I am lucky enough to live in Colorado, where in the fall, aspens look like a blanket of gold near the end of September. Each year, we travel to the mountains to explore and take our fall portraits amid the beautiful backgrounds. We have had some pretty great results (and adventures) and it is always fun to look back at how much we’ve grown each year. Here are some simple tips I’ve picked up along the way for your fall family photos.
One of the fun things I like doing in advance for our photos is finding fall colors that we all can wear and coordinating our outfits. Check out my fall portrait Pinterest board for some ideas. Bringing a cohesive color throughout the entire family will make a stylish picture that looks put together and cute.
Also, if you want you can bring props on your excursion. Things such as Pumpkins, hot chocolate, scarves whatever you can imagine to fit the fall picture theme.
When planning out your trip, it is important to research where and when the fall colors will occur. Usually, when it gets close to that time of year, news stations and blogs put out their fall guides for seeing the colors. Plan a time and general location that you would like to go to based upon the expert reviews.
On the day of the trip, leave early for your journey. The place you envisioned may be perfect, but more than likely you will still have to search to find the perfect spot. Plan of driving around a lot and getting lost looking for the best surroundings. One year we found the most amazing orange leaves in a small little random patch on the side of the highway. It was the only place we saw, the whole day, that had both red and orange leaves and it was only in this one random spot:
Bring whatever photo equipment you have. While of course I will recommend using a DSLR camera, bring what you have. Daytime pictures with a phone can turn out amazing. Here are some pictures I took with just a phone a few years back:
That being said, if you have a DSLR, bring your favorite lens as well. I have a Nikon D3200 and am still working on my lens collection, but I love the 85mm 1.8. It is great for soft portraits. The 35mm 1.8 is great as well as you can get more of the background in the shot. I am hoping to add a wide angle to my arsenal for plain nature scenes. And the lenses the pros recommended are the 70-200 2.8 and the 24-70 2.8. (A girl can dream!)
If buying a new fancy lens is something you would like to do but can’t, there are also places that will rent out lenses for a day or weekend. I have never done this but may contemplate it in the future. www.lensgiant.com or www.borrowlenses.com
Also, bring a tripod or a way to position your camera if you want to add yourself to the shot. I got a great portable tripod and a super cheap camera clicker that works great with my Nikon. If you are using a phone, make sure you know how to use the timer.
Take pictures of everything. The beauty of digital photography is that you can always go back and delete what you don’t like. You never know what you will catch in an off moment.
Take your pictures from different view points. Get down low. Have the family sit or stand or throw leaves. Capture the every day moments, The playing, the exploring, the fun. Add some videos in while you are walking around. You will appreciate these later!
Try using different settings on your camera. If you lower the aperture down as low as it will go, you will end up with that fuzzy background, if it’s higher you can focus on the whole scene. If you are taking action shots, raise the shutter speed so that the moment is frozen and in sharp focus.
The most important advice I have is to have fun. Make this an adventure! Go exploring, see the sights and enjoy nature! Regardless of the pictures, this will always be a fun memory to cherish!
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