MY STORY

ME:  people have described me as one of the most laid back people they know  |  enneagram four  |  I’m constantly reading the room for emotions + reactions and strive for everyone to feel comfortable + included  |  sarcastic to a fault  |  I value a beautiful aesthetic and believe it affects your mental peace  |  really dorky and not afraid to be weird for the sake of a laugh  |  am usually quiet but extremely loud around my Italian family  |  very in tune with my emotions  |  I’m an old soul and wish we were living in the 70s  |  favorite compliment I receive from clients is that I bring a sense of calm to their wedding day

ME + YOU:  I’ve got you, 100%  |  think of me as your 5th bridesmaid/part-time planner/day of coordinator/emotional guardian/preserver of moments  |  if you’re having an emotional breakdown, I’ll put down my camera and pep talk the crap out of you  |  if your family is driving you crazy and you need a moment, I’ll keep them at bay while you regroup  |  if your sister’s hair falls out, I’ll fix it  |  if the band isn’t playing the song you asked for, I’ll ask them to change it  |  the rest of the time, I’ll be looking for all the beautiful moments in your day that you’ll look back on years from now and feel all the emotions, smell all the smells, and be in that moment again  |  I’ll give you cues rather than stiff poses during your portraits  |  we’ll listen to music, drink wine, and hangout as friends while I capture your unique connection in a fun, relaxed, authentic way  |  I’m here for you

MY LOVES:  being barefoot  |  practicing henna  |  a glass of cab  |  a good thrift find  |  board games with family  |  bougee candles  |  spontaneous living room dance parties  |  traveling to new places  |  caring for my dozens of houseplants  |  freshly washed sheets  |  live music  |  cooking new recipes  |  fires on the deck  |  a good dad joke  |  playing old dreamcast games with my brother  |  DIY home projects as good as the real thing  |  diner coffee  |  watching movies while making macrame wall hangings  |  all the snuggles  |  real conversations  |  meeting new people and hearing their stories  |  a good aesthetic  |  petting random dogs on the street  |  windows open

CURRENTLY:  watching You season 2  |  building an 8ft picture ledge  |  attempting to be completely caught up on laundry  |  deciding on a new vacuum cleaner  |  going through thousands of landscape prints I’ve taken over the years to hang some in my office  |  trying to muster the willpower to start working out again  |  obsessing over Hitchcock films

Central/Peoria Illinois Destination Wedding and Elopement Film Photographer, Kristen Kaiser

INSPIRATION + APPROACH

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an old soul. And not just because I enjoy vintage board games, listened to 60s music with my grandpa as a kid instead of pop, and eat Grape Nuts cereal every night.

I’ve always been attracted to the past. There’s something about it that feels effortless, simple, and pure. Things that seem important to us now didn’t matter then. We were in the moment. We were present. How this era was documented on film resonates in the depths of my souls. It’s candid. In the moment. Effortless. REAL.

My photography style has evolved quite a bit over the past five years. It’s difficult not to be swayed by trends, new technology, and comparison. I’ll even admit that I lost myself for a season in going after weddings that resulted in making more money, rather than prioritizing a true connection with my couples. But I’ve found my home in recapturing the sometimes messy, undone, imperfect but authentic feel of film from decades past.

I photograph weddings and portraits on a mix of medium format film, 35mm film and digital. Capturing the timeless, in the moment feel of weddings with a documentary approach.

My parents have been married for almost 35 years and their wedding photos taken on film play a major role in my inspiration. They’re candid, imperfect, and timeless.

Here’s a few of my favorite photos taken on their wedding day in 1985.

And just in case you couldn’t get enough of these cutie patooties, I’ve included more film from their honeymoon.

“Working with Kristen is a dream. She is the most incredible human who cares deeply about the couples she works with. From the moment she stepped foot onto our wedding venue, everything was effortless, fun and relaxing. She was by far my favorite person to work with on our wedding day because she kept my husband and I laughing all day and allowed us to slow down through all the crazy to just enjoy time together as a newly married couple.”

“In the end, you HAVE to pick a photographer whose work moves you. Speaks to you. Someone you can get along with. Someone who will be a friend. And I know that person will be different for everyone. But for me, I couldn’t have found a more perfect soul to accompany us on the beginning of this adventure. I will be forever grateful.”