Outdoor Fall Photo Tips

It doesn’t take fancy lighting or an expensive camera to capture great family photos. I joined forces with West Coast friend and fellow blogger Lindsay Faria to show you that you don’t have to be the next Annie Leibovitz to get frame worthy photos! Check out her post here for her tips on setting up an indoor fall photo shoot.

For me, living near the mountains offers ample opportunities for capturing outdoor photos. Here are some tips to get you started!

General Tips for Outdoor Photos:

Have your equipment ready– Make sure the batteries are charged. Although my post and photo samples focus of more candid shots, be sure to pack up the tripod and know how your camera works especially in self timer mode if you plan to take some staged family portraits. Children have limited attention spans, so you don’t want to be wasting time getting your gear ready.

Think of timing– In photography there is a time of day called the golden hour. A few hours before sunset enhances the colorful beauty. Morning light can also be beautiful. Whenever possible, avoid the harsh afternoon light. But, also keep in mind your children’s schedules. Cutting into nap time might not be the best choice if you want your little one(s) to cooperate.

Have a plan but be prepared to be flexible too– Young children can have a mind of their own.dsc_0506smallPersonally, my daughter is going through the phase of not wanting her photo taken. If you want specific shots, those are best to be done right away.

Then, you can try and capture some of those fun candids.

Location, location, location– If you have a specific place in mind, check it out close to your shoot date. The leaves may have fallen or conditions may have changed from what you had in mind.


There were very little apples left that were low to the ground and not rotted when we went apple picking. This could have made for some tough photo taking!

Casual photos can make for the best photos– Not every photo has to be set up with a particular background and your family looking directly into the camera.\

Let your little ones personality come out for some of the best pictures.


Kissing pumpkins, and hugging a scarecrow- all parts of Emma’s very loving personality! She always tries to be strong too!

Head outside of the box–  Photos of your kiddos decorating the house, reading their favorite spooky story, watching a favorite holiday show or jumping in some leaves can also make for some great pictures. fullsizerender-4
With that in mind, also think about taking photos from many angles (on top of that hay bale, from the ground up etc.) and don’t be afraid to crop. You don’t have to shoot every shot with a wider aperture for blurry backgrounds. Think of stopping down for sharper and more focused backgrounds highlighting the festive backgrounds of the season.

Make it an adventure– The one way to get my daughter excited about anything is to make it an adventure. Talk about what you’ll see, what you will do and the fun that is to be had.

Focus on the color– One of the reasons people love fall is the amazing display of color from the bright oranges of pumpkins to the yellows of the aspens.


Prop it up– Props are not limited to indoor use. Look around your shoot location for natural props from leaves and a fence post to pumpkins and hay bales. Bringing a few simple props from home can also add to the fun of the shoot.


Shoot, shoot, shoot– That is the beauty of today’s digital cameras. You can shoot as much as you want without it breaking the bank.

Don’t forget to capture some fun landscapes shots while you are at it. But most of all, have fun and enjoy the time with your family during my favorite season.

Adventure On,





One Comment on “Outdoor Fall Photo Tips

  1. Pingback: How to Stage a Stress Free Indoor Fall Family Photo Shoot – Letters To Dutch

The Adventures of a Day Hiker

My stories and photos from the National Parks (and more)

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