Planning Your Fall Session

It is that time of year! Fall!

In Michigan, that means campfires, pumpkins, scarfs, hot chocolate, football, cider, and some amazing foliage. Which is why the month of October is the busiest times for photographer in the Midwest. Now, we all know that I adore summer and the beach, but if the one thing living in the south taught me, do not waste the leaves. The colors don't change in southern North Carolina! So I always make sure to embrace the fall while we still live here.

Since this is the time of the year where I am the busiest, and not around my computer as much as normal, I wanted to create a guide to help you through your fall session with me. There are many things to consider when booking a session; outfits, time of day, location, what overall feel you want? 

First: What overall feel do you want to achieve in your session? 

In my option, fall is the season for showcasing a more moody intimate feel. The reds, oranges and browns are perfect for cozy blankets and sitting around a bonfire, or picking pumpkins and carving them with your family. Fall always brings people together, whether it is the holidays or a Sunday night football game. 

Even though the spring and summer have more vibrant colors with pastels. flowers and greens. The fall is still beautiful in its own, unique, way. The spring and summer, you are normally wearing various pastels, greens, yellows and aquas, while in the fall the leaves are all changing and you are more likely to wear reds, ambers, creams, and mustard tones. 

Since this time is perfect for those intimate sessions I mentioned before, I always ask clients why they want photos done. Is it to capture a milestone that will pass before we blink our eye, to showcase the personality of their family, or to just document memories as we all grow older. That is the beauty in lifestyle sessions, they can be customized to tell any story you want, to document your history in photos.


Second: Time of the Day

Especially in the fall season, the is that wonderful thing with time changes. The sun starts setting earlier and we loose sun faster than normal, so time of day plays an important role in booking a session. I love shooting an hour before sunset. The golden tones compliment fall outfits perfectly and it makes your skin tones look amazing. 

If you need earlier in the day, I totally understand, after all nap times are important to work around. I can work in any light, I might have to get creative and the best location options might change depending on the time of day and the available shady areas. I mean, no one wants squint y sun in their eye photos. Though they are still adorable and funny to look at.


Third: Location

For fall sessions, I always love places that provide trees for the color and shade in the brighter parts of the day, fields for closer to golden hour, but also details like fences, brick stairs, houses/barns or just an empty dirt road. It allows us to definitely get the colors of the fall scenery, but then we also have an option to keep some the photos more neutral so they can be hung up all year round. 

I also am a huge believer in taking photos in your own space. I love in home sessions, they showcase the personality behind your family and what says that more than a house that you all decorated together and if the place of love. These are probably my favorite places for my own personal photos if I am going to be honest with you.

I have many ideas for locations if you can't think of one, just tell me what you like for backgrounds and we can plan the perfect one for you. I have a location list here as well to help.


Fourth: Outfits

Oh man, let's be honest... It is so hard to choose an outfit and not to mention outfits for the entire family. As I mentioned above, fall colors are not just green, red, yellow and orange tones but also neutral like beige, cream, a blush or even a light charcoal.

My tip: try to choose your primary colors (2-3) and build around them. That gives you the option of matching the outfits, but still having differences between them. If you decide to incorporate a pattern make it subtle. Plaid, stripes, shapes, flowers and solid work all great together in small doses as we don't want them to overtake your session.


Dresses and skirts add a flow between the outfits as well and please don't be afraid to wear boots with them. Cardigans are my go to for fall outfits, they are perfect layers and they are also great for grabbing at and snugging in with your love. Accessories always leave a statement as well. 

If you can't think of an outfit, I totally recommend looking on Jule and purchasing one from Amanda. She has worked hard to picking and creating the perfect combination of outfits for photography sessions in particular. I have bought many of my family photo clothes from her and I can not praise her enough.


Fifth: Props

I don't use too many props in my sessions because I believe they take away from the natural feel of what I am aiming for when I photograph. But things like cozy blankets, pumpkins, hot cocoa, apples and anything else you can think of that relates to fall make great props and can be included in the session. Eat them. carve them, snuggle up in them. They don't take away from your family, but help aid in the naturalness that comes when you do things together. You are also welcome to bring your jersey from your football team and include that as well, as long as it is not a Michigan State Jersey, I'm sorry, but I have to decline that. ;P


And last, but not least: Turnaround time

I work hard to make sure I get everyone their images in a timely manner. I always try to deliver at the minimum of my turn around time frame (2-4 weeks for session, 8-12 for weddings), but at this time of year I normally am behind compared to the rest of the year. I still promise to deliver in the time frame I tell you, but be patient with me during this month. I know you are as excited to see your final images as I am to deliver them to you, but please do not text or message me daily to ask if they are done. I only ask because it takes time away from actually working on a session to deliver it to read and answer all my messages. I always post a few sneak peeks a few days following your session to help ease the wait period.

I am so excited for everyone's upcoming fall sessions! If you have any questions that this guide didn't help answer, then feel free to ask me.