5 Incredible Locations for a Gorgeous Autumn Photoshoot

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5 Incredible Locations for a Gorgeous Autumn Photoshoot

It’s the time of year when moms (and grandmas) begin thinking about an Autumn Photoshoot.  The kids are going back 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 hobby photographer or a pro, you will need a session location for your photo shoots!  Here are five great spots to consider to make this year’s autumn family photoshoot the best one yet!

If you want to capitalize on the fall colors and you’re looking for some great photoshoot ideas for family or portrait photography, pick a location for your autumn photoshoot with a whole lot of colors!  The warm tones of fall are flattering, to all the skin tones glow with warmth.  There’s nothing quite like the vibrant, warm colors of autumn, is there?

How Do I Take a Fall Photoshoot?

Location, Location, Location!

One of the essential factors in your autumn photoshoot is the location!  Choose a location that screams of fall!

 You will want an area filled with beautiful colors and a background and props that make you think of the coziest season of the year.  You can mix it up 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, then go ahead and create a bucket list of photo locations and hit a new spot each year!  Either way, I’ve put together some suggestions to get you thinking!

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 do end up scheduling your shoot at a busier 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

Autumn Photoshoot Location #2

An Apple Orchard

If you haven’t reach pumpkin patch season just yet, or >GASP<, there’s no pumpkin patch near you, have no fear! 

An apple orchard makes an excellent alternative.  As a side note, 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.  Talk about leading lines!?  Apple orchards are perfect for that!  Another great prop in the apple orchard is a simple basket full of apples or the darling wagon that you can usually borrow to haul your bushels of fruit back to your car.

Not only are apples colorful and fun, but an early autumn photoshoot is a great time to catch a beautiful shot of the sky.  Autumn skies are my favorite, with puffy clouds floating on a clear blue background.  While you’re there, don’t forget to capture one of the cute littlest members of the family munching on a freshly picked apple.  Even better, for a romantic shot, get two people sharing a bit of an apple across from one another at the same time, 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
grandfather on a crate with apples in an autumn photoshoot

Autumn Photoshoot Location #3

A Corn Maze

Fall is the perfect time to take your autumn photoshoot to the corn maze!  The best time, of course, is late afternoon or golden hour.  Have fun photographing your family and 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 perfect place to catch giggles and hair flying in the breeze as your subjects race through the maze.  Encourage your subjects to have a great time and not worry too much about you.  When they are having a great time, you will surely capture great smiles!

Don’t forget to capture some shots from behind your subjects, too.  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 from you and have them all turn back and look at you.  You will get natural smiles!

Check out this fantastic location in Fennville, Michigan, where you can pick apples, 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, take a look around anywhere in the Midwest, and you will see haystacks and hay rolls everywhere!  In our house, we debate which is the “right” shape for hay bales – in a square or a roll.

On which side of this debate do you land?  I kind of 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 plenty 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!

Just about 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, we have the Critter Barn, which offers a hands-on animal experience and makes for amazing photos. 

Any red barn makes an excellent 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 very 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 taking a drive in the country until you see a site that looks just right.  Fall colors in a woodsy area make 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
autumn photoshoot with preteen rolling his eyes at parents' kiss

Bonus Autumn Photoshoot Locations

For a less traditional autumn photoshoot, try out one of these unique photography ideas!

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.

Have your subject pack a checkered tablecloth and a picnic basket for an autumn photoshoot in your local park.  A lovely bottle of wine and a basket of fruits are the perfect props!

Putting your autumn family photoshoot all together

An autumn photoshoot outdoors can be stunning, no matter what location you choose.  I would love to see your autumn pictures.  Be sure and share them in my Facebook Group. 

I would love to know how I can improve this blog for my readers.  Would you be willing to fill out THIS ANONYMOUS SURVEY?  I sure do appreciate your help!

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