Illinois, Family, Summer

Gorgeous Late-Summer Sunflower Photoshoot

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. :)
TOp categories
Classy and comfortable senior portraits!
Relaxed and easy family portraits. and stunning artwork
Mother and son seated in a field for a sunflower photoshoot

A family sunflower photoshoot has been on my bucket list to photograph for a long time, and I was DELIGHTED when my friend Chicago wedding photographer Alex Cantemir agreed on family photos with sunflowers! I’m sharing here both her beautiful family photos with sunflowers, as well as tips for your own sunflower photoshoot.

Sunflower Photoshoot

Sunflower photos with a young boy wearing a blue shirt in a field in Maple Park, IL
Close up photo of a young son hugging his mother

Sunflower field outfit ideas

From a visual perspective, sunflower fields are BUSY! There’s lots of texture from the leaves and petals, and the dark centers of the sunflowers are points of high contrast. Sunflower fields are also super colorful! This can make it challenging to figure out what to wear. Here are some sunflower field outfit ideas to help you out!

For best results with your sunflower photos I highly recommend going with a lighter color palette for your clothing with accents of blue or purple, which will really pop against the bright yellow of the petals. For very colorful and busy photo backgrounds, a lighter, simpler outfit will help you stand out!

I typically recommend high heels to flatter your legs, but in this case go with kitten heels or sandals because the ground is often uneven. Another option I recommend for sunflower field outfits is bringing along comfortable shoes to move between locations, then switching to heels when we get to the perfect photo spot! Because the fields close early in the evening, the sun is often high in the sky – for this reason I recommend bringing along a cute sun hat for your sunflower photos!

Family photos with sunflowers in Maple Park, IL; family of three sitting in a sunflower field

When you book your portrait session with me you will receive both my comprehensive Family Session and Style Guide, but also a Zoom or in-person wardrobe consultation! This way you can feel totally confident in your clothing choices for your sunflower photoshoot! 🙂

Mom and son snuggling during their sunflower photo session
Sunflower family pics; portrait of a young boy and mother and father in a sunflower field.

When are sunflowers blooming?

Sunflowers bloom in late summer! In the Chicago area sunflower season is about from the third week in August through the second week in September. It’s dependent on the sunflower variety, however, and if the farmers staggered the planting to extended the growing season. As a fun perk, many Chicago sunflower farms often plant zinnia flower fields and the growing season overlaps! To get both family photos with sunflowers and zinnias, plan on visiting the farm earlier in the sunflower blooming season.

sunflower picture ideas: boy hugging his father's neck in a empty space in a field of sunflowers
Family of three sitting in a field and laughing during their sunflower photos

What do you think? New sunflower cover photo for Facebook?

Where are sunflower fields in Illinois?

Most of the sunflower fields are an hour to an hour and a half drive away from downtown Chicago. Here are some of my favorites!

Kuiper’s Family Farm in Maple Park, IL (Chicago West Suburbs). This farm has loads of gorgeous sunflowers, zinnias, and apples in late August and early September. Admission to the fields is $14/person, and gives you permission to cut one bloom from the field.

Von Bergen’s Sunflower Farm in Hebron, IL (Northwest of Chicago near the Wisconsin border). As of 2023, this farm has loads of sunflowers but has an earlier end date for their blooming season than some of the other farms in the area.

The Wildflower Farm in Monee, IL (Chicago south suburbs) offers sunflowers but also loads of other wild and cultivated flowers – a photographer’s dream, but requires permit reservations in advance!

Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass, IL is my pick in south Illinois; it offers multiple varieties of sunflowers, zinnias, and loads of other flower fields, too!

mother wearing a white dress with small blue flowers and son wearing a blue button up shirt and khaki shorts for their sunflower field outfits
Family of three standing close together for their sunflower family photos

Kristen Hazelton is an award-winning Oak Park, IL (West Chicagoland) and Livermore, CA (San Francisco East Bay Area) graduating senior, and family 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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