PARENTING

10 Creative Ideas For Fall Family Photos That Aren’t Basic

by Kelly Glass
Kelly Glass is a writer whose work focuses on the intersections of parenting, health, and pop culture. She lives in an Illinois college town with her educator husband, wildly ambitious sons, dog, and several fish. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Romper, BlackGirlNerds.com, HelloGiggles, Oxygen.com, What to Expect, and more.

The leaves are changing colors atop the trees. The smell of pumpkin spice is in the air. Fall is here, and it’s the perfect opportunity to wrangle the crew and get outside for beautiful fall family photos. 

If there are young children in the family, getting everyone organized and on the same page at the same time is your first obstacle. Your next obstacle is making sure your fall family photos are original, representative of your family, and worthy of hanging on the wall year-round. Make your family photo shoot about your family and your family’s interests, not the colors of the season. Fall comes every year, but if you have children, it’s their ever-changing looks you’ll want to capture, not just the change of season.

Done right, seasonal photos can become timeless treasures to share for years to come. LittleThings has put together 10 creative ideas for your family’s fall photos that will help your photos stand out from the rest.

1. Bring in the Props

1. Bring in the Props

Props add a special something to a photo. Pumpkins and haystacks are the obvious fall choice for props, but think outside of the box. Do your kids play a certain sport? Break out the sports gear for the photo shoot. Does your family love to watch movies together? Think of a film theme. 

Two props that are universal to memorable photos are signs and balloons. Write your family’s name or a cute and funny quote on a decorative chalkboard sign and hold it up as a family in your photo. Balloons are also a fun, colorful, and simple addition to help liven up family photos. You don’t need to overdo the props, and you don’t need to stick to a fall color scheme. Have fun with it!

2. Be Natural and Have Fun

fun and natural family photo
@alexandrahraskova via Twenty20

I don’t know about you, but my kids don’t exactly sit still on a neatly laid blanket in an open field, all while smiling and directly facing forward. Sure, it all makes for a perfect photo, but families aren’t perfect. No two families are alike, and their pictures shouldn’t be either.

Walk, dance, play, interact, and have fun with each other. You want the photos to be representative of your family and all of the personalities in it. Stiff, traditional poses are common for a reason, but natural scenarios end up being the best shots deserving of a spot on the living room wall.

3. Switch Up the Angle

fall family photo from a different angle

Your professional photographer is more open to your direction than you might think. When you talk to your photographer about your photo shoot, mention that you want to buck the tradition of straight-on photos. Get creative with it. 

Eye-level angles make for a more intimate point of view. High-angle shots can include more of the beautiful outdoor fall scenery in your shot. There’s also titled angles and long shots for an edgier perspective. It’s all about what’s fitting for your family.

4. Add an Action Shot

action shot fall family photo

Action shots aren’t just reserved for sports photography. If your kids are hardly sitting still, take advantage of that and get a cool shot in motion. Make sure your photographer has plenty of advanced notice that you want action shots. They require lots of camera memory and a photographer willing to capture them — and possibly with some experience in doing so.

Family photo shoots are tiring enough as it is, so don’t feel the need to spend the whole session in motion. Just welcome the opportunity to get in a few good ones.

5. Match Outfits, If You Must, but Be Unique

fall family photo idea with matching outfits

Matching outfits are the epitome of the fall family photo shoot and family photo shoots in general. The white shirt and khakis are starting to become more like a family uniform, unfortunately. Sure, coordinating colors and matching outfits help ensure the photo looks put together, but it’s time to rethink this tradition.

Instead of the uniform white shirt and matching khakis or jeans, get colorful. Wear floral headwear, matching patterns, or even graphic shirts.

6. Don’t Match At All

fall family photo with nonmatching outfits

Skip matching altogether and simply wear what looks good. Instead of matching outfits, you might focus on things like your home decor. Where’s the best place for this photo to live on the wall? Now coordinate the decor and color scheme to fit, not match, the outfits you wear.

7. Head Into the City

fall family photos

It’s fall, and the trees are beautiful, and the weather is crisp. The natural lighting in the fall is also usually pretty amazing. Why not be outdoors? That doesn’t mean that you have to be in the grass and in the leaves. For a totally different type of fall photo, head into the city. The concrete, the buildings, and the people make underrated backdrops where the focus is still on your family.

8. Don't Forget the Family Pet

8. Don't Forget the Family Pet

Our pets are a part of the family. They love the outdoors. Bring them along, and let their playful nature lighten the mood of the family photo shoot. If they’ll agree to wear a bow or a bow tie, bonus!

9. Embrace Fall at a Rustic Location

fall family photo at a cabin
@athousandwordsbykim1/Twenty20

When you think fallen leaves, haystacks, and pumpkins, you think fall. They’re seasonal. Your family photos are meant to be timeless. The rustic theme, however, looks good year-round. Cabins and barns make great rustic locations for photos. Rugged benches, such as the ones often found in forest preserves, will work too.

10. Vary the Background

fall family photos

The difference between a run-of-the-mill photo and a creative one can be as simple as the positioning. Play with shapes and lines by moving some family members to the background and some to the front. Shortest to tallest is an easy way to decide, but arrange a few shots where the parents get to shine in the front, too.

fall family photo in wide open space

Moving the setting to a beautiful wide-open space is another way to vary the background — if you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of one. Don’t worry that it will take the focus off your beautiful family. A good photographer knows just how to capture the beauty of the landscape while emphasizing the love between the subjects at the focal point.