Capturing Colors: Tips for Beautiful Fall Family Photos

by: Welk Resorts | October 26, 2017

It may be hard to believe, but the holidays are right around the corner! Now is the time when families start thinking about taking holiday photos. Whether using a digital camera or a smartphone, it’s possible to capture your own stunning family photos that you can proudly plaster on the front of greeting cards this year. If you’re planning on taking family photos anytime soon, read through the following simple tips for ideas on how to make them pop.

Tips for Taking Gorgeous Fall Family Photos

Fall is a favorite season for many families. The weather has cooled down just enough to enjoy spending more time outdoors, and the changing colors provide a beautiful backdrop for photos. Whether you prefer the waterfront of Lake Tahoe or the stunning views in Branson, Missouri to serve as your backdrop, there are endless gorgeous settings to choose from for your family photo session. Read on for simple tips to improve the quality of your photos.

Location, Location, Location

You’ve heard it said about real estate, but it applies to photography just as much. With fall approaching, finding a beautiful backdrop full of luscious and natural colors won’t be difficult at all. The location you choose as your setting should not only be eye-catching, but should also serve as a reflection of who you are as a family. For example, don’t choose a busy city landscape as your background if you prefer the serenity of country living. As gorgeous as a cityscape may be, it won’t feel authentic to who you are, and you won’t feel as satisfied with your photos. If you’re the outdoors type, a photo session on gorgeous Lake Tahoe would be much better suited to your family.


Lighting is absolutely essential in getting your photos to truly shine. Natural lighting is always best in terms of minimizing imperfections while maximizing each person’s finest assets. The best time of day to take amazing photos in natural lighting is either early in the morning or at dusk. The bright lighting of midday is often far too harsh and can make photos appear forced. Taking photos in the morning or at dusk will also help eliminate pesky shadows.

Camera Angles

Camera angles can either beautifully enhance a photo or drastically take away from its appeal. Angling your body in a slightly different manner can help you put your best physical features on display and minimize your flaws. Experiment with photo angles prior to your session to determine which ones you best feel suit you and your family.

Wardrobe and Accessories

The monumental task of choosing what outfits everyone will wear combined with attempting to ensure they all remain clean before the big day can be a big source of stress. You don’t necessarily want your family’s clothing to be an exact match. Color-coordinating everyone’s outfits is the best way to go rather than outright matching. It’s also best to avoid wearing too many busy prints in photos, as they take the focus away from the faces you’re trying to capture. Stick with coordinating solid colors with lots of layers in order to add depth to your photos.

Family posing for photos

Photo by Fancy Ashley

Props and Poses

While props are not necessary for beautiful photos, they can add a unique element to pictures when chosen wisely. Rather than a lot of small props, perhaps you’d like to try one or two large ones. Even a large chair in a bright color can serve as a pretty prop without taking too much attention away from the focus of the photo.

As far as poses, experiment with a variety of them prior to starting your session. Natural poses are best for real-looking photos. Forced poses tend to wind up looking artificial and overdone. Some of the best photos are often the completely candid outtakes that weren’t planned at all.

Young family posing in pumpkin patch

Photo by Hello Fashion

Enhancements for Mobile Devices

Cell phones today come equipped with cameras that take photos of an amazing quality. If you plan to use your mobile device to take your family photos, you may want to invest in a couple of accessories. A tripod, for example, will allow you to set up your phone on another surface to capture a much broader range than is possible when holding the phone in your hands. Additionally, using a timer will allow you to ensure everyone is in the correct position you desire before the photo is snapped. When it comes to editing your photos, there are several free photo editing apps available that allow you to easily adjust and enhance a photo’s look.

Overshoot on Quantity

It’s a given that you want your family photos to be of exceptional quality. After all, that’s why you’re reading these tips! However, don’t forget about quantity as well. If you take far more photos than you think you actually want or need, you’ll probably be hard-pressed not to be able to find at least one that you will like a great deal. It’s far better to have too many photos to sort through than to have taken so few that you can’t find one that you like enough to share with others.

Don’t Stress about Perfection

Family photo sessions are about capturing your loved ones and their personalities, not about perfection. Digital cameras and cell phones are convenient because they allow for immediate viewing of each photo with the option for you to delete whichever ones you don’t like.

Woman checking phone

Photo by PetaPixel

Begin with the Most Difficult Photos

When attempting to photograph young children, it quickly becomes apparent how short their attention spans can be. Getting a family of five or more people to maintain their specified pose for long enough to obtain multiple shots can also be hard. It’s best to start with what you feel will be the most challenging shots first. This allows you the freedom to work with your young children when they are the freshest and still have a lot of focus and energy. You can move onto easier poses and adult-only shots later in the session.

Family photos are an important part of creating lasting memories you can be proud to share with the world. While these photos certainly don’t need to be staged or perfect by any means, we know you want them to reflect the unique personality of your family members and capture the essence of who they truly are. By following the advice above, you’re sure to get some gorgeous family photos to share with others this upcoming holiday season.

From party ideas to vacation hacks, check out our Welk Resorts blog for more tips and tricks!

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