Fall Photo Shoot Tips for DIY Family Portraits

The following fall photo shoot tips are brought to us by Dianna Bai of ReelGenie, an app that turns your photos into movies! If you haven’t yet, check it out! 

Fall will be here before you know it, mamas! Before we could even properly bid goodbye to the sand, sun, and summer smoothies, the reds and golds of autumn are entering into our day. Maybe it’s the breezy weather. Maybe it’s the fleeting colors. There’s something about fall that invites us to step outdoors with the whole family and capture them on camera. This season offers no shortage of fun photo ops for kids, and if you’re not looking to hire a professional photographer at the moment there’s no reason you can’t grab a tripod and take your own DIY family portraits!

As you go out and start shooting your children’s most colorful autumn memories, here are 5 tips for a great fall photo shoot:

Leafy portraits. Encourage your kids to jump into, run through, roll around and play peek-a-boo to their hearts content in a big pile of leaves in your yard – making sure they have enough leaves to cushion any falls! Crouch down low with your camera to capture the excitement where it’s happening. For the action shots like running or jumping, set your shutter speed to at least 1/250.

Leaving the leaves. Aside from leafy portraits, there are plenty of other opportunities to set the mood. Take your kids to visit the local apple orchard and snap a shot of them venturing up into a tree or showing off their basket of spoils. And did you know early autumn is prime time to take photos in sunflower fields? Or why not also go on a hayride and catch them peering out from the back of the truck? To keep your shot steady on the bumpy ride, hold your camera with both hands and keep your elbows close to your body to stabilize your arms.


The back to school album. A pink Barbie lunchbox packed with a PB & J and a baggie full of carrots. Crisp, white shoelaces on his brand new sneakers. A striped blue backpack slouching lazily over her shoulders. Capturing the minute details of their back-to-school adventure in your photo collection will help you tell the story of their experience and remember the anticipation and excitement that comes with a new school year.

What to wear for the outdoor family portrait.Your entire family doesn’t have to match, but a good idea may be to choose one neutral color – such as gray – to weave throughout everyone’s outfits. Neutral colors will also contrast nicely with the beautiful autumn hues in your photo, brightening the colors of the trees. Finally, wear layers! Not only will they keep everyone cozy, but they’ll also bring more life into the picture with rich textures.

The golden times. The best time to shoot your family pictures is between late afternoon and sunset, when the soft, golden tones of the sun will make the reds and golds of fall even more radiant. Plan ahead by looking up exactly when the sun will set that evening and factor in how long your photo shoot will take (as well as how long your kids will pose for you). Think about how many photos you want to take, how many locations you would like to go to, and how many poses you want.

Happy snapping!



Leave a Reply