Well folks, it’s that time of year again. The weather is cooling down and the air is getting crisp. That means it’s time to start preparing for your fall family photos. Over the years I’ve gained some experience that helps me advise my clients, and I thought it might be nice to share that in a more public fashion to hopefully help more people.
- Timing is everything! If you live in the Atlanta area, fall colors tend to start around late September, but the leaves are not really in full splendor until late October or early November. That’s not a hard and fast rule, but something to keep in mind.
- Location, location, location. Pick a setting that is convenient, beautiful, and works for your family. Atlanta has a ton of wonderful parks and nature preserves but there are also plenty of great little town centers, fall festivals, farmers markets, your neighborhood, your home, and even some nontraditional locations such as the Oakland Cemetery. I am happy to share a PDF that outlines some of my favorite Atlanta fall photo locations with anyone who books a shoot with me; I’ve found that seeing actual photographs from shoots at these areas can really help with decision-making.
- Coordinate your outfits. I typically suggest mainly solids mixed with some subtle patterns, and a balance of neutrals and a color palette that flatters your skin tone. When a family’s outfits incorporate colors that are either cool (blues, greens, purple) or warm (yellow, red, orange) they tend to look more intentional. I do consider denim to be a neutral as well. Jewel tones are typically quite popular around the holidays, as are browns/reds/khaki/white.
Don’t overdo it on patterns, I generally suggest that you wear only one patterned item at a time. Do bring some extra clothing options such as a sweater, jewelry, a blazer, hat, scarf – it’s helpful to have options for variety, but you also don’t want to have to lug a suitcase around a park, so making it something easy you can do on the spot is really helpful. I’m also a big fan of mixing textiles like knits, silks, tweeds, leather, chiffon, etc. Here are some great examples of outfits from some of my past photo sessions that feature colors and patterns that complement one another:
Ready to book your fall family photos? Consider these questions first.
Do you prefer outdoors, industrial, lifestyle (neighborhoods & home), expressly seasonal, or a mix?
How many children will be in the photos and what kind of stamina do they have for an hour-long shoot? What time of day is going to be the best for their energy levels?
Will you have anyone in the party with mobility issues? Some great outdoor locations in and around Atlanta require a bit of a walk away from a parking lot, some have stairs and boardwalks, and there is also gravel or dirt paths to consider. Anyone relying on a wheelchair or stroller should consider this before making a plan.
For family photos with younger toddlers & elementary age children, I suggest planning ahead by bringing new and exciting snacks or incorporating things they love (i.e. “We can do a dance party in the living room to your favorite song!” or “Let’s go see the ducklings at the lake”) when preparing for your shoot.
Another note about kids, particularly toddlers. They are unpredictable! This is said with love, as a mother of a toddler myself. Sometimes the harder you push a toddler, the worse the meltdown. That said, I try to be as low-stress and playful as I can be when taking photographs of families. Not only does a relaxed environment make everyone feel better about the experience it also often produces the best imagery. Comfort and confidence goes a long way for adults and little ones alike.
So, there you have it! My top tips and suggestions for having a fun and successful family photoshoot. I hope this helps you. Being in front of the camera can be daunting, I get it. But it doesn’t have to be. By keeping it light and working with someone you trust you can get great photos AND have a great time. If you have any questions for me, please don’t hesitate to shoot me a message. If you’re ready to book a session it’s now easier than ever with my new scheduling system. Thanks for reading!