Fall is one of my favorite seasons for photographing children playing outside. Bright red apples present themselves for the picking and pumpkins are ripe for carving spooky silhouettes. Trees alight in vibrant fiery colors and then fall in huge piles for us to throw, crunch under our feet and even jump into.

What to do with all this autumnal inspiration?

Shoot outdoors of course! The fall begs to be enjoyed out of the house. The cooler temperatures are perfect conditions for innumerable outdoor sports and activities. Whether it’s a crisp and cool afternoon or you’re experiencing the joys of an Indian summer, you should be good to go. Just remember to dress in layers. Get out your soccer balls and scooters and make some memories!

Girl Gets Ready to Ride Scooter in Central Park

Capture the exuberant and the calm. You know that endless supply of energy kids seem to have? Get it on camera. You’ll need to use a fast enough shutter speed to stop them in motion. The sun is the queen of light sources and often bright enough to allow you to do this. You may want to experiment with adding flash to really freeze them in camera, even when there is plenty of light. I also enjoy shots that emphasize movement with motion blur, which you can achieve with a slower shutter speed (start with 1/60). Play. Then keep shooting when the action stops. You’ll want to photograph that fleeting expression, or reflective quiet moment too.

Girl Throws Fall Leaves

Little Girl in Quiet Moment

Be your own family’s photo historian as you’re enjoying all that fall has to offer. Make sure to catalogue the little ones growing up while they’re still young and while they still let you. I read this quote from Sharon Osbourne in Parents magazine and it resonated: “Your children are basically on loan to you. By the time they become young adults, they grow their wings and fly. You should treasure every moment.” My niece recently turned 15 and she’s been in front of my lens since she was 6 (when I met my hubby). I’m so glad to have a photographic record of her through all the birthdays, holidays and in-betweens. Luckily for us she still likes to go apple picking, but that could change tomorrow.

Fall style tip: The layered look is back with cute hoodies and cozy knitwear. Fall wardrobes move into bold, deeper hues and earth tones. Plus with Halloween around the corner, playful clothes and costumes abound. Take advantage of the season by emphasizing these trends before you set out on your family photo shoot.

Girls in Cute Hoodies Enjoy Lollipops

What’s your favorite fall family tradition?

Leila is a NYC kids lifestyle photographer who writes a monthly blog called Foto Shui – make your photos flow.


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