20 Inspiring Fall Photoshoot Ideas

by | Family, Top Tips


Fall is the perfect time to take photos. The light is excellent, the colors are stunning and the opportunities for photos are endless. Not only that, but your subjects get to wear cute scarves, gloves, and mittens.

I often get asked for fall photoshoot ideas and suggestions, so today I am giving you 20 fall photoshoot ideas to choose from!

Grab that camera, take a walk and start snapping using these 20 fall photoshoot ideas as your guide and remember to consider light, texture and composition with every shot.

Fall Photoshoot Ideas

1. Playing in the Leaves

The crunch of the leaves is underfoot. What better time than now to grab the kids and your camera and start taking photos? Remember, it doesn’t just have to be the kids you capture playing in the leaves.

The best time of day to capture fall photos is the golden hour. The warm light and rich colors make for a perfect shot. Remember to up your shutter speed if you have any action in your photo and to get down low when photographing children.

Capture your child playing in the leaves. Line up the kids on the same focal plane and capture them throwing the leaves into the air or diving into a pile. If you’re feeling adventurous, plop down in the middle of the pile yourself and throw some up in the air! Who’s ever said “no” to playing in the leaves?

fall photoshoot ideas

2. Pumpkins

Nothing says Autumn like pumpkins. Whether you use them in fall decor or carve them for Halloween, chances are you will be heading to the pumpkin patch or have some pumpkins around at this time of the year.

If you are heading to choose pumpkins with your family, make sure to take your camera along with you and pay attention to the time of day you go, as well as what your family is wearing.

You don’t want your subject’s clothes to distract from or clash with the pumpkins, so make sure they wear fall colors to compliment the environment.

Early morning or late afternoon fall light is the best for photos, so if possible, time your photo shoot accordingly. Avoid bright overhead sun and search for pockets of warm light for your shots.

Use the pumpkins for your subject to sit on, have them hold the pumpkins, or strategically place them in the background, and don’t forget to let you play. Get down low and work on capturing their natural expressions.

3. Fences

Fences are the perfect “prop” for photos. Finding a beautiful fence with fall colors in the background is the ideal opportunity for a fall photo shoot.

Have your little one climb up on the fence. Have the adults stand behind and the younger family members sit on the rung of the fence.

Or, if you are photographing your kids, stagger them along the fence.

Again, remember to wear complementary colors for the best results.

4. Corn Mazes

A fun fall activity is heading to a corn maze, and these corn mazes are another great fall photoshoot idea!

A top tip for photographing in a corn maze is to bring a zoom lens. It’s perfect to capture the kids running around, and remember to use a fast shutter speed as well as to get down low.

Have the children grab a cob of corn and run towards you. Have them stop and peel back the leaves of the corn. Use the leading lines of the maze to photograph your subject. Corn stocks add cool neutral colors to the photo as well as a fun textural element.  

5. Apple Picking

Just like pumpkins symbolize fall, so do apples. My family has the tradition of going apple picking every fall. Find your local orchard and head out to snap some photos of your subject picking apples. You can create a whole story out of apple picking by taking the fun back home and making caramel-dipped apples! 

Start with the details. Your little one’s hand reaching to grab the apple. The basket filled with fruit or the perfect apple hanging on the tree.

Then move on to the bigger picture. Pull back a bit to capture the rows of trees. Use leading lines to capture your family walking down the rows, or have the kids turn to you and run down the rows of apple trees.

Whatever approach you take, remember to use the beautiful light coming through the trees in your images, and again consider timing and outfit choices before you go.

6. Autumn Trees

Light is what changes a photograph. What makes it go from average to WOW and Autumn light is exceptional. It illuminates the earth differently than the light in other seasons!

Take advantage of how this beautiful, golden light hits the trees. I suggest heading out again around an hour or so before the light sets.

Utilize the leading lines of a tree-lined path to capture your subjects walking and kicking up the leaves. Shoot a landscape shot of a beautiful tree-lined lake, or capture the light, feeling and color on a scavenger hunt for the biggest leaves.

7. Bonfires

What better way to keep warm on a cool fall evening? Stoke up a fire, grab the smores kit and start taking photos. Fall bonfires make an excellent background for your photos. It’ll also help keep you warm as you’re out there photographing these fall photoshoot ideas!

Photographing your bonfire does take a little bit of planning.

If you have them, you will want to bring along your tripod and shutter release and remember to slow down your shutter speed.

Pay attention to light and remember to capture the details—the melting marshmallows, assembling the smores or the cuddles and conversations happening around the fire.

8. Fall Outfits

I love fall weather and the opportunity to get out my warm sweaters and cosy hats! Even if you live somewhere warm, you can create the perfect fall photos using the right outfit—select fall colors. Browns, reds, and yellow are all colors that are reminiscent of fall.

Bring in the scarves, the cute jackets, and don’t forget the hats to make those fall photos fun! Have your subjects toss the hats in the air, or pull slightly on the scarves.

The layers of fall clothes add extra warmth to your photos.

9. Blankets & Throws

I have an abundance of fall blankets that I bring on my fall photoshoots. You can use them to wrap around your subject while they are walking in the leaves. Have your subjects sit on the blankets, or simply have a family cuddle up under one.  

Choose blankets in hues of fall colors or have the family bring a blanket to coordinate with the outfits they are wearing.

10. A Hot Comfort Drink

Grab some apple cider or hot cocoa, and capture your subject holding a warm cup of, whatever they’d like, and it will make for a fun fall photo.  

Capture the details of hands wrapped around the warm drink. The process of the cider mulling on the stove, or the marshmallows floating in the hot cocoa.

Line up the cups near the simmering pot for a kitchen shot. Get creative with these simple shots.

11. Tree-Lined Road

Just like using leading lines in the corn maze or orchard finding tree lined streets gives you a perfect opportunity for a fall shoot, and you don’t need a subject.

If you live near a tree-lined road, have your subject walk down, using the fall-colored trees’ leading lines to lead straight to your subject. Now, I must say I ONLY do this if I can have someone keep a lookout for cars!

Or capture the changing leaves on their own. Lay on your stomach to get a different angle. Lay on your back and shoot up into the leaves.

Remember to think outside of the box to get a creative shot.

12. Forest Path

Find a forest path full of color and, just like you used the leaves on the road to direct the eye to your subject, you can use a tree-lined forest path to achieve the same effect.  

Don’t have a subject? No worries use the light capture the beautiful colors, shadows and hightlights in the forest.

Arrive early and capture the fall mist or fog raising from the forest floor, or capture a green field with the trees as the backdrop.

13. Find Water

A beautiful lake with the reflection of the fall leaves is a stunning spot for a photo shoot.

Work on capturing the reflection of the autumn trees on the water. Capture a beautiful panorama with the golden trees framing the lake.

If you are photographing people, let your subjects play around the water, skipping stones, throwing leaves at each other, and sit back and capture them.  

14. Lay in the Grass

When was the last time you just lay in the grass? Nothing makes for a better photo than someone laying in a pile of leaves.

Scatter some leaves around your subject, and start snapping away! Work on capturing the contrasting textures between the grass, leaves and fabric of the clothing.

Again remember to think about light, the placement of your subject and focus on their eyes capturing the catchlights if possible.

Even though it’s simple, I knew I had to include it in our list of fall photoshoot ideas. It truly captures the winding down of the season!

15. Golden Hour

The magic to any photograph is light and that is especially true in the fall. Capturing the best fall photographs takes a bit of planning. Finding the ideal foliage color, light and time of day is key.

I suggest you shoot during Golden Hour, when the light is warm and magical. Golden hour enhances the warmth of the light and surroundings as well as lowers the contrast.

Nothing says fall like a warm glow on your subject.  

16. Props

This may be the only time you hear me say use “props” in your photos, but as I mentioned above, using a hat, scarf or other small prop can be fun at this time of year.

Stop by your local home decoration or craft store and pick up some props! Considering purchasing a fall wreath, fall flowers, or head wreath.

Having your subject carry them during the shoot is an easy and inexpensive way to bring fall to your photos.

17. Shoot Indoors

Fall photos don’t have to be limited to outside. You really don’t have to look any further than your own house for great fall photo opportunities, and you don’t always have to have a subject!

Photograph a warm, roaring fire or you house wrapped in candle light. Or what about the process of cooking your favorite fall recipe?

If you do have someone willing to let you snap their shot, capturing your subject, looking through a window out at the rain or fog. Or photographing them huddled around the fire, or a picture of everyone wearing their warm sweaters and socks can be fun as well.  

18. Fog

Get up early one morning and capture the autumn fog.

Again this will take some planning as you want to keep an eye on the weather. Once you have it planned, head out to a field of foliage and capture the mystical foggy shot.

As always, shoot in manual and think through your settings. A mid-range aperture will work best to capture the fog and make sure there is not too much distance between you and your subject as the fog can make the image appear flat.

19. Decor

Fall is a time to get cozy and warm and people love demonstrating that in their fall decor. Whether its Halloween decor or a fall porch work on capturing the small details of this.

Capture the textures of woven blankets, the warmth of autumn candles or an autumn door wreath.

Use your macro lens and capture the small details and structure of the decor. Use a wide aperture to blur the background and create a dreamy, soft look.

20. Railroad Tracks

Okay, I saved this for last because it is so controversial. It is incredibly unsafe to photograph on railroad tracks, but there are many unused railroad tracks that you can use. Just make sure that before using the tracks, you confirm that they aren’t active and that you are legally allowed to use them.

That being said, fall leaves on railroad tracks are a great place to capture leading lines.

I hope that I’ve given you some inspiring fall photoshoot ideas for your seasonal photo sessions!

Get out there, have fun and take advantage of the beautiful colors!

Don’t forget to head over to my Facebook Group to share your fall photos and let me know if you have any other fun fall photo suggestions!

Lifestyle Photographer & Mentor

Hi, I’m Dena, a natural light lifestyle photographer with 20+ years of experience capturing other people’s memories and teaching photographers how to understand and easily use their cameras.

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