Autumn is the season for being outdoors and really enjoying the newly crisp air and brilliant color. It’s not always easy to capture the feel of the season but with a few tips you really can have an album of extraordinary photographs that commemorate the crowning of the year.
Yes, your front yard is a nice place to start. You probably have a favorite tree or shrub that is colorful. Standing the children in front of it and waiting for the smile is much too ordinary. Do a picture story. We often photographed our lawn covered in fallen leaves. Then took pictures of the kids raking them. It was always fun then to have pictures of the children bursting out of the pile! The smiles were awesome!
Don’t stop at your front yard. Go out into the country and find a pumpkin farm!. Take photos of the children sitting on them, piling them up. Building pumpkin “snowmen”. Make sure you have them dressed for the occasion. Some overhauls and plaid shirts really add to the scenery. This is not the time for pink parkas and band shirts. Dressing to fit the scene makes your photograph stand out from the crowd.
Take your camera with you when you go to all those fall events like corn mazes, pick your own apples, haunted houses. Take close up shots. Get those faces! Too often our children are the tiny dot in the middle of a field or on top of the ladder. We want to get everything in the picture…the whole tree, the wide corn maze. The subject is lost. Zero in on faces biting into that just picked apple or peeking around the corn stalk corner.
Group shots. Try to gather everyone for at leas one group shot at each event. It’s important to remember who all went on any group outing. But I always try to arrange people a little artistically. In a pumpkin patch, you don’t want to group together with the patch in the background. (you have all seen those pictures) Seat a few on pumpkins, some on the ground and some kneeling holding pumpkins and some standing. What you want is everyone on different levels for a more interesting shot. You want the heads to be somewhat close to one another though, don’t have a child sitting on the ground and the adult standing. But each persons head should be somewhat close to someone elses head. Utilize as many different props as there are lying around. Such as, pumpkins, signs, even a scarecrow.
I have often had reluctant subjects in my photographs, but use that. The pouty face can be featured. A shot with everyone looking at them could be funny. But more often a happy group with one terse child in it can be endearing. Those folded stubborn arms are often the cutest part of the photograph. But if there is someone that just is spoiling the fun, leave them out. It’s not trick to photoshop them in later with another shot of them during a more amiable time.
The next few weeks are prime time for capturing the season. Get out there with your family and don’t forget to take pictures!