Here are our 10 Ways to Take Great Family Portraits in the Fall

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. I love the feeling of the crisp clean air. The browns, reds, and oranges are such a beautiful background for any photo. It can be difficult to take family   photoshappy-familywith all your family members but why not try this season? Take our steps along with you to ensure a fun, easy family photo session.

Here are our 10 Ways to Take Great Family Portraitsin the Fall

#1 Hire a professional photographer: I know hiring a fancy photographer can be a bit pricey, but I assure you it will help in the long run to find someone within your budget. A photographer can help guide your family to great poses, edit imperfections, and give some sort of guarantee that taking your family out in the cold for a couple of hours to pose wasn’t a total waste of time.  You can create memories and the photographer is a vessel to capture the moment.

#2 Find a park: When looking for a location, try one with trees for a colourful background. Additionally, you want a park with various places to take a good mix of photos but isn’t too far to walk. Your kids may get tired just walking from one area to the next.

#3 Dress according to the weather:  The best photos are the ones where each family member coordinates. I repeat, coordinate, not match. Although matching can be cute for sibling photos, I don’t think it’s appropriate for family portraits. Now that doesn’t mean you all can’t wear jeans. It just means everyone wears similar colours. To dress for the weather, check the news. If it calls for rain, it may be good to do a rain check.

#4 Look up poses and themes: I find the best photos are ones with a certain story to tell. When you’re looking up poses, think if you would like the photos to be funny, traditional, or natural. This sets the tone of the photo shoot. It also gives your photographer a focal point to start. They’ll be able to understand the set up and provide an opportunity to use their artistic talents to suit your needs.

#5 Use props: With smaller children, it’s a good idea to keep a few small objects to go with the theme of the photo shoot. For example,if you are looking for a traditional photo shoot, a pumpkin may be a good distraction for a small child. Keeping them entertained will result in much better photos.

#6 Avoid playgrounds: Keeping with the previous step, going to a park with a playground will be too much of a distraction. Just avoid them altogether.

#7 Colours to avoid: Wearing either yellows or orange can distract from the Autumn background. Choose neutral or dark colours like navy or brown.

#8 Pack an essentials bag: This can be a small bag with a few items. You’ll want to bring small toys for the children and some snacks. Bring mittens and hats, just in case it gets too cold. You can warm the children up between shots. Make sure to bring some water to stay hydrated. It’s also a good idea to bring some lotion and/or Vaseline to keep hands and lips from cracking. Don’t forget some makeup and a small mirror.

#9 Remember to smile: CHEESE! Keeping the family together for a decent photo shoot can be a troublesome task. Looking stressed doesn’t help. Try to make light of the situation. If your toddler keeps running away, turn him upside down to make him laugh and take some photos! These moments make creative photos. Just remember to stop, breathe, and start over if things get a little out of hand.

#10 Capture intimate moments: Take some time for simple intimate photos like holding hands and close ups of kissing shots. These will add a deep and meaningful personal touch which can never be put into words.

Take advantage of the warm, fall weather, go out and take some photos. Even if you decide not to hire a photographer, there are many stations throughout Durham Region with a fall backdrop for your family to take photos. For example, Watson Farms in Bomanville has a great hay stack setup. The Toronto Zoo also has several different stations. Whichever option you choose, remember to enjoy the time with your family to create amazing photos. Please share your family photos with us and where you took them.

Jemi Smith introduction

Jemi is a very active mother of two young boys. She enjoys writing about their adventures. She is the owner of Moms Go To Durham that provides supportive programs for moms at every stage. As part of her outreach she has started a program that provides free books and toys to children with special needs. Follow her through the website at or join the conversation on To contact her call (647)785-5851 or email at


Drew Sauveur
Author: Drew Sauveur

Local business owner and resident of Durham Region

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