sweet friends of ours! Their little guy and our little guy love to meet up for socially-distanced play dates. We’ve been so grateful for this family’s friendship and kindness during our first year in Illinois when we had so few contacts! About two months after we moved her they invited us over for dinner and I just cried at them because they were so welcoming! This family had a specific request: a photoshoot more on the candid, lifestyle family photography side than I typically do for family portraits! I think we captured a nice mix of shots that really document their love of each other and exploring the outdoors together. 🙂

Come see their adventurous family portraits!

Family portrait of three at Thatcher Woods in River Forest, IL by Oak Park family photographer Kristen Hazelton
Portrait of a toddler boy looking at the camera and climbing trees
Family portrait of three at Thatcher Woods in River Forest, IL by Oak Park family photographer Kristen Hazelton
Portrait of mom and dad hugging in the late fall woods
Family lifestyle portraits of a young family helping their toddler climb trees
Candid photos of a young family in the woods
Toddler boy and Dad smiling at each other
Toddler boy throwing leaves
Mother helping her son climb trees
Candid portrait of a young couple in winter jackets in the woods
Candid family portraits of a Mother and son throwing leaves

Mom and son throwing leaves at each other. 🙂 and then… “Dad, come help me climb!’

Father and son playing in the woods in River Forest, IL
Cheerful family portrait of three by Oak Park photographer Kristen Hazelton
Family portrait of three in the woods - a little boy is playing peekaboo behind dad's head

This sweet boy! He was playing peekaboo with me behind his father’s head!

Toddler boy leaning down from dad's shoulders to give mom a kiss
Family portraits in Thatcher Woods, River Forest, IL
Little boy giving mom a kiss
Family portraits in Thatcher Woods, River Forest, IL

“Sneaking up on me like they’re tigers” …of course a fierce expression and growl was appropriate!

Portraits of mom and dad

They were kind enough to let me go a bit overtime and try out my new(!!) Very Fancy Portrait lens! It’s an 85mm f/1.4, which means it’s a smidge on the telephoto side (the 85mm part) and is capable of a very shallow depth of field = creamy backgrounds (the f/1.4 part)!

Happy mom wearing jacket and beanie
Family portrait of a father and son playing in Thatcher Woods, River Forest, IL

I love how they just pop off the background with that compression from the new lens! It (and they) look so cool!

Family portraits in Thatcher Woods, River Forest, IL
Family playing in the woods

When the playgrounds were closed in Illinois from March- the end of June, this little guy got very adept at climbing trees! He’s better at it than I am and he’s only four!

Mom and toddler son playing in the leaves
Collage of images; two close-up photos of native Midwest plants and one photo of a man swinging his son

I hope you enjoyed my foray into lifestyle family photography!

Kristen Hazelton is an Oak Park, IL and Livermore, CA family, senior, and wedding photographer. You can view her portfolio here, or inquire about your own photoshoot here!

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