Family photographer tips for the best fall photo session

Published 09/21/2022

Fall brings about wonderful things like pumpkin-spiced everything, cozy sweater weather, and, my favorite, the colorful backdrop of changing leaves that create the cuddliest fall family photo sessions. This picture-perfect season gifts you with photos you’ll revisit year-round to connect with the vivid changes in landscape as well as your ever-growing children.

As a professional family photographer, capturing these precious moments is my specialty. My years of experience have reaffirmed three easy tips that will make your family photo session flow more smoothly, and capture your family bond on film.

Tip 1: Book your fall photo session ahead of the season

The picturesque fall season doesn’t last for long and it’s also a very popular time of year for photographers between weddings and foliage photos. It’s key to book a fall photo session well in advance. I recommend 3-6 months prior to fall. This way, you can coordinate an ideal date and have heaps of time to plan the details of your photo shoot, such as meaningful locations, props, or outfits. And don’t forget haircuts!

A special consideration when planning a fall photo session with children is to think about meal times, naps, and comfortable clothing so everyone is bringing their best selves to the shoot.

Tip 2: Think about family photo session ideas with your photographer

If you have a specific vision for your fall photo session, don’t think twice about bringing them to your photographer. Their willingness to collaborate with you is an excellent indicator of professionalism. This is one reason I schedule a phone consultation with all of my clients. For example, when I do mini photo sessions with families and I know they plan to use fall portraits for their holiday cards or a large frame in their home, it might inspire additional poses or backdrop ideas.

Talking through your family photo session ideas can guide your family in feeling more prepared with what to wear (and not wear). Here are a few specific things to keep in mind:

  • Book a trial session if you plan to get your hair and makeup done.
  • Remove hair ties or activity trackers on your wrist for a classy look.
  • Iron or steam your clothes so you look your best.
  • Consider everyone’s outfits, and how they coordinate with fall colors.
    • I recommend shades of a single color theme to let the vivid fall backdrop and the faces of your family be the focal point.

Tip 3: Sprinkle in props & styling to add personality to your fall photo session

While I usually have a range of props to use in the studio, on-location family photo sessions can benefit from special props that showcase your family’s personality or the theme you’re going for. A few of my favorite props include:

  • A mini mirror
  • Scarves or jackets
  • A colorful umbrella
  • Throw blankets
  • Fun hats
  • Any sentimental or heirloom family treasures

Ready for your best fall family photo session?

With my tips,  you’re prepared (and hopefully, inspired) to book your fall family photo session. Remember, it’s all about booking in advance, talking through your vision with your photographer, and considering props and styling that will make your photos stand out. If you’re ready to take your fall photos to the next level, reach out today to book a session.