Reasons to Try a River-Themed Photo Shoot

I honestly can’t take any more stress this year. There have been too many sleepless nights, too many break downs (by both the kids AND me), and too much joy sucked out of our year. So when my favorite photographer (and friend) Kristen of Kristen Lisa Photography suggested a family photo shoot IN A RIVER to end our summer, we were ALL IN (literally and figuratively). It was such a stress-free experience thanks to Kristen’s guidance and honestly it was the type of fun evening that my family DESPERATELY needed. Here’s why your family needs to have a river-themed photo shoot:

River-themed photo shoot - Naperville

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The Beautiful Backdrop

While I had dined along the Naperville Riverwalk a few times, I had NO IDEA that there was such a great spot at Knoch Knolls Park when you can wade in. You can even bring your own tube and float away if you want! The backdrop of a bridge, trees, rocks, and flowers was the absolute PERFECT setting for family photos that celebrated the colors of summer.

And since it was so shallow, we were able to wade in at different water levels for different shots. Kristen made the best choice to shoot at the “golden hour” since our reflections beautifully bounced off the water, making a simple photo spectacular.

I’m sure a river-themed photo shoot would be even more gorgeous with Fall colors but I’m glad we squeezed it in during summer before the water temperature dropped.

The Relaxed Clothing

There were SO MANY THINGS that my boys loved about this photo shoot but one of the biggest things was that they didn’t have to wear “fancy clothes.” No bow ties, no uncomfortable shoes, no itchy shirts. Just simple clothes in the same color family (these dusty red chinos were a perfect compliment to my dress) with a heavy dose of my boys’ current chambray obsession (check out their favorite chambray shirt). And don’t forget cute boots to save your feet from rocks, branches, and potentially snakes!

River-themed photo shoot - Relaxed Looks

As for me, I was thrilled that I had a chance to wear a flattering and loose dress (especially after all of my eating and drinking during home quarantine!) and that the style of our river-themed photo shoot was relaxed. My off-the-shoulder dress was comfortable, affordable, and still looked good when soaking wet thanks to a dip in the water with my boys and a few pieces of jewelry made it look more luxe. My flat sandals made life much more enjoyable, too.

My husband, who is just as difficult as my boys when it comes to fancy clothes, was glad that he could wear his favorite shorts and had a comfortable shirt sans tie. This photo shoot truly showed me that when we are all comfortable, our photos come out SO much better.

The Unique Poses

My boys have always been little fish, obsessed with water fountains, puddles, and baths. So having a photo shoot IN WATER was like heaven to them. The only problem was getting them to refrain from splashing, kicking, and swimming until we were done with our “dry” poses.

River-themed photo shoot - Swim

Thankfully Kristen has been taking our kids’ photos for years so she knew how to coax them to follow along. With her creativity we were able to try out lots of fun poses whether just getting our feet wet or becoming completely submerged in the water.

And did I mention the outfit change?!?! Someone was REALLY feeling the overalls!

The Pure FUN

River-themed photo shoot - Splash

I sure hope you could hear the giggles and laughs while looking through the pictures from our river-themed photo shoot because honestly it was the BEST experience. Our smiles weren’t faked and it felt like we went on a family adventure instead of simply standing and taking pictures. I remember thinking that I wanted to tattoo those moments on my heart, and thanks to Kristen, I can hang photos on the wall that will help me relive that night for years to come.

To check out more of Kristen’s work (she is booking Fall shoots now!, check out our family’s past photo shoots here–Fall, Holiday, Summer.

Happy Splashing!


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