the Ultimate Guide

to Planning a Stunning Fall Family Photo Shoot

Family is the reason we do the things we do!

Am I right!?
As my kids were growing up I always made a point of capturing them once a year, but to be completely transparent and honest it was the worst photoshoot of the year. To them I was mom, not the professional photographer brought in to capture how much they’d grown, or the magical smiles we cherish. Without fail someone was always goofing off, sticking out tongues, making themselves cross-eyed – you get the picture BUT now when I look back after all the years and collections of images captured, I see a heartwarming true-to -life portrayal of my family. I see their full of life personalities, that generally triggers a few tears or giggles depending on the image in question. Kids simply grow up too fast. I am grateful for all the moments captured, not just for myself but for my kids as well – they will often look through the photo albums like they were books, remembering all the moments.
but where do you start?
Planning for family photos is similar to planning your brand story images. Start with what story do you want to capture, ie., ‘Your Family 2023’ then start to fill in the blanks of how you want that picture to look.
First up: ‘SEASON’
In my corner of the world FALL and Spring tend to be the most magical, both have their attributes, for this post I’m the images area all FALL Focused for continuity, but the same principles can be used in and season. Fall is a magical time of year with all the rich colours of Autumn. We also have cooler temperatures, and can be outside for longer, opening up locations you might avoid in the height of summer. Infants and seniors in particular will appreciate the milder climate. There is also fantastic light in the Fall, each time of day offering up a different feel.

Second: ‘WARDROBE’
One of the joys of a Fall photo shoot is planning the wardrobe. Kids look cute in all their brand-new back-to-school gear. And the fact they’re excited to wear it makes it a lot easier to persuade them to smile for the camera!
Fall trends bring with them a whole stash of shades we’ve largely ignored for a season: reds, yellows, purples, greens. All of which tone beautifully with the shades of the leaves at this time of year. Because its cooler out you can also have fun with layers, making it easy to achieve several looks in one photo shoot, scarves, jackets, little mittens, layered sweaters. I always suggest coordinating rather than matchy / matchy, allowing individual personalities to shine just a little brighter.

Third: ‘LOCATION’
When it comes to choosing a location, think about the look you’re aiming for: rustic, architectural, natural, floral, vintage or modern. Ottawa / The Valley / Gatineau regions of Canada is host to incredible locations for Fall photos, whether you want to catch the colours of the leaves or not. Wherever you settle on, be sure to come to your photo shoot prepared for the weather. Pack umbrellas and layers, maybe a pair of rubber boots for the kids in case they want to splash about after the session. Children are magnets for puddles! (those are sometimes the best images, but its best wet stuff until the end)

Fourth: ‘a few extra tips’
Personal photography is WAY bigger than just photographing our kids. Consider a session with your extended family, grandparents, parents, best friends, if you’re a young couple starting your journey in life, capture those moments!! What would you give for one last proper photo with your grandmother? Life is precious, left undocumented it can become forgotten. It doesn’t take much to evoke beautiful memories, that put a smile on your face.

Every season has something a little bit different to offer in the memory making, story telling, photo journey I like to take my clients on. If you’re interested in having me capture your family story don’t hesitate to reach out.

Yours in creativity
Annemarie

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