Tips for fall family portraits

It’s autumn/fall, the wonderful time of year across the country where the trees turn from their standard shades of green to their burning reds, yellows and oranges. It’s also the time of year where family start to think about their outdoor fall family photo sessions. Which is great, there is so much color, a little bit of chill in the air which helps bring families that much closer together, which helps photographers create that lasting family photo which will hang on the walls of your home. So here are a few tips for getting that lasting family photo right.

1. Use a location that has special meaning to you and your family. Every year we photograph some amazing families and the first thing we get asked us where do you(Vagabond Photography) like to photograph families? Now, yes, we do have locations we like to use but we would like to use a location that has meaning to you. Is there a park you and your family used to go to spend time together for pick nicks or trips? Is it a little out of the way apple orchard that you used to take the kids to when they were younger or still do as a family tradition? These are places that we as photographers want to incorporate to bring that added value to your photos.

2. Dressing for a theme. while we know we have discussed this in previous blogs before it still is important. We try cloth our family in groups of the same color pallets it can really bring a photo together. We like to get our parents to dress in the same color style, kids in a slightly different color and if you’re going to incorporate the family dog maybe a colored bandana to hide their collar.  You may ask why photographers do this, and the simple answer is we do it to bring depth and brightness to a photo.  It also works for breaking families down into generations if we are doing a multi-generational family portrait.

3. Weather be prepared. Weather can change your family portrait mood and how long you have to get your family photos done if you are waiting for peak color. Its fall and we work on mother nature’s quick time frame of when that final leaf will drop from that last old oak tree and we are quickly ushered into winter. This year 2017 has been for the most part a dry year and in some spots instead of the leaves changing colors they are just dropping off from the trees. Thanks to the Wisconsin tourism board there is a nice website where anyone can check out the current state of tree color across this great State of Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin or anywhere in the Midwest and North East we can have frost in to morning and warm temps in the afternoon, so this a good time to plan with your photographer on what time of the day you want to do your family session. It can affect a few things from clothing style choices, to location choices. We obviously don’t want our clients being cold in the morning because they were wearing a dress or shorts. Then again, we may not want to photograph our clients laying on dew soaked leaves in the morning where their clothing ends up damp for the rest of the session.  Also, weather tends to change even with the weather guys future forecast, mother nature will still do what she pleases. Have an alternate plan/place or request a backup day in case of inclement weather, 99 percent of photographers out there will gladly do that for any customer.

4. Plan out where you want your photo to be displayed. With our company we talk with our clients ahead of time about where they would like their photo to be placed in their homes and do they want it as a standard print, a framed print or possibly as a canvas wrap or standout. There is actually a twofold reason we do this, part one is to get out clients thinking beyond just a digital copy because even those we live in a digital world we want out photos to be seen and shared regularly by you, your friends and family who visit your home. Second, we do it because if we know that our customers are thinking about going with a canvas wrap it gives us the ability to leave a little bit more of any edge so we are not cropping off the top of heads or feet when the photo wraps around the edges of the photos.

5. Bring the family pets. We love pets at Vagabond Photography. Pets are as much of a part of the family as the kids are and sometimes if you believe the parents they listen better than the kids do too. Depending on the location bring the family pet dog, cat, pig, reptile or if it happens to be one of the equine type family members let’s try to find a way to incorporate them as well if possible. They are the final piece to the portrait puzzle that really brings its together.

Now is the time to book your fall family photos session for photographer book quick. We’re all working with mother nature’s time frame and if you don’t act soon you’ll have to wait until next year to get your fall family photos done. We look forward to hearing from you, we would love to create lasting memories with you and your family. Contact