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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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2020 Best of Portraits Recap

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North Avenue Beach Surprise Proposal

A newly engaged couple walk along the concrete wavebreak during a surprise proposal at North Avenue Beach

What a day!! Are y’all ready for a story? Fernando reached out to me this spring about planning a North Avenue Beach surprise proposal during a trip with friends to Chicago, and the day finally arrived…dark and stormy.

The Lead Up

the downtown Chicago skyline from Photography Point at North Avenue Beach

Severe thunderstorms were predicted the whole weekend but luckily the one timeslot Fernando had available was the one time the WEATHER had available!

Sunflowers in the shape of a heart on the concrete wavebreak at North Avenue Beach

I arrived early to get into position. 10 minutes before go-time at exactly the location I had mapped out for the proposal, two people arrived and set up a heart made out of sunflowers. So romantic! I texted to double-check that Fernando had arranged for the flowers…um…no…which meant someone else was doing a surprise proposal at the same time and location?? 😱 We last-minute arranged a location change over text!

A man and woman walk along the concrete wavebreak at North Avenue Beach

Go time! Walking out onto the concrete wavebreak…

A couple walks on the concrete wavebreak as friends watch

Fernando and Mercedes admired the view while their friends watched in anticipation…

North Avenue Beach Surprise Proposal

Man kneeling to propose during a surprise proposal at North Avenue Beach

As the clouds rolled in, Fernando proposed in epic style!

Man kneeling to propose at North Avenue Beach
She said yes, during a surprise proposal at North Avenue Beach

She said yes!!

Man hugging his new fiancee during a rainstorm

And then clouds started pouring rain!

Newly engaged couple kissing in the rain in front of the Chicago skyline
Happy newly engaged couple in front of the Chicago skyline

I came over to introduce myself and get some shots! Look at those happy faces!!

Friends congratulating a newly engaged couple during a stormy surprise proposal at North Avenue Beach

Getting congratulated by their friends…

Champagne pop during a surprise proposal at North Avenue Beach

And having an epic champagne pop and toast!

Friends toasting a couple with champagne during a surprise proposal at North Avenue Beach
Friends cheering for a newly engaged couple during a stormy surprise proposal at North Avenue Beach
Engagement ring on a woman's hand

North Avenue Beach Engagement Session

newly engaged couple during a stormy surprise proposal at North Avenue Beach

Fernando wanted so much to have photos of them walking along the wavebreak with the city in the background. The clouds actually were perfect, since the light at this angle would have been too harsh on sunny day!

Man and woman kissing at North Avenue Beach
Woman looking at her new fiance in front of the Chicago skyline
Black and white photo of a man holding up his fist in victory as his new fiancee giggles
Newly engaged couple dancing on the wavebreak at North Avenue Beach
newly engaged couple during a stormy surprise proposal at North Avenue Beach
Man kissing his fiancee's cheek during a stormy surprise proposal at North Avenue Beach

Aren’t the cutest couple?

Newly engaged couple touching noses in front of the Chicago skyline
Closeup shot of a newly engaged couple during a stormy surprise proposal at North Avenue Beach

Getchu a spouse that looks at you the way Fernando looks at Mercedes. ❤️

Newly engaged woman with friends on the North Avenue Beach concrete wavebreak

Some group photos with friends!

Newly engaged couple with friends on the North Avenue Beach concrete wavebreak
Newly engaged couple with friends on the North Avenue Beach concrete wavebreak

AND THEN, right when those clouds were looking extra grey and ominous…!

Tornado Warning

Map showing Chicago Tornado warning on June 26, 2021

On the left, where the tornado warning was. On the right, where we were. On a beach. With no basements.

Severe rain at North Avenue Beach during a tornado warning

So we booked it to the North Avenue Beach House and hoped the storm wouldn’t be that fierce. In this photo you can see the WALL of rain that swept over us.

Newly engaged couple taking shelter at the North Avenue Beach House during a tornado warning

Just taking cover during an engagement session. As people do.

Newly engaged couple at North Avenue Beach during severe rainstorm

We ventured out under the awning of the house for one final shot. Congratulations, Fernando and Mercedes! Even though the storm crashed the party we got some beautiful photos and you’ll have memories to last a lifetime!! Congratulations on the start of your legacy together. 🙂

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

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Welcome to the KHP BLOG!

I'm Kristen, 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. :) 

Get to know me

Let's Connect!

Explore Top Posts

2020 Best of Portraits Recap

Glowy Sunset Family Portraits

Sunrise Meadow Family Portraits

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