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When it comes to photography, fall is the most rewarding season. Whether it’s portrait photography or landscape photography, the rusty color palette acts as the background (or foreground) for your favorite shots.
Since this season only lasts 90 days, it’s best to make the most of this short period and get some of your best shots. If you’re feeling uninspired and don’t know where to start, these 23 fall photography ideas will help you capture the season’s breathtaking changes and sceneries in new and creative ways.
Here are the 23 best photography ideas to capture some stunning, breathtaking pictures this year:
The woods are the perfect way to display autumn’s color palette since you’ll be surrounded by nature and fallen autumn leaves. Plus, the trees will block some sunlight, creating sunbeams that work as the perfect light source in your image.
The woods are an ideal place for both portrait photography and landscape photography.
Undoubtedly, there’s no better way to showcase fall than with pumpkin, as this fruit is most commonly associated with fall. You may use these pumpkins as props, lean against them, or even go for a Halloween approach. There are endless ways for photographers to experiment with a pumpkin patch due to the bright color palette and abundant props.
Apple picking is another activity associated with fall, making for a fun and interactive photoshoot. This option is ideal for group photoshoots, as the photographer can portray them picking apples together. On the other hand, photographers can also opt for a solo shoot, focusing on the apples and surrounding nature to create a reminiscent effect.
If you don’t want to travel too far for a fall photo shoot, a nearby park is a much more scenic location than you think. The fallen autumn leaves, worn-down path, and surrounding trees will create the perfect ambiance for a family photo shoot or just a solo shoot showcasing a walk in the park.
Fall is the ideal season for darker and moodier photo shoots, which undoubtedly calls for some silhouettes and shadows. In this case, photographers can experiment with varying light source positions to create creative shadows. This technique will work ideally during the afternoon when the model can serve as a silhouette in front of direct sunlight and a scenic location.
There’s no better time to organize a photo shoot at the farm than during the fall. The hills will serve as the perfect backdrop, while the domestic animals, piles of hay, and tractors will add more material to the image. You can also utilize the barn to get a unique backdrop for your fall-themed shots.
If you’re planning to photograph children during fall, making them pose or lean against an old wooden fence is a great idea. This will finish off your picture with the perfect combination of an autumnal and country aesthetic. This is also the perfect time to dress up the kids in fall colors to contrast the dullness of the old wooden fence.
Of course, a fall photo shoot is incomplete without an abundance of autumn leaves. The red, orange, and yellow hues covering the ground add the perfect level of saturation to your images, even without editing. To add a more youthful and carefree look to your images, you may photograph your clients playing or dancing in the leaves.
Since Halloween falls right at the end of this autumnal season, it’s best to make the most of this holiday and incorporate it into your all photoshoot. For example, you can opt for a witchy approach by shooting in the woods at night or using pumpkins as your perfect Halloween and fall-themed props. Other than that, you can photograph clients in their preferred Halloween costumes and capture the trick-or-treat spirit in your images.
If you’re looking for a more simplistic approach for your fall photography, you can opt for some leaf-covered steps, which shouldn’t be hard to find this season. For portrait photography, you may opt for couples to model for the perfect, fall-themed, romantic photo shoot. Other than that, you can also go for a gloomy finish for urban fall photography.
There’s no better way to capture the fall spirit in your photos than by drinking cider or cocoa. This way, you can opt for a portrait approach in which the model sips on a warm cup of cocoa or apple cider. Or you can finish up a solo photo shoot by choosing a cup of apple cider and similar props as the main subject.
If you can’t find a scenic location in your neighborhood, you can surely find a children’s playground. The right angles, the autumn leaves scattered on the floor, and the perfect lighting can make this seemingly mundane location look picturesque. If you’re going for portrait photography, you may ask your model to utilize the swings as a prop.
Railroad tracks are another great spot for a fall-themed photo shoot, as it adds the ideal rusty finish to your images. You may capture an oncoming train in your images or get a model to pose for you in their best and coziest fall outfit.
Anything involving nature or greenery is a great way to take advantage of the season’s changing colors and create an eye-catching image. For example, if your town or city has a large tree surrounded by autumn leaves, don’t miss that chance and take your best shots in that natural atmosphere. This type of photography is the most effortless since there’s no need to add any props or models.
Double exposure photography is always a cool way to experiment, but it works ideally during fall. In this case, you may combine your best landscape shot with your best portrait shot. You’ll find that the fiery red leaves of the season blend seamlessly into the image to create something truly unique.
A corn field is a great photography spot during the fall, mainly due to its simplistic but breathtaking scenery. In this case, you can either photograph the corn field with the warm sunlight as a backdrop or photograph a model sitting amidst the corn stovers in their best fall outfits and props. That includes jean jackets and perhaps a vintage camera.
There’s one thing the fall and summer seasons have in common: they both have incredibly breathtaking sunsets. Here, you can opt for a wide-angle approach, using a 24-millimeters lens to capture the varying shades of red, orange, and purple in the sky. Another cool trick is to shoot a group of exposure shots as you pan your camera across, which you can composite in post.
Fall is the best time to photograph fog or mist for a gloomy or even eerie image. In this case, you’ll need to focus your lens manually and increase your exposure compensation. This way, you’ll be able to capture the ideal combination of autumnal trees and white fog finding its way between them.
Once you see the colorful scenery in the woods, you’ll want to combine the autumnal color palette with warmth from the sunbeams. To capture sunbeams, you’ll have to experiment with different aperture settings and lower the exposure to ensure the image isn’t too bright.
Photographing falling leaves will speak of your photography skills, making it the perfect fall photo shoot to add to your portfolio. But, of course, you rarely find leaves falling naturally, so you’ll need a helping hand to throw the leaves when the moment is right.
It’s also ideal to photograph lakes this season as the reflection will show beautiful autumnal scenery if the lake is still enough. It’s best to opt for a wide-angled approach here and experiment with long exposures for a unique shot.
While you’re at the lake, photographing the dock or pier will also create some cool images. You can photograph the dock on its own for a landscape image or get a model to sit on the edge of the pier for more subject-focused photography.
Lastly, capturing rain during the fall will make for some truly beautiful shots. You can either opt for the raindrops splattering on the puddles or capture the rain in motion. In that case, you’ll need to use a fast shutter speed and medium to high ISO.
Fall photography gets its charm from the vibrant and rusty colors of the season. That is why you must take advantage of the window of time where everything is perfectly amber and autumnal.
If you want to capture the best of the fall colors in the Northern Hemisphere, anywhere between mid-September and early November is the best time to do so. In addition, it’s ideal to shoot fall pictures during golden hour, which will help you get the ideal autumnal glow in your shots.
You’ll find that the perfect lighting will show up around 60–90 minutes before or after sunset or sunrise. So, make sure to set the alarm so you never miss your perfect shot.
Fall photography is one of the most widely adored forms of photography, and rightfully so. The rusty and moody color palette is truly pleasing to the eye and automatically gives your picture a cozy and vintage effect.
Take inspiration from any of our 23 photography ideas to get started with your favorite hobby this season and keep your social media feed eye-catching.
Featured Image Credit: lukasbieri, Pixabay
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Jeff is a tech professional by day, writer, and amateur photographer by night. He's had the privilege of leading software teams for startups to the Fortune 100 over the past two decades. He currently works in the data privacy space. Jeff's amateur photography interests started in 2008 when he got his first DSLR camera, the Canon Rebel. Since then, he's taken tens of thousands of photos. His favorite handheld camera these days is his Google Pixel 6 XL. He loves taking photos of nature and his kids. In 2016, he bought his first drone, the Mavic Pro. Taking photos from the air is an amazing perspective, and he loves to take his drone while traveling.
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