• Victoria McDonald

What Makes an FUN Fall Family Photo

Believe it or not, were in the middle of the most popular time of the year for Family Photos. The Sun has changes from the bright yellow glow of summer to the golden warm glow of fall, leaves are changing and pumpkins are EVERYWHERE! I have heard a lot of photographers are booked completely, others like me have some room left and want to take advantage of all that Fall offers. SO - undecided? Not sure where to go? what to do? Afraid your family can't handle getting a great photo worthy of your holiday card? This will help you.

Fall Child Portrait with Leaves

WHEN Should you do your Fall Photos?

Although there are a few general rules when scheduling any photoshoot but ultimately this is dependent on what the theme or story is around your shoot. The general rules are simple...

1) Light at sunrise and sunset are the BEST. They give you the best colors, no harsh shadows and just adds magic to every image. Bonus - the sun looks cool. (Understand that it is not the end of the world if your schedule doesn't allow for this time of the day... we can still get fabulous photos early morning and late afternoon)


2) Consider your daily routine. Most kids are dependent on a schedule to keep their day on happy and few work well when you sway away from that. Don't skip or dramatically move naps, snacks, meals or anything else important in your schedule for your photos. I emphasize this because in the fall sunset tends to be right around dinner.

3) Weather is uncontrollable and can change the game plan, be prepared to reschedule if need be or embrace a weather change. (did she just say embrace it?.. yep, no one really like getting drenched but rain can make for AWESOME moments and really cool photos that your friends don't have)

What do I mean by theme? and story?

A theme is easy, it could be a place, an event or simply 'Leaves/Pumpkins'. A Story is more fun and takes a theme one step farther like 'carving pumpkins' or 'playing in the leaves' or 'going on a hike'. With a story you can get portraits and a bit of documentary moments and keep interests of all family members longer.

So What are good Themes and Stories?

LEAVES: Always a fun one. You get the colors and textures that define the season and easily turn a theme into a story. My favorite part... you may not have to leave your own yard which makes your day a bit easier. (note - this works if you have a large yard and a good amount of trees)

SPORTS: Football, Hockey, Baseball, and Soccer all are late summer/Fall sports that can be celebrated. Wear your favorite team jerseys or play the sports for a good story, either way make for great images, genuine smiles and a bit of afternoon fun. Bonus... you get all those leaves in the background.

OUTSIDE: This is all encompassing as the trees change and those tall grasses turn a pretty gold, Pretty places are everywhere. This, obviously, makes for less of a story but who says you can just bring a board game, read a book together, or come out and roast s'mores with me on October 1st!

Fall Family Lifestyle Portraits

PUMPKINS: Go pumpkin picking, Carve your pumpkins or just sit in a giant pile of them. Doesn't matter- Pumpkins are iconic and everywhere right now. (seriously thought, anyone want to carve a few for their photos??)

CARS: I did this last year with a vintage truck. It was fun and I even got smiles from the one kid that told me I he just wouldn't smile. If you have an old car in your family, lets use it! Or maybe we can find one....

Fall Vintage Truck Child Portraits

Really the Themes are endless and because every family is different each story will be unique, I always recommend picking something that means something to you or reflects the personality of your kids and family. Unsure what to do? Just call me, we can talk it through.

Fall Family Street Portrait

What to Wear in Fall Family Photos?

I usually send out a quick guide to what to wear, here are a few of them that make successful photos no matter the time of the year.

- Don't dress too trendy. Stay comfortable and wear something you would normally wear. Think 'out to dinner'.

- Don't get Matchy-Matchy, Do Coordinate. If you need inspiration on that you can go to webpages like Gap or JCrew... they usually coordinate their lines across everyone. I can help you too if you feel like you aren't sure. Or check out some of the families here.

- Don't wear complex patterns, Characters, or wording on your clothes (unless we are doing that sports theme of course). These can make things complicated later.

- Consider the background of the location - lots of trees??? Don't wear green.

- Consider where your Prints will end up.... what colors work in that spot.

- When in doubt, Fall fashion is big on textures (sweaters) and jewel toned colors (Mustard, Navy, Burgundy) and neutrals.

- Don't - Seriously - Don't Stress about it. Keep things simple.

Fall Photos are popular and almost booked, So don't wait til the last moment to schedule them. Mini's are open and you get to roast some S'mores. (still have a few spots..) If you can't get scheduled for a Fall photo session... you might get lucky with some early snow. Either way, don't stress out and HAVE FUN!!!

#woodstockIL #whattowear #Lifestylephotography #Familypictures #Familyphotos #familyphotograher #fallphotos #Phototips #planningahead #Chicagolandphotographer #Childportraits #sunset #goldenhour #Pumpkins #Leves #VintageTruck

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