California, Couples, Engagement Session, Fall

Lake Merritt in Oakland California | Engagement Photos Part 2 of 2

Hi, I'm Kristen!
I'm an award-winning senior portrait and family 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 clients. :)
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Classy and comfortable senior portraits!
Relaxed and easy family portraits. and stunning artwork
Man and woman kissing on a dock at Lake Merritt in Oakland California

Welcome back this week for part two of these beautiful engagement photos at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California!! After a quick outfit change we made our way down from the gardens to the lake, and got even more beautiful variety for their 2-hour engagement session!

Engagement Photos at Lake Merritt in Oakland California

Man and woman standing on the dock of a lake

Starting with one beautiful wide-angle shot of the lake…

Man and woman kissing on the dock of a lake

In a world of their own.

Man in blue blazer and woman in green dress
Man and woman walking on the dock of Lake Merritt in Oakland California


Man and woman kissing at their engagement photoshoot at Lake Merritt in Oakland California

One of my favorites from the day! I hemmed and hawed about whether to include it in this blog in color or black and white. This photo looks great both ways! I find that color really brings out the liveliness of the subjects while black and white emphasizes the emotion.

Man and Woman walking on a dock

I love this shot! My clients look so classy and the crisp white of the railing against the blue of the water sets them off in such a pretty way! Not to get too technical on y’all, but I broke out my 35 mm lens for this shot which I rarely do (I prefer using it indoors and using my 85 mm portrait lens outdoors). I love the way the shot came out – the subtle blur really highlights my gorgeous clients, and the higher shutter speed capabilities of my new camera kept it from being overexposed even though the sun was quite high in the sky.

Man and woman kissing at Lake Merritt in Oakland California

So many pretty places right next to the marina! You would hardly believe that we were right next to a bunch of people roller skating.

Man and woman seated on the grass next to a lake
Man and woman under oak trees

Oak trees are iconic to the San Francisco Bay Area, and it pleased me to get some shots of my clients here to represent their home! 🙂

Pagoda and Redwoods | Lake Merritt in Oakland California

Man and woman in front of a pagoda at Lake Merritt

Isn’t this pagoda lovely? It was on my clients’ must-capture list! I love how they are framed in the arched opening of the building.

Man and woman seated on grass with redwoods in the background

The background variety at Lake Merritt with so little walking between locations is just amazing! We went from palm trees to oak trees to redwoods all in the span of 5 minutes’ worth of walking! I love the last little bit of glow that we got with the redwoods before the sun slipped behind the buildings. 🙂

Man and woman walking alongside a lake
Macro engagement ring shot with pine needles

I was traveling light from Oak Park, Illinois for this photoshoot but was sure to bring along a macro lens to the shoot so we could get a beautiful ring shot!This ring look so pretty framed by the redwood tree needles. The ex-botanist in me wanted to let you know that the fancy name for “pine needles” is “fascicles.” Now you can win pub trivia, you’re welcome.

Lake Merritt’s “String of Pearls” lights

Man and woman walking alongside Lake Merritt in Oakland California

One of my clients’ biggest wishes was to get a shot or two with Lake Merritt’s iconic “String of Pearls” lights around the lake! Right at the very end of the session it got dark enough! The lights switched on and we got a few beautiful shots. It made me so happy to be able to get these shots for them – they cheered when those lights turned on!

Man and woman in front of Lake Merritt's necklace of pearls lights.

Here’s what my client had to say!

We were (and are!) SO HAPPY with how our shoot came out! These photos look great on our wedding website. Kristen was so much fun to work with, all our usual self consciousness fell away because we were laughing too hard to feel nervous. Thanks so much @kristenhazelton !

If you missed it, come see part one of their beautiful engagement session at Lake Merritt in Oakland California over here!

Kristen Hazelton is an Oak Park, IL (Chicago, IL metro area) and Livermore, CA (San Francisco East Bay Area) senior, family, and engagement photographer. She occasionally photographs in San Diego, CA, Tucson, AZ, and Seattle, WA. You can inquire about your own photoshoot here!

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