The Best Ideas for a Couples and Family Fall Photoshoot

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The Best Ideas for a Couples and Family Fall Photoshoot

It’s the time of year when moms (and grandmas) begin thinking about a fall photoshoot.  The kids are returning to school, the mornings are starting to feel cool and crisp, and the birds are beginning to fatten up for their migration south or their cold winter months up north.  Yes.  It’s time for family photos, and whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional photographer, you will need a session location for your photo shoots!  Here are five great spots to consider to make this year’s fall photoshoot the best one yet!

If you want to capitalize on the colors and are looking for some great fall photoshoot ideas for family or portrait photography, pick a location with a lot of colors!  The warm tones of fall are flattering to all skin tones.  There’s nothing quite like the vibrant, warm colors of autumn, is there?  This season is the perfect time for an engagement photoshoot or any couples photoshoot.

Where To Take a Fall Photoshoot

Location, Location, Location!

One of the essential factors to consider when preparing is the location!  Choose a location that screams of fall!   You will want an area filled with beautiful colors that make gorgeous backdrops and remind you of the coziest season of the year.  You can make it a road trip and add variety by heading to a few locations one after another for your autumn photoshoot.

If you prefer to stick to one location per session, create a bucket list of photo locations and hit a new spot each year!  You’ll be ready for your next photo session with a list of places to check out!  Here are some great suggestions to get you thinking of locations with crazy-beautiful colors.

Autumn Photoshoot Location #1

The Pumpkin Patch

Can you think of anything more autumnal than a pumpkin patch?  With bright orange pumpkins scattered and a touch of decor, including Indian Corn, hay bales, and tractors, most pumpkin patches scream fall photoshoot!  A quick Google search will bring up the pumpkin patch nearest your home or office.  Go ahead and meet your clients right at the pumpkin patch.

If you choose this option, try to go on a weekday morning when the pumpkin patch tends to be less busy.  If you schedule your shoot at a more active time and find yourself working around other families, open up your aperture.  A wide-open aperture will keep your subjects in sharp focus, leaving all the other people and distractions in the background swathed in creamy bokeh.

A mom and baby with a pumpkin in an autumn photoshoot
siblings smiling at one another in a pumpkin patch for an autumn photoshoot
a father and son pose in a pumpkin patch for an autumn photoshoot
a boy gets a ride in a wheelbarrow in a pumpkin patch for a fall photoshoot

Related: Five Halloween Food Ideas for an Epic Middle School Halloween Party

Autumn Photoshoot Location #2

An Apple Orchard

If you haven’t yet reached pumpkin patch season, or >GASP<, there’s no pumpkin patch near you, have no fear!  Apple picking is a perfect alternative, and many apple orchards double as pumpkin patches a little after the apple season winds down.

Either way, you can take your family or clients to the orchard and have a great time picking some apples.  Let the kids run up and down the rows between the trees.  The natural lighting can be gorgeous in an apple orchard.  And you may even leave with a piece of hot apple pie or a cup of apple cider in addition to the perfect shot! 

Not only do you get the charm of a simple country scene, but you also get unique leading lines in the apple orchard.  Bring along an apple basket and use one of the wagons from the orchard in some of your candid photos.

If this is an engagement shoot, be sure and have your couple twirl with the sky behind them.  If you’re shooting a family, don’t forget to capture one of the cute littlest members of the family munching on a freshly picked apple.  For a romantic shot, get two people sharing a bit of an apple across from one another simultaneously, like spaghetti and puppies, Lady and the Tramp style!  Action shots are the best!  And the giggles that will go along with it are even better!

two small boys in an apple orchard for an autumn photoshoot
two boys standing between apple trees in an orchard
a boy holds an apple in an autumn photoshoot
Pink background with "Hip Grandma Merch" available on front

Autumn Photoshoot Location #3

A Corn Maze

Fall is the perfect time to head for the local corn maze!  The best time, of course, is late afternoon or golden hour.  Have fun photographing your family, friends, or clients running through the maze trying to find their way out.  Most mazes have a platform somewhere mid-maze that you can climb onto and capture some family action.  A corn maze is a great idea because it is the perfect place to catch giggles and hair flying in the breeze as your subjects race through the maze.   Encourage your subjects to enjoy themselves and not worry too much about you.  You will surely capture great smiles when they are having a great time!

For an engagement session, capture some shots from behind your subjects.  Prompt them to walk hand-in-hand away from you so you can catch an intimate moment with them enjoying one another.  Stop them when they’re a few feet away and have them all turn back and look in your direction.  This natural pose works great for parents with kids, too.  You will get genuine smiles.  This prompt works exceptionally well with subjects who are nervous in front of the camera.  The important thing is to capture your subjects while having fun!

Check out Crane’s Orchard, a fantastic location in Fennville, Michigan, where you can pick apples and pumpkins and run in a corn maze!

A sign at the entrance of a corn maze - the perfect place for an autumn photoshoot
Sisters hold hands while walking through a corn maze at an autumn photoshoot

Autumn Photoshoot Location #4

Hay Stacks or Rolls

Beginning in late summer, look around the Midwest, and you will see haystacks and hay rolls everywhere!  We debate hay bales’ “right” shape in our house – is it a square or a roll?

On which side of this debate do you land?  I like the tradition of the square bales, but there’s no doubt the round bales are much flashier!  No matter which shape bale you prefer, there’s no doubt that harvest season gives you the perfect backdrop for a fall photo shoot.

Most fields are large and set in a wide-open space with a backdrop far from the haystack.  This setup will give you great depth-of-field and beautiful, creamy bokeh in the background.  Use this one small photo tip while shooting to add some interest to your composition.

Your family photoshoot, from the casual to the formal, will be amazing when you incorporate some of these super cool hay bales in your shots!

A man on a hay roll for an autumn photoshoot
two women connecting in front of a hay bale for an autumn photoshoot
a closeup portrait of a woman leaning on a hay bale for an autumn photoshoot

Autumn Photoshoot Location #5

Local Farm or Petting Zoo

Is there anything better than a big, red barn for an autumn photoshoot?  There’s just something iconic about a good old-fashioned American red barn.  Of course, a crumbling colorless barn brings a personality all its own and can yield an equally stunning result!

Any backdrop at your local family-friendly farm will make for compelling and fun family photos.  If you are lucky enough to have a petting zoo or farm in your area, you will not want to miss this opportunity for a fall photoshoot.  Here in West Michigan, the Critter Barn offers a hands-on animal experience and makes for amazing photos. 

Any red barn is a good idea for a backdrop for family shots if you don’t have a hands-on petting zoo in your area.  Those shots are even more compelling if there’s some open field between your subjects and the barn.  If you’re shooting clients, you may have to scout your area or ask your local Facebook group for someone who knows of a barn that would make a great backdrop.

family photo from an autumn photoshootvwith gates and barn in the background
autumn photoshoot family in front of red barn
autumn photoshoot family in barn door

Autumn Photoshoot Location #6

Walking Trails

One of the best locations for a gorgeous autumn photoshoot is a local woodsy area with trails.  Finding a wooded area is as simple as locating a park near a forested area or driving in the country until you see a site that looks just right.  Or look for a nearby state or national park where you can stroll through nature. 

Fall foliage in a woodsy area makes for gorgeous photos!  If you choose a wooded backdrop, choose a time when colors are in full bloom and have your subjects wear complementary fall colors.  Take a leisurely walk through the trails and let them enjoy nature.  You can capture your subjects sitting (bring a blanket), walking, or even tossing leaves!

My dear friend DeeAnn, of DeeAnn Feick Photography took these photos of me with my husband and youngest son last fall.  These photos are some of my very favorites!

Autumn photoshoot with a couple walking down a path
autumn photoshoot with dad and son kissing mom on cheeks
autumn photoshoot with preteen rolling his eyes at parents' kiss

Bonus Autumn Photoshoot Locations

For a less traditional autumn photoshoot, try one of these unique ideas for a great photo!

  • Head to your local coffee shop for shots of your subject in a cozy sweater sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
  • Take a stroll through a local downtown area, where you will likely find seasonal decorations and pumpkins.
  • Take a stroll through one of your favorite amusement parks.  Some of the best couples poses for a fun couple is to get evening shots with the rides lit up behind them.  Some of my favorite fall engagement photo ideas are the most unusual!
  • Have your subject pack a checkered tablecloth and a basket of wine and cheese for a picnic in your local park.  The perfect props are a lovely bottle of wine and a basket of fruits!

Wrapping it All Up

Wherever you end up, pack your zoom lens for gorgeous up-close shots and your wide-angle lens for some photos that show the surroundings.  You’ll want to get some of each! 

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