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How to Plan Your Family Photography Sessions in the Fall | Boise, Idaho and the Treasure Valley | Carly Moon Images Portrait Photographer

Autumn is the perfect time for a family photography session! The vibrant colors, crisp air, and cozy vibes make for stunning backdrops and memorable moments. Here are a few tips to help you plan a successful and enjoyable fall family photo session.

1. Choose the Right Time of Day Lighting can make or break your photos. You can take the most basic scenery and make absolute magic when the sun is sitting lower. For the best results, schedule your session during the "golden hour," which is shortly after sunrise or just before sunset. The soft, warm light during these times will enhance the fall colors and add a magical glow to your photos. Nine times out of ten, I'm going to aim for about an hour and a half before sunset so we can get the prettiest light. Avoid midday like the plague! Unless it is an overcast day (Ahhhh, I miss shooting in England) you'll want to avoid the harsh overhead light from midday sun. The exception to this is if you can find a super shady spot (a forest with a cute little path or on the side of buildings in open shade).

2. Coordinate Your Outfits While matching outfits can be cute, that trend is dead! Consider coordinating colors and styles instead. Earthy tones like mustard, burgundy, olive green, and navy complement the fall foliage beautifully. Layered clothing and cozy textures like knits and scarves not only add visual interest but also keep everyone warm. Another thing to avoid: Anything bright/neon up around faces! If it's a sunny day, the colors from vibrant clothes will reflect on to the darker areas of skin like necks and brow bones. It can even reflect off of other clothes.

3. Pick the Perfect Location We'll work together to find the location that fits with our vision and the time of day we'll be shooting. If you have a specific spot in mind, I'm more than happy to scout it out for us! I also have a few favorite spots around Boise and Ada County that will give us all distinctly different looks and final images. I love making sessions personal too! If you live in a beautiful neighborhood or have a beautifully landscaped yard, don't be afraid to want to shoot there! Personal touches like that make your photos even more unique and memorable. Parks, orchards, forests, and even your own backyard can provide stunning settings as well. Finally, I'll always be looking for places with a variety of trees and foliage to ensure a rich, colorful backdrop.

4. Keep it Fun and Relaxed The best photos often come from spontaneous, genuine moments. I'm a big believer in playing games and letting the kids be kids. I actually enjoy the challenge of wild kids, and have so many tricks up my sleeves to get incredible shots, and yes! Shots of everyone looking at the camera!A relaxed atmosphere helps everyone feel comfortable and allows the photographer to capture the true essence of your family. Letting go of any unrealistic dreams of perfection is key. Not to mention, more often than not Murphy's Law applies in a special way to photo shoots. If your kid is going to fall and scrape their face or bust a lip, it's going to happen the day before photos. Crazy zit? Morning of! Not to worry though, because I can photoshop just about everything for your wall-worthy images.

5. Plan for the Weather Fall weather can be unpredictable. Check the forecast and be prepared for changes. Bring extra layers, umbrellas, or even a cozy blanket to wrap up in. Flexibility with your session timing might also be necessary to avoid unexpected rain or extreme cold. I like to be as flexible as possible with rain (because my camera doesn't love it). If it looks like rough weather on the morning of our session, we'll talk about rescheduling. If it's just a little windy or maybe just a few sprinkles, we'll carry on with the session. Sometimes damp ground or foggy mornings really make for some really perfect images. 6. Pack everything the night before No matter what time of day we shoot, chaos is sure to ensue beforehand. To help alleviate the stress and arguments, lay out outfits and pack everything the night before! This includes any extra changes of clothes for your kids in case of an emergency (but wait to get them dressed until we get to our location, especially with younger babies and toddlers that may spit up). Baby wipes for boogers and crusty noses are a great addition to add to. And even though you're going to want to pack snack to bribe them with, TRUST ME, when I saw we're better off leaving those in the car! I have enough games and tricks to get their attention without resorting to food and I like to exhaust all of my options before bringing out the goods because inevitably when we hand off snacks, we end up with fistfuls of Goldfish, mouths that are caught mid-photo full of slobbery crackers, crumbs in the corners, and completely wrecked attention while they chase food (I am the same way, so I get it!). In an absolute worst case scenario, you can bring fruit snacks to try. These won't melt like chocolate and usually don't stain mouths of teeth.

And finally... 7. Book Early! Autumn is the busiest time of the year for photographers! If you have weeknight availability, you're already my favorite family. It's okay if you don't though! I reserve my weekends in the fall for family sessions, but they book up fast between fewer daylight hours and my always crazy travel schedule. We can always get you started on a payment plan leading up to your session as well!


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