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15 creative fall photography ideas

Will fall in full swing, and the leaves starting to change, now’s as good a time as any to get out and photograph the changing season! Fall provides some great opportunities for all different types of photographers to capture the landscape in their photographs. Here are 15 creative photography ideas for the fall season:


Playing with leaves – Throwing leaves in the air will undoubtedly bring a smile to the scene, no matter what the age. It’s especially a great idea for young children to partake in, as you can create a fun environment that will not only capture a smile but also bring in some fall scenery.

Halloween costumes – This one goes without saying. If you’ve got kids, or have friends with kids, capturing their Halloween costumes is a must. But have a little fun with it. Go outside or in a dark room and light it with a single speedlight and softbox, on lower power. It’ll create that fearful look that Halloween is known for, and make the kid look really cool in the process. And if you don’t have a kid, try it with your pet, or even yourself (with your camera’s self-timer function and a tripod).

Family photos in the woods – Find a forest and take your family out to it for some photographs. Take advantage of Golden Hour and the colors that the fall season brings — it’s an easy way to fill the frame with something that adds a great background to your family. Be sure to dress your family up in colors that will pop with the fall colors, too.

Visit a pumpkin patch or apple orchard – Going to pick a pumpkin or get some apples is a great way to capture your family or friends having fun with the fall season. If you have kids, having them try to carry a big, heavy pumpkin will create some great laughs that you can capture, too. And if you’re more into posed photographs, a pumpkin patch or apple orchard is a great backdrop for some fall-centric family photos.

Focus on the details – While it’s fun to capture your kids playing in the leaves, you can also create some additional interest by focusing on the details. Try cropping your photograph so that the focal point is on the leaves, not your kid playing with them. Or zoom in on his hands as they’re ready to throw the leaves up in the air. It creates a dynamic scene that helps to tell a story, and it’s great to couple with the more traditional portrait photographs you’ve already captured.

Landscapes and nature

Mix fall colors with everyday scenes – Take the covered bridge photo above, for instance. By shooting wide, I was able to capture the bridge, sky and the nature surrounding it. By waiting until early November, when the leaves had fallen, I was able to capture a long exposure of the leaves swirling in the water, with the focal point still being on the bridge.

Showcase the colorful trees with wide-angle photographs – Being from Michigan, there’s nothing like taking a day trip to check out the local color. By shooting wide, you can photograph a canopy of trees over a road or trail, perfectly capturing the fall season.

Bokeh and macro leaves – One of the very first fall photographs I captured were of some leaves in my backyard. They were a bright red color, so I went as close as I could and shot them wide open, creating a very surreal scene that highlighted the fall colors. Or, by using a macro lens, you can create a larger-than-life photograph of a leaf and its textures.

Capture Golden Hour – Golden Hour is a great time to capture landscapes no matter what the time of year, but during the fall, it especially gives a pop to the scene with the fall colors.

Mix interesting light with leaves – Play around using a flashlight or other small light source, and mix it with a few leaves in a dark space. It’ll create a moody shot that still highlights the season, but with a bit of a different feel to it. You might even try having your kid hold a leaf and hold a light up at him, lighting both the leaf and parts of his face.

Weddings and engagements

Warming up – Have your subjects hold each other close, donning a scarf or blanket that keeps them warm together.

Give equal parts to fall elements – By photographing your subjects wider than you typically would, you can include some fall elements. For instance, try dividing your photo in half. For the lower half, capture your subjects from their torso up. On the upper half, focus on capturing a fall element, like a tree with colorful leaves on it. Doing so creates a balance within the photograph.

Sit on leaf-covered steps – If you’re able to find some steps with leaves on them, shoot with a shallow depth-of-field to put the focus on the subjects, with the leaves fading out behind.

Surround the details with fall colors – Have your bride put her hand next to a leaf in order to show off her ring, and make sure there are some fall colors present.

Dance in the leaves – Get the couple warmed up for their first dance by having them dance in the leaves. For added effect, throw some leaves up in the air and photograph them falling to the ground.

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Rafael Jones

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