Fall is the season when most people meet up with their local family photographer to update images on the wall. And for a good reason! Family photo sessions in the fall typically have better weather; it’s close to Christmas for gifts (and cards), plus fall colors add an extra pop to your images. Golden hour, fall memories on your wall are pretty hard to beat
As a Spokane family photographer, I love gearing up for fall photography season. Read on to find out how to make the most of your yearly family photos.
Be flexible with the location and time of your fall family photos
Flexibility is essential with any photo session, but it’s especially important for fall family photos. Most of my clients book several months in advance, and I always tell them to keep a larger window of time open around our session, and we will confirm a few days before.
Why? Location, light, and weather. Fall is beautiful, but predicting how the light will be, what the weather might look like, and where fall colors are the best is tricky. If you want the best conditions for your photos, allow for flexibility in your photography session.
Sometimes changing locations or moving a session by 30 minutes can take a session from blah to AHHHHmazing.
5 Things To Consider When Choosing a Location for Your Fall Photos
- Fall colors are at the top of everyone’s list but can be unpredictable. I’ve had years where leaves turn super early, and somewhere winter comes so fast they never hit the ground. Choose a location for your photo shoot that has elements you love besides fall colors, like water, mountains, fields etc. The perfect backdrop for your family picture can be about much more than just the color pallet of the trees.
- Consider how close you want to be to other families for your photos. Fall is booming with people creating memories for Christmas cards, so be prepared to share the best spots. If crowds aren’t your thing, talk about shooting on a weeknight or traveling further from town to escape the masses.
- Will you be bringing your family dog(s) to the shoot? This is a big one to remember. Not all locations allow dogs, and several aren’t super dog friendly. Discuss your furry family members with your photographers before the shoot so we can accommodate them too.
- If you’re bringing young children, pick locations that offer a variety of things for them to explore.
- Have a backup location planned out. Most of the time, our shoots go off without a problem. However, occasionally things happen that make us need to try another plan. Having a second location on deck is great idea.
Dress in Layers for Your Fall Family Photos
Looking for outfit ideas to compliment fall? Layers are a fun way to add dimension to your photos. And yes, I’m refraining from saying “layers are flattering” because what I mean isn’t that they look nice. But scarves, sweaters, boots, cardigans, etc., all add an extra layer to flow and move in an image. Layers add additional depth to make a portrait even more interesting to view.
Plus sweaters, boots, and scarves… So comfortable to hang out in the grass or chase your kids down the trail.
If you’re also located in Spokane, WA, fall means temps drop fast at night. A layer on makes staying warm towards the end of a session easier. Especially important for kiddos!
Know your photographer’s turnaround time before the photoshoot
I’ve been photographing Spokane families for over seven years now, and I always ask, “when do you need your images returned?” before booking anything after September.
Did you know most photographers have a turnaround time of 3-5 weeks from camera click to images in your email? If you’re planning Christmas cards to be mailed at the beginning of November, make sure your schedule matches your photographer’s before you hit book now.
If you want photos as gifts, like canvases, prints, etc., allow an even bigger cushion.
Tips on Scheduling
The best time to book a fall family photoshoot for your favorite people is several months before the actual date. Reach out to your photographer of choice in the spring and see what they recommend.
For my autumn family sessions, I only take 10 clients per month before closing my calendar, which often happens in summer. But it still never hurts to reach out last minute. Just be aware your date of choice could already be snagged.
Are you local to Spokane, WA? I’d love to keep in touch on my client newsletter. It’s where I release dates for sessions, and model calls, and share information on how to capture your own memories of your family all year long.
MB – A Spokane photographer serving families and their dogs in the Inland Northwest