Naperville Family Photography

Lifestyle Family Photography in Naperville, IL

Why is taking family photos important?

“This was our first time taking professional photos and we’re glad we took it with Kristen. With these photos, we can be reminded of that time and age of our family, and bring us joy when looking back at them.” —Kara

How does Kristen Lisa Photography take family photos?

Family photos should be something fun, not a chore. I let my clients know that my session is going to be like a play day or activity you do as a family. I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to smile or be in their best behavior. As much as you want your sessions to be “picture-perfect,” I want the families to feel like themselves. My approach is fun, authentic, and family-friendly. Also, I offer tangible products such as albums, frames, or prints. My family loves looking at the pictures on the wall or albums together. I talk more about why printing photos is so important here

My Top 3 favorite places to photograph in Naperville

Downtown Naperville (320 Jackson Ave, Naperville, IL 60540)

family running by the Naperville Riverwalk Covered Bridge
family walking in downtown Naperville

This is my go-to place because it’s so versatile. It provides the modern landscape, city-feel backdrop to two beautiful pathways, one closer to the river and one closer to the trees and bricked paved road. Most people want to come here for the river and the Naperville Riverwalk Covered Bridge family photo sessions. The covered bridge in Naperville is so iconic and people love remembering what growing up in Naperville is like.

McDowell Grove (4s500 Raymond Dr, Naperville, IL 60563)

A family of four walking on a fall day

The golden path is so beautiful during the fall. The trees keep going and going which makes the family pop more. Obviously, you can take beautiful pictures during summer, too, but I love this location specifically for the fall session.

Knoch Knolls Park (336 Knoch Knolls Rd, Naperville, IL 60565)

Even if I offer standard Forest Preserve greenery family photo sessions for this location, I use this place for river sessions the most. Families love something different and it’s the best summer session yet.

Amanda, the mom, said “Those that agonize over family photos, schedule hair cuts, coordinate outfits, stress about photo locations, and freak out over the weather forecast.

And then there’s those like me who completely trust their photographer to put together an amazing shoot no matter what happens and spend more time browsing local restaurant cocktail menus for a post-shoot celebration.

When she first suggested a river-themed shoot I was slightly skeptical, but my friend @kristenlisaphotography absolutely NAILED IT. From her clothing recommendations to posing instructions, the shoot was as effortless (and fun) as it looks.” Read her Instagram post here.

If you are looking for other places to photograph, I blogged about the best places to take family photos in the Chicago suburb here.

Best local places to shop for family sessions in Naperville 

One of the most frequently asked questions is “what should my family wear for a family photo?” It’s especially hard to pick here in Chicago because the weather can be very unpredictable. Don’t stress about it too much: The most important part is finding a look that will let you—not your clothes—shine. My answer is “wear what makes you feel good.” 

First, I always recommend a mom pick her outfit first. Let’s be honest, moms care about what they look like the most and we need to make sure that a mom looks the best! 

I recommend my clients go through their closets first to see if they have any cute outfits they can use without buying new clothes. But… I like online shopping, so a photo session gives me an excuse to buy new outfits even if I buy them anyway. I feel less guilty. I want to share some of my favorite stores to buy clothes for your family today. 


Chicago Premium Outlets (1650 Premium Outlet Blvd, Aurora, IL 60502) and Last Chance Clearance Store (100 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard, IL 60148) are my go-to places. Target and Nordstrom Rack on Route 59, Naperville are other good stores to go to.


I usually find kids’ clothes online the most, but I also go shopping stores above. There are so many cute children’s clothing stores around here, but I like A Baby Naturally (130 W Willow Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187) and Republic Road (1501 Indiana Avenue in St. Charles, IL).


Nordstrom Rack, Target, and Old Navy are my go-to shopping places. Can I share a secret? I honestly pick an outfit from a closet or get something from Amazon the most (affiliate link). Don’t tell anyone that my husband’s outfit is the cheapest compared to others. 

Please always remember that your shoes match your outfits! 

If you have a hard time picking family photo outfits for the hot summer in Chicago, read the blog here!

I interviewed this cute family about the family fall session at the St.James Forest Preserve. If you want to know more about the family session details, click here.

What’s your biggest fear before hiring me and what happened during the session?

Even though it was only 15 minutes, the number of high-quality pictures and moments Kristen captured was amazing. The day was cold and the twins were rowdy, but in the photos, we seem calm and at ease. I am more than impressed with how Kristen was able to find those small moments in such a short amount of time.

What led you to buy the photos? (What made you decide to pull out your credit card to buy the photos?) We decided to buy the photos as we’ve never experienced someone being able to candidly capture the essence of our family.

Where did you purchase your outfits?  Twins outfits were all purchased through Amazon.

Which image is your favorite image? My favorite image is of the twins that perfectly encapsulates their individual personalities. How Kristen was able to capture this I have no idea, as I’ve tried many times to take pictures of my two-year-old girls who never seem to stop moving.

Why did you like this location? We liked the location because it had a lot of open space without too many distractions. 

How do you describe your family? Chaotic and fun, always on the go. Magical

What’s your favorite activity to do as a family? Traveling

Advice for first-time parents? Don’t buy everything new. Friends and family pass down everything! And they grow out of clothes so fast.

Your favorite local restaurant and store? We love going to Mitsuwa as a family and getting ramen and baked goods.

The baby item you can’t live without? Our double-wide stroller (up until they were about a year)

If you are ready to take family pictures, let’s chat!

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