What to Know-Fall Family Photo Session

Family Portraits

August 31, 2023

Fall is family portrait season when families gather together to capture their annual photograph in anticipation of holiday cards and gifts.  It is also my most popular time of year because it’s just so beautiful here in Kentucky. Every year I get similar questions so I thought I would use this blog post to answer some of those questions. 

When is the best time?  If only I could tell you my life would be so much easier. I have been doing this for over a decade and there has never been one year just like the other.  So many factors play into fall colors; heat patterns, how much rain we get, storm activity, etc. most people assume October is best, that is quite possible, although I do find that our summers are getting longer and longer and it’s rare to have any start of color in Louisville or outside of mountainous areas that have started to change before the middle of the month.  So ideally looking at the last two weekends in October and first two in November are your highest probability for color on the trees.  But as we go later into November, one factor to consider is how cold mornings can be. Cooler temps may not be an issue for older kids, but the younger they are, the more difficult it is for a child to settle down in frigid weather.  

So if you are looking at November, I highly suggest a sunset versus sunrise session, that way we have a little bit more warmth from the day.  I’ve also done sessions late November early December, those are also easier to obtain, less competition, but they also ensure that you’re going to have fall colors, most likely on the ground. But I’ve had many of fun sessions were kids crunch around on giant fallen Maple leaves, I know great places for such photos.  

Most people want vivid colors when they’re thinking full photos. I know lots of places with old Oaks and Maples that turn vibrant reds.  But this changes week to week.  Another popular setting is rural Kentucky, barns or horses. The fall sessions don’t have to be limited to just nature. The waterfront, for example, can have a mix of urban structures and colorful trees.

When it comes to location, I have a lot of options, this is something that we decide when we know the time of the day, because what’s beautiful at sunset may not be so at sunrise. This is where I can help make sure that we have the perfect location. Light in photography is everything.  

Another popular question is what should I wear. When it comes to multiple people in the photo, you really can go both ways, you can choose one set of tones or even a color and have everyone match. Or you can find a pallet that compliments each other, lay all the clothes out on the bed see how they feel together. Layers are great for days like this, finding a overcoat that can be beautifully photographed in case it’s just too cold and your kid won’t remove it. Think ahead of time about things that might make for a tricky situation in real time. Most kids don’t want to take their coat off when it’s cold, so if you don’t want a child to be wearing a coat, think about putting layers on them and keeping the coat off so it doesn’t become a push pool issue during the session.  

Below I added a session that I do every year, in the same location, with the same group of kiddos and mom always nails outfits, they always look sharp and blend perfectly with the background.  Look back at my blog and you’ll see a Family all in green, and this is an example where you can wear the exact same color, yet the outfits are different enough to add variety. I am always available for a color consult, you can shoot over photos of your outfits and we can discuss how they look together or any questions you have. 

I love fall sessions but I know, just as any photography session, that you plan for your family, can be highly stressful. It’s a big investment and you want to get it just right. So being proactive and planning upfront can help us confront any struggles that might arise. And my biggest advice, for anyone doing family photos, it’s just relax, connect, have fun, and let me worry about the smiles and the outcome of the photo, your only job is to enjoy it.

Too much pressure for kids to perform will actually do the opposite, it will make them feel uncomfortable, we want them to be authentic even if it means they have a few moments of obstinance. That is all perfectly normal.  I plan to do another detailed blog post about getting your kids in the right headspace for photos.  

OK that’s it for today!  I hope everyone has a beautiful day and if you’re interested in scheduling a fall session please reach out to the studio, I have a small handful of weekends left but a few more weekdays. 

Kentucky photographer specializing in maternity, newborn, family, senior, wedding photography. Currently booking for fall of 2023. If you’re looking for the best photography session for you, reach out to the studio for questions.

Photography services for Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana, Shelbyville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Cincinnati.  Specializing in portrait and wedding photography.  Photojournalistic Portraiture.

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