Tips For Capturing Great Fall/Autumn Photos

Tips For Capturing Great Fall/Autumn Photos

by Sparkle Hill

Autumn (Fall) is a favorite time of year for every photographer to do their photo sessions. The beautiful leaves give you plenty of warm golden tones to incorporate into your images. Use these tips to get the most out of your next Autumn photo session.



Choosing the right location is crucial when shooting during this season. In order to take advantage of nature and it’s beautiful colors this time of year, you need to choose spots that give you plenty of photo opportunities.

During the Autumn season, the grass is typically dying and no longer green. So you will need to rely on the trees both in the background and the ones that have already fallen.

An empty field that worked great in the summer or spring will only work well in Autumn if there are plenty of colors in the background. So look for areas with a huge patch of trees.

Wooded trails also work great for sessions during Autumn. Being surrounded by leaves both on the trees all around you, as well as the path you are walking on, can leave you with a breathtaking colorful scene for getting gorgeous photos.

Colorful mountains also make for a great backdrop. Even if you can’t actually be in the mountains, if you can get close enough so that the colors are visible you can get beautiful photos.


When To Shoot:

Timing is also key for Autumn sessions. During this time of year, the sun sets earlier than it does in spring and summer. Keep up with the news and know when the sun is predicted to set each day. You don’t want to show up to your session and run completely out of light twenty minutes in.

The “golden hour” is the best time to shoot during the Autumn season. This is the hour just after sunrise or just before sunset. The hour before sunset can help you avoid “morning dew” if you will be out in grassy areas. This is also the time of day that lighting is more warm and even because of it’s position in the sky. The warmth of the light is a nice compliment to the warm colors in the leaves.

Keep in mind that the sky conditions can play a big part in timing. If you have an overcast sky, you won’t get as much light if shooting during the golden hour. Also, if you are shooting in a heavily wooded area you will have less light to work with because of the shading. So start your sessions earlier to make sure you have ample lighting in these scenarios.


Your Clients' Wardrobe:

When discussing the session with your client prior to the shoot, suggest that they wear clothes with neutral colors and little patterns to avoid competing with the colorful background. The goal is to have the background help add color and warmth to your images, however, you still want your subjects to be the primary focus. So busy patterns on clothing can blend in with the patterns of the leaves in the trees and doesn’t allow them to “pop” against the bathroom.
It starts to get cooler this time of year so they also need to dress warm so they will be comfortable during the shoot.

Have them bring a blanket to use in some images to help really emphasize the Autumn atmosphere. Have a couple wrap up in a blanket for a more intimate “autumn feel” photo.


Other Tips:

Autumn is a wonderful time of year to get some amazing colorful photos for your clients. The time frame from which the leaves have officially turned and when they all have fallen isn’t very long in most areas. Pay attention to your surroundings and how they are changing every day and plan accordingly to avoid missing this magical window of opportunity.

Use the trees as your background or have your clients sit and get on their level and incorporate the leaves on the ground into your foreground and/or background. The combination of the warm tones from the golden hour mixed with the colorful natural backdrops can leave you with stunning results for your clients.

Have them throw the leaves or lay in them. There are so many ways you can use the beautiful Autumn colors to your advantage as long as you are prepared and get the timing just right.

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