How to Take Perfect Fall Photos for Your Holiday Cards


It’s that time of year again – family photo season. Whether you love or hate getting your family’s photo taken, it has become a yearly tradition for many. Why? Because Autumn offers brilliant color palettes for photos. And also, because it is the right before you need to start addressing and sending all those photo Christmas cards.

At this point, fall family photography has become an art form. It can be overwhelming and stressful – especially for moms who tend to do all the planning when it comes to family photos. To make your lives easier, I am highlighting some of my favorite fall photo session tips for families.

Start with the location.


Before you do anything else – I mean anything – pick your location. Everything else for your photo session depends on where your picture will be taken. It will determine the type of photographer to hire, what to wear, etc. But don’t worry! The reason fall is so popular for family photos is that the season offers numerous optimal locations. For example:

  • Pumpkin Patch – By far, one of the most popular options is to head to a pumpkin patch.

  • Autumn Woods – If you are over the pumpkin patch, consider a wooded area where the autumn leaves are bursting with color.

  • Orchards or Fields – Apple orchards and harvest fields also make great photo session locations.

Book a professional photographer.


Yes, I know you’ve gotten pretty good at taking pictures of your kids with your phone’s camera. But, if you want a photo that is going to appear on holiday cards and various walls in different homes, then you want to put the phone down and hire a professional. Plus, professional photographers know what they are doing when it comes to fall family photos! They know the best time of day to shoot and how to capture your kid’s personalities on camera.

Choose Mom’s outfit first.


In your family, who is typically the hardest to dress for a special occasion? I’m guessing it is you, Mom. Since you are the queen of the home and the one planning this whole thing, choose your outfit first. The more comfortable and beautiful you feel, the more relaxed you will be. And, once you have chosen your outfit, you can easily find outfits for everyone else.

Pick clothes for the rest of the family.


After Mom’s outfit has been selected, it is time to choose outfits for the whole family. You do want to coordinate, but there are some dos and don’ts.

  • Avoid trendy pieces. I’m all about fashion trends, but I recognize that what looks great today might not look so stylish years down the road. Since family photos are meant to last, go with more timeless and classic looks.

  • Do not go matchy-matchy. You want your family’s outfits to coordinate with one another – not to match. Matching colors and matching outfits are a thing of the past. Plus, it doesn’t look as good in photos as coordinated ensembles.

  • Use subtle patterns only. You absolutely do not need to stick with just solids and avoid patterns. Embrace the patterns – just make sure they are subtle and not big or flashy.  

  • Choose a color scheme. Decide on a color scheme before shopping. However, this does not mean you say everyone wears blue. Again, that is too matchy-matchy. Instead, select a palette of coordinating colors for different family members to wear.

Have picture ideas before the day of the shoot.


Finally, have ideas for some of the types of photos you’d like to take before the photoshoot. Spend time on Pinterest and send your photographer some examples of things you’d like to try at the shoot. Don’t try to remember the day of the shoot – trust me, you’ll forget.