7 Tips for your Fall Family Portrait Session | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer

Fall is the busiest season of the year for family portraits, and rightly so! The cooler temperatures, vibrant foliage, and cozy sweaters make everyone want to cuddle up together and capture their family on camera!

I absolutely love this season, even if it is so short-lived. There’s just something so welcoming about the first mug of hot cider, the smell of those cider donuts that you can get at the apple orchard, the crunch of the leaves beneath your feet, and pulling out all of your cozy sweaters and your favorite pair of boots.

With our fall family portrait sessions just around the corner, today we’re sharing a few tips for your next photo session! Read on for plenty of great ideas, and beautiful outfit inspiration for your family photos, too!

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Always have a rain date.

The season is such a short one, and the weather is unpredictable! I always encourage my families to reserve their session date AND a backup rain date when they book their session. That way if it rains on the day of your session, no worries! We already have your makeup session scheduled on the calendar!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | Fall family photos, 7 tips for fall family photos, fall photos, family session, family photo tips, family session tips, family photography

Keep these things in the car.

We’re going to be moving around a lot during your session, and you don’t want to have to keep track of anything (besides your kids!). Sunglasses, hair elastics, bulky cell phones or wallets that will show in your pockets, stroller, diaper bag, baseball caps. All of these can stay in the car during your session.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | Fall family photos, 7 tips for fall family photos, fall photos, family session, family photo tips, family session tips, family photography

Have a favorite family quilt or blanket? Bring it to your session!

Blankets are your best friend for fall sessions. Not only do they protect your clothes from damp grass or leaves on the ground, but they look oh-so-cozy and inviting and they encourage everyone to snuggle up together. Whether you’re sitting on the blanket, or waving it up and down in the air “London Bridge” style while the kids run underneath, blankets and colorful patchwork quilts are one of my favorite accessories for a fall portrait session.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | Fall family photos, 7 tips for fall family photos, fall photos, family session, family photo tips, family session tips, family photography
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | Fall family photos, 7 tips for fall family photos, fall photos, family session, family photo tips, family session tips, family photography

Embrace the leaves.

As everyone relaxes in front of the camera and the kids start to let their personalities shine, I like to encourage the kids by telling them that they will be able to have a leaf fight at the end. This always brings out the biggest smiles and laughs, and we capture beautiful portraits of them jumping into great big piles of leaves and tossing them in the air over their heads. Act like a kid and don’t be afraid of tossing the leaves in the air, getting a few in your hair, or laying down in a pile of dry leaves for a very colorful overhead shot cuddling your babies. After all, this is the only time of year we can capture such beautiful scenery with built in props (literally!) falling down around us!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | Fall family photos, 7 tips for fall family photos, fall photos, family session, family photo tips, family session tips, family photography
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | Fall family photos, 7 tips for fall family photos, fall photos, family session, family photo tips, family session tips, family photography

Bring your dogs!

Just tell me ahead of time so that we can plan for it, but I love to encourage families to bring their four-legged family members to their sessions. I always recommend taking the dog for a nice long walk right beforehand to tire him/her out, and bringing a leash & treats to use during the session. Have a plan for after we finish with the dog in your photos, too. Will someone come with you to the session to watch the dog while we capture a few photos of you and the kids? Will you be able to tie him up to a nearby tree with a treat for a few minutes?

Layer up, especially the kids!

If your session is in mid-to-late October, it can get a little chilly outside when you’re just wearing light layers! Bulky coats never photograph well, so I always suggest adding another layer like a t-shirt or onesie underneath your kids’ outfits. Just a little something for added warmth that won’t add bulk or show through their clothes. Warm kids are happy kids!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | Fall family photos, 7 tips for fall family photos, fall photos, family session, family photo tips, family session tips, family photography

Babies and toddlers — plan on September or very early in October!

Speaking of warm kids being happy kids, this is especially true with babies! If your (oldest) little ones are younger than three, I highly suggest scheduling your session for September or early October when it is warmer outside. We can still do a late fall session if there are no other dates available, but we have a better chance of warmer days earlier in the season to keep your little ones happy.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | Fall family photos, 7 tips for fall family photos, fall photos, family session, family photo tips, family session tips, family photography
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | Fall family photos, 7 tips for fall family photos, fall photos, family session, family photo tips, family session tips, family photography

Looking for some outfit inspiration for your fall family portrait session? Click here to find plenty of what to wear ideas for your family photos!


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Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | Fall family photos, 7 tips for fall family photos, fall photos, family session, family photo tips, family session tips, family photography

About Nicole Starr Photography 

Nicole Starr specializes in newborn, baby & family photography and has been serving families in New York and Massachusetts since 2012.  She has a portrait studio in Saratoga Springs, NY for families in the Capital Region.  Nicole also works with families year round at her Attleboro, MA portrait studio, and on location May through October in Boston and on Cape Cod.  Nicole has a clean and classic style, and the studio is filled with neutrals and luxe fabrics.  We use very minimal props to keep the focus on your perfect little baby.  Our sessions are relaxed and fun, and we’ll enjoy an hour together (or up to 3 hours for a newborn session!) laughing, cuddling, and capturing authentic smiles and belly laughs with your little ones.