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Fall for Your Fall Photos

7 Sep 2023 9:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Fall photos provide beautiful scenery, versatile outfit choices, and can be used and displayed in many ways. Let’s go over what you need to know when booking your fall photo session with Allie B, a lifestyle photographer, mom of two, and member of the San Mateo Parents Club. 

Step One: Selecting a Photographer

Photographers offer different styles, price points, and packages. When reviewing a photographer's portfolio, consider style preferences such as color palette, contrast, posing, and more. For example, do you enjoy traditional posed family portraits or a group shot filled with giggles and movement? Do you prefer light and airy, bright and bold, or dark and moody? Deciding which style you like will help you to choose the right photographer.

Photographers may offer multiple types of sessions like shorter mini sessions that typically last around 15 minutes, or longer sessions that can span multiple hours. Mini sessions can be a great option for families with little ones that might not handle a longer session as well. They also work well for families looking for a smaller number of images. Be sure to do some research to find a photographer that suits your needs. 

Did you know that SMPC partners with local photographers to fundraise for the club?  By booking your fall photo session with SMPC you can get beautiful family photos and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the club. Spots fill up quickly, but a few slots have been added, so sign up!

Step Two: Choose a Location

Your location will set the vibe for your whole session. If you are opting for a mini session the location may be predetermined, but some photographers will offer different locations on different dates. Classic parks, beautiful beaches, stunning trees, and hillside views are just a few of the locations you might be considering. The colors of a location can make a big impact on your photos so keep in mind what colors you might like as a backdrop. Other considerations that might be important to you include distance, stroller access, parking, public restrooms, etc.! Communicating location requirements with your photographer can ensure a smooth experience.  

Pro Tip: If you’re booking an outdoor session, consider booking as close to “golden hour” as possible. This is right after sunrise and right before sunset. The light is soft and gives a warm glow. 

Step Three: Select Your Outfits

There are dos and don'ts when it comes to picking the perfect outfits for family photos. You can start by asking your photographer; they may have a style guide, client closet, or recommendations for you. Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are great resources when looking for outfit inspiration. Once you have a general idea of what you would like to wear, here are some tips to keep in mind. First, looking great is wonderful, but the most important thing is to feel your best. This applies to adults and kiddos. Find outfits that are comfortable from a fit and fabric perspective.  You want your outfits to coordinate, not match, this means sticking to a color palette, mixing in varying shades, and adding subtle contrast and interesting textures.  If you stick with neutrals, you basically can’t fail! Some colors can absorb light while others can reflect. But if you do want to add in some color, I recommend pastels or earth tones. Don’t forget about the shoes, they can make or break a look. Matching outfits are generally a no-no for family photos. In theory they can be cute, but you lose contrast and create a less natural look. 

When it comes to sourcing outfits you have options as well! You can sort through your current wardrobe, purchase all new clothes, rent, or supplement. H&M and Old Navy are great options that will cover the whole family. If you’re looking for a statement piece, consider Anthropologie or Baltic Born. Shop local for adults and kids, there are great boutiques for adults and children like Unseen, Sprout, and more! If you need quick shipping Amazon or Revolve might have options for you!

Lastly, when considering outfits and locations, imagine what a photo may look like as a large print being hung in your home. 

Step Four: How to Prepare for Your Session?

Getting ready for family photos can feel stressful. You’re investing your time, money, and effort, and are hoping for beautiful family pictures. It’s important to be prepared! This will be different for each family and each session. Consider the following factors: What time of day is your session? Is it a long drive? Will there be restrooms? What is the weather? Depending on the age of your child/ren you may have different needs. Diapers, car potties, snacks, boogie wipes, or even an outfit change might be necessary.

Give yourself plenty of time. With kids, sometimes being late is inevitable. On session day give yourself plenty of time to pack up your car, get to your location, and get comfortable. While most photographers understand that life happens, be sure to ask your photographer or review your contract regarding cancellations or late arrivals. 

Talk to your kids. Prepare them for the session by letting them know what to expect and what might be expected of them.  But remember, things might not go according to plan. A photography session is a unique situation for adults and kids. Try to relax and go with the flow. Lean in to the good, the bad, and the silly. And if you’re really in a pinch, you might want to resort to bribes. Small candies do wonders getting my five-year-old to smile.

Step Five: What to Do with Your Family Photos? 

Whether you’re a minimalist or a gallery wall fanatic, there are so many great options to save and utilize your family images. To maintain the image quality provided by a professional, you should download directly to a computer, not your phone, which may compress the image quality. Use reputable printing companies if ordering prints, books, or products. If your walls are mostly bare, consider using your photo as a background on your TV. Finally, consider gifting your photos! There are so many amazing options for gifting an image that go beyond holiday cards. Send loved ones mugs, ornaments, magnets, and more.


If you have any questions, you can email Allie, at Follow her on Instagram to hear about upcoming sessions and for more family photo session tips! @alliebphotography.abp

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