What could be more fun than taking a walk with your camera to capture the beauty of Fall? This is my favorite time of the year without question. The change in nature’s colors fills my creative well. There are a hundred ways to savor the season, but today we’ve narrowed it down to thirteen ways to capture the beauty of fall through photography. If you have little ones who love to play in the falling leaves, or you look forward to canning jams, or you simply have a free afternoon to take a walk in the cold air exploring a pumpkin patch or sunflower fields, grab your camera, because this is the perfect inspiration for gorgeous photos!
Also: You can now buy Me Ra’s newest book, Your Child in Pictures for more tips on taking gorgeous photographs of your child! (shameless plug but after two years of work, excited to plug it! :))
But for now … Nurture your creative spirit with these thirteen ways to capture the beauty of Fall from me and my fellow photographer friends:
Play in the Leaves (Arms Stretched Wide is Key) 1 of 13
If you've always wanted a photo of your kids playing in the fall leaves, having their arms stretched wide is the key. I love to tell kids to throw the leaves in the air with wide open arms, and smile up at the sky. This is what I picture when I think of kids playing in leaves, but sometimes our kids need a little direction on how to create the photo with you.
No Fall Leaves? Improvise with Color! 2 of 13
"If you were to visit my home today, you'd think you were up north instead of in Southeast Georgia because of all the seasonal decor I have spread around the house ... when really, it's 90 degrees outside! When creating images that have a fall feel, improvisation is key for me and super easy. For this image, I dressed Logan in rich colors and ventured outside. We took advantage of "the golden hour" with its warm, buttery light. I positioned Logan with her back to the sun, and as soon as it rose above the tree line, I snapped this image. The warm colors of the sunlight and the rich colors and sunflower on Logan's dress give the image a fall feel. I love how Logan was captivated by a leaf she found. Even though it's mostly green, the presence of a leaf also helps to further create a fall feel in this image. What are some other ways you can improvise fall in your photos this year?"
Canning Your Goodies 3 of 13
Cans of jams and jellies are one of the coziest photos to take. To soften the background and draw more attention to your beautiful canning, get in super close with your camera or smartphone when taking the photo. The closer you are with your camera, the blurrier the background will become.
Photo by Elizabeth Wendland
Fall, Family, Football Fanatics! 4 of 13
Try saying "Fall, Family, Football Fanatics" five times, as fast as you can! If your family loves football in the fall, be sure to capture a photo that tells the story. I love how we don't even see the faces in this family photo by Jill Ann Melton. Super creative and fun! To see more creative football themed ideas for capturing your baby, child, family and even pet, check out 12 Football-Inspired Photos even Football Haters will Love!
Photo: Jill Ann Melton in Texas.
Get Wide 5 of 13
"Fall is the most beautiful time of year. So many gorgeous shades of orange, red, browns, yellows. Why hide it? Get Wide! This is hard for some photographers since many are used to getting in tight with their shots, but there is so much beauty going on in the fall that it's fun to experiment with nice wide open angles. There's so much more info to be told in an image when you show more of the setting. So get out,get wide, and capture the beauty of fall!"
Bring Props! 6 of 13
Have you ever tried bringing your piano bench with you when taking outside photos of your kids? If not, it's so much fun! And it's one of my favorite tricks for having high energy kids calm down. Find your favorite tree lined sidewalk with fall colors abounding. Then plop your little one on the piano bench, in the middle of the sidewalk, and snap away! The kids are often surprised by the whole set up that they give you some pretty cute facial expressions as a result! If you try it, you have to share your photo results on my FB page!
Photo by Nikki McLaughlin
Go Exploring with Your Toddler 7 of 13
Slow afternoon walks through the neighborhood with your toddler can make for great fall photo ops. There are endless things for your toddler to discover, whether it's leaves or weathered sticks. To create more of a buttery, blurry background, get in close to your little one when taking the photo (just like you got in super close to the canning jars).
Photo by Jess Robertson
Nature Details 8 of 13
Need some time to yourself? Set your alarm to wake up thirty minutes earlier and bring your camera or smartphone to capture any of nature's details that pop out at you.
Photo by Laura Swift
Play in the Corn Mazes 9 of 13
Photographer Cathy Mores from Kansas writes: "Zip lines, corn mazes, tractor rides — pumpkin patches are endless fun! When my son was two, he loved speeding through the corn mazes with reckless abandon. Kids can be so fearless! I wanted to capture his size against the corn and his incredibly quick feet. By slowing my shutter speed and moving the camera at the same speed he was running, the corn in the background appears to be in motion while he's still. Put yourself at the same height as your kids and see the world from their perspective."
Off Center, Even Just a Little 10 of 13
I LOVE how Neyssa Lee off centered her subjects in this darling fall portrait. The off centering isn't extreme, but by resisting the temptation to put her little subject smack in the center, our eye is drawn more to both the emotion and golden leaves. We don't see mom's face, but that doesn't take away from the story. In fact, it makes mom's guiding presence that much stronger in this moment.
Shade of Haystacks 11 of 13
Sometimes the harvest sun can be super bright. Avoid having your little ones squint and find some even shade in between the haystacks. What a fun fall photo that solves a lighting problem too! I love the scale in this photo's story too. The hay is stacked so high, it makes this little one seem even smaller.
Photo by Tina Erdman
Bundle Up and Let Nature Play a Role 12 of 13
I love to tell my clients to bundle up for fall themed photos. Notice how the cozy sweaters, knit hat on the little one, and long coat on dad adds to the overall Fall story. The overarching trees in NYC's Central Park accentuates the family's togetherness. This is a fun example of going wide vertically versus horizontally, like Nicole's beautiful fall portrait. The temptation is to get in tighter and fill the frame with just the three of them. Yet, it's also fun to let nature play a role in the story of connectedness too!
Explore Eight of the Best Spots for Central Park’s Fall Foliage 13 of 13
Vivienne Gucwa is part of a new, inspiring team of artists, called the SONY Club. One a recent phone conference with SONY, I got to hear all about Vivienne. When I looked at her blog, I instantly fell in LOVE with her photography! She wrote this beautiful, wonderful post, called Top 8 Autumn Views in Central Park. If you are going to visit NYC this Fall, you will want to follow her treasure map to gorgeous spots of scenery. I am definitely going to follow her advice for my photo shoots later this month. And can I also say how excited I am to meet Vivienne! We are both speaking at a mommy blogging conference, Click Retreat, in the Outerbanks of North Carolina this week. One of my favorite things: meeting other women photographers who inspire me!
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13 Ways to Engage the Photographer in Your Kids (from Me Ra and her two kids!)
*To see more videos with fun photo tips, see my Disney Junior show Capture Your Story with Me Ra Koh