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Fall Sessions | Fall Session Preperation

Fall is my favorite season for photoshoots. The fall colors make everything pop and give a whole different vibe to the images. Everything is orange, red, and golden. The air is cooler so you aren’t sweating, there is that sweet fall smell in the air. Your clothing options are easier to figure out as well.

Family Fall Session at the Charlottesville Reservoir in Charlottesville, VA

In this Blog I want to cover all things Fall Session related with you. I will go over all the frequently asked questions that I get every year and cover some tips to help you when it comes to planning your session. It won’t matter if you are planning for your whole family or just you and your boo!

In honor of the single most asked question I hear “What should I wear?”, I am getting ready to pack your ears and brain with all the info you could possibly need when considering how to pick your outfits for your summer photo session.

Let’s start with choosing a color scheme. When I think of fall, neutral earth tone colors come to mind. Something that will look good with the scenery. That is not to say you cannot wear bright colors if you choose to do so instead. This is all about your personal preference really but I just love the way a mustard cardigan and jeans look with the colors of the falling leaves. Or the way a olive green shirt looks paired with some khaki pants set against a mountain of trees swaying in the gentle fall breeze. Ooh I get so excited thinking about all the possibilities.

Family Fall Session at Carvin's Cove in Roanoke, VA

If neutral colors are just not your jam then maybe try some earth colors, you can never go wrong with them.Whatever color you end up choosing you will now have to coordinate everyone else’s outfits around. You want the colors to all coordinate but not to the point where they are matchy-matchy. Unless you are doing a mommy and me session which then it is perfectly okay and absolutely adorable, might I add.

The important thing to remember is, if one outfit has a print (such as plaid, polka dots, stripes, floral, etc.) then the rest of the outfits should be solids that match the colors within that pattern. This helps to not draw the eyes in too many different directions at once, instead letting them ease over all the details in the photo. If you are with a family group, red should typically be avoided. Red is the heaviest color on the spectrum meaning your eyes will be drawn to wherever that color is and you might miss all the other beautiful details of the photo. However, If you are doing portraits by yourself then it is okay to wear red, because you want to be the center of attention.

The other color you might want to avoid is a lot of white. White is an absorbent color that will pick up all the other colors around it. So if you are in front of a mountain of fall colors your shirt will pick up the tints from the colors. White is fine in small amounts just not too much.

Maternity Fall Session at the Duck Pond, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

When considering the type of outfit to wear just really depends on the tone you are looking to convey. For instance, if you want your photos to look whimsical and romantic I suggest wearing a long, flowing dress that can blow freely in the wind. You could pair it with a cute cardigan to keep the fall chill off. If you want a more casual vibe I would wear a pair of jeans, cute shirt and some sneakers. A lot of my outdoors sessions involve a bit of walking and since the New River Valley is in the mountains there are a lot of hills. If you plan on wearing high heels to the session I would suggest bringing a pair of flats to wear in between destinations so that you are comfortable and don't roll a ankle. Let’s face it ladies walking in the grass with high heels is hard enough without adding the hills in too.

Let us talk hair for a minute ladies, because I know how long it takes to fix your hair perfectly the way you have it. The tedious hours brushing it out, drying it, and then straightening or curling it on top of all that. Unfortunately we live in a windy city where the wind could care less about our hair, Am I right? If you need to bring a brush, comb, mirror, hair spray I totally understand. I will do a hair/clothes check before every shot and let you know if we need to adjust to help with this at much as possible. Also the movement that hair blowing in the wind adds to photos can add so much emotion. I say just go with it and let the magic happen.

When it comes to children I find it best with the smaller ones to get them dressed upon arrival of the session. We all know how easy it is to find the messiest thing in your car and smear it all over themselves while you are driving and can't reach them. It generally helps to have them fed and have taken a nap prior to the session. I know my children are so much better at sitting still when they are fed and well rested. Bringing their favorite toy, blanket or pacifier may help to calm them as well. Just bring anything that can help to comfort them if they get overwhelmed.

Family Fall Session at Heritage Park in Blacksburg, VA

Some photographers bring a lot of props and things but I feel it just takes away from the family. Besides we live in the most beautiful state in the country. I mean come on and take a look around at this beautiful Blacksburg scenery. I do sometimes like simple props such as bubbles, I mean who doesn’t love bubbles? Maybe some sparklers at dusk when the sun starts really setting at the end of your session I find can add an extra something special to a session. Some other options for simple props are; a flowy cardigan, cute hat. For small kids maybe an airplane or a favorite stuffed animal. Just think of what you want your pictures to feel like.

If you are wondering about bringing pets, I truly believe they are part of the family and deserve a spot in your mantle photographs as well. Always feel welcome to bring your pets to any and all sessions where they are allowed. And lets face it, this is Blacksburg where your dogs are pretty much allowed anywhere. Added bonus if they have a matching outfit with the family.

Family Fall Session at Carvin's Cove in Roanoke, VA

Time is probably the easiest to decide simply because of the limited options. For outdoor sessions either the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset. This is known as “Golden Hour” and just makes for the dreamiest skin tones and light. For Indoor Locations I have more options just because we can control the light easier. I like to schedule these in the middle of the day.

Fall going into winter tends to be the busiest time of year for photographers. The weekends are almost already booked going into the season and rescheduling gets pretty hard. I will try my hardest to work with you in the event this happens due to the weather. The weekdays are easier to find a spot for if you can be available for any of those. Keep in mind the sun starts setting earlier so we would have to schedule around 6:30-7 which is when most people are just getting home from work. The closer it gets to daylight savings day the scheduled time could be as early as 4:30-5.

Locations are usually based on the season. I strongly encourage you to pick a location that is unique to you or that you may have special access to. This will help to ensure that the photos feel special and unique to your family. However, if you cannot think of anywhere I have tons of locations to suggest. I offer personalized location guides for all of my clients. Rest assured we will find one just right for you.

Family Fall Session at Thornspring Pastures in Pembroke, VA

Weather in fall is my absolute favorite! There is a crisp in the air, I can wear hoodies and not sweat. The leaves start changing and falling from the trees. The smell of fall is also one of my favorites. The bugs start dying and animals begin to hibernate. It feels much more pleasant to be outside walking around. The things to contend with are the wind and chiller weather. I get that not everyone loves the cold like me so I have to be understanding. You can wear layers or bring a jacket with you.

A little bit about my rescheduling and cancellation policy. If the weather doesn’t permit there a couple ways to work around that are scheduling an indoor session such as; lifestyle in your home, walking around a museum, or giving in and playing in the rain puddles. Sometimes that’s just not feasible for the session you had in your mind and I get it, trust me. In the event we have to reschedule due to weather I will always let you know an hour before the session. If you live farther away and need more notice simply let me know. For any reason you need to reschedule on your part I do charge a 25% rescheduling fee just because I am so busy and don’t have a lot of dates to offer to begin with. Any time I hold a date for someone and they cancel last minute I have lost the opportunity to book another session on that date. I hope you can understand.

Couple Fall Session at Heritage Park in Blacksburg, VA

My job is to help you every step of the way so if you have questions or comments about anything please always feel free to reach out. I want to help make picking your photographer, outfits, location and style easy. All you should have to do is get your family in the car and arrive, let me worry about everything else.


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