Fall Is The Ideal Time For Family Portraits


Fall Family Portraits

portrait of little girl playing in the leaves in the fallFamilies always want something special to come out of their portrait sitting and while it is often easy to provide them with what they want, the best time to capture the essence of the family unit is the fall. It could be a combination of the cooler evenings with no one being hot and bothered, the choice of items that can be used as props and the enchantment of the changing seasons.

The leaves will be the main reason that fall is popular. By choosing the correct location, the family can sit among leaves of many colours and be surrounded by trees bearing copious amounts of leaves of the same and similar colours. By dressing the people in neutral colors for the family portrait, there will be even more of a contrast.

Leaves can also be used as tool for fun. Children can be pictured rolling in them, throwing them and using them as a place to hide and peer out into the lens while older members sit serenely. The best time to capture the essence of fall will be the hour or so while the sun sets. It can light up the background to the picture and by placing the family in dark colored clothes, they will stand out as being brighter than the light of the sun. There is so much atmosphere that the dying light can give. Even on days when the sun is not too bright, the leaves can play their part as they will no longer be drowned out by the sun and the will appear to be softer and more welcoming.

Late sun photographs also have an amazing effect on shadows as by then they will be longer than the family, and can be helpful in bringing on a cosy and comfortable sight. It will mean that the family will be more noticeable than the background, but the background will still add the portrait.

As children love pumpkins they can play their part but there can be an issue here. It can be hard enough to get small children to look at a camera and the last thing needed during a family portrait is a major part of the Fall foliage for family photosfamily being distracted. If the children are old enough to use props and be photographed then fine, sit them on them, surround them by them or have the family holding one, but if they are more interested in the pumpkins leave them out.

For a fall family portrait there is another option and that is near to the sea. The ground will often be bare and what was once grass can be shades of brown and beige. Again, try to use the dying sun to light up the background and always make sure that the family are warm enough as nothing will ruin a lovely family portrait as much as sad and unsmiling people shivering against the elements.

As a photographer you will learn the tricks of the trade and find the best places in the area you live in, but you will invariably find that fall is the best time for a family portrait.

Choosing The Right Location For Your Photo Session

You Have Hired The Best Photographer

Long Island wedding photographer

You’ve hired the perfect photographer, now what? It’s time to choose the perfect location for your photo session. There are many different locations to choose from when it comes to outdoor photography. Have you thought about what you would like your background to look like? Are you more of a beach, water and sand person or do you prefer the park, river and grass setting? Choosing a location is one of the most important pieces to getting the photos you desire. Here are some ways to help you choose the best setting for your outdoor photo session.

Plan Ahead

If you want to get the most out of your photo session experience then there are several steps you should take in order to plan your session. One of the first steps is to choose the perfect location where you want to get your photos taken. Before you book your consultation or photo session, think of some of your favorite places around town that you love. Choose something that relaxes you and makes you feel at ease. Take your time with the decision and once you have given it some serious thought, try searching the web or local photography sites and view some images of similar backgrounds to get some more creative and inspiring ideas.

A Part of You

Pick a location that means something to you. If you love the outdoors, then choose somewhere in nature. If you are more of a city person then perhaps a busy downtown area with beautiful architecture is more of a scene for you. Whatever you decide, it should be somewhere that tells the viewer a little bit about who you are.  If you get stuck with the creative process write down all the ideas you have and run them by the photographer.  As an artist he will be able to walk you through some additional ideas and even help you envision what the images will look like

Get Creative

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. There are hundreds of places near you that are unique and even undiscovered. Don’t be afraid to ask your local outdoor photographer what they think about photography in your area and they might even suggest some amazing photo worthy hidden gems.  But before you ask for any secret spots make sure you let him know that you do plan hiring him as a photographer, otherwise he may not be as forthcoming with the locations.  Photographers spend a ton of time researching areas and many even have a spreadsheet with a list of all the locations they have been.  So don’t be surprised if they are hesitant to give you any ideas on the first call.

Long Island Engagement Photographer

End Result

There are endless textures and places that will look interesting and creative in your photos. Think of the end result that you are looking for. Choose something that is sentimental to you or your family and it will come across in your final photos and evoke memories and emotion for years to come.  Lastly, if you plan on getting your photos taken in the next year or so it may be a good idea to start keeping track of all the locations you visit in your area.  So if you go to a park 10 or 20 miles away and you feel like it would be beautiful their in the fall as the leaves change, write it down.  Want more info?  Visit Jasmine’s Facebook Page




What To Look For In An Outdoor Photographer

Outside Photography

There are many people who are claiming they are great photographers but their photos will prove otherwise. Good photography is not cheap so if you planned on spending $100.00 for a dvd with all the images you will be sticker shocked when you see the prices of real professionals.  So why the premium prices?  There are many costs involved in the process of running a photography business.  There was a recent write up about how much photographers initially invest in their businesses.  While the initial investment will vary according to the photographers field of expertise, family portrait professionals usually invest over 10,000 in equipment, software, and associated expenditures.  Wedding photographers spend even more!  So when you go shopping around for a professional keep in mind that photographers are just like any other business and have spent thousands of dollars and years of training to bring you a quality product.

Young couple in love

Here are some things to look for when choosing your outdoor photographer:

Your photographer should not only have professional equipment, they should know how to nail exposures, how to use the sun for the best lighting, be able lead your photo-shoot, and know how to edit the photos effectively in order to achieve your desired results. They should also have a professional website and portfolio of entire sessions that you can view.

Do you like their personality?  It’s always a great idea to give the photographer a call to discuss what your looking for and to feel out his personality.  This is one of the most important factors in choosing a photographer and it’s also the most underestimated.  I mean if you think about it, do you really want to spend 1-2 hours with someone you really don’t get along with?  So if they rub you the wrong way when you call you know it’s time to move on to the next one.

They should also specialize in the area of photography you are looking for. If you want to have a lot of the pictures taken outside then you should hire an outdoor photographer, not a studio photographer.  When your searching, you may be tempted to use services such as thumbtack.  I would avoid this website altogether and just do a simple Google search for your local town.  When you chat with them make sure you ask for ideas about locations for your session.  This will give you the chance to visit the places you have never heard of and decide whether the location fits your taste.

Do you like their gallery page? If you are searching for an outdoor photographer make sure that their photos match the results that you are looking to create. Don’t assume that any photographer can recreate a dream picture that you found on Pinterest. If you do have a photo idea in mind, be sure to talk to the photographer before your session so they can know in advance what your expectations are and they might even be able to offer you suggestions on ways to improve the look of your pictures.

Choosing the perfect photographer can be a hard task. It can sometimes be overwhelming to sort through all of the portfolios and choose one that matches your budget and style.  But if you find a photographer that you absolutely love but is a little more than you wanted to spend, I suggest paying the extra money for peace of mind.

Happy family in sunset

Difference in Portrait Styles: Lifestyle, Candid, Traditional & Environmental

What Photography Style To Choose

When it comes to basic portrait photography, there are many differences in styles of portraits to choose from. What they all have in common is that the photographer captures the subject’s face and eyes in focus and allows the other elements to remain out of focus or in the background. Here is some information that will help you determine which type of portraiture will suit your desires the best.

Lifestyle Photo-journalistic Photography

Lifestyle or Photo-journalistic Photography are very similar and refer to pictures captured of the style of living of the subjects depicted. It is usually a combination of candid and real life situations in a controlled setting. The idea is to capture the feeling of life experience and evoke a feeling or a storytelling experience. Weddings, family portraits, and engagements can typically fall into the lifestyle photography category.  Take for instance Ingrid, Chicago Wedding Photographer and Virginia Beach Photographer.

Generally the photographer will have a consultation with you and go over any locations that you and your family find special.  More often than not it’s in a natural setting such as a beach, park or an urban setting.  The most important thing is to choose a place that you and your family feel most comfortable and in your element.  So if you and your family are complete beach loving hippies then you may want to choose the beach over the park.


Candid Portraits

A candid picture is when a photo is taken when the subject is unaware or not expecting it to be taken. This type of photography doesn’t require set up, targeted lighting or extra equipment; it simply captures a subject ‘as-is’ in their average daily life. The candid approach of portraiture is spontaneous.  But this laid back style is given a bad rap for several reasons but mostly because most people don’t like having their photos taken without looking their absolute best.  So for the sake of this article when I refer to candid, I’m not referring to your Uncle Joe going around with a point and shoot camera trying to capture embarrassing moments of you.

I’m simply referring to capturing raw and real emotion without any of the moments being staged, similar to what a street photographer does.  Just like photojournalism, the entire goal is to document moments as they happen. For example, a street photographer will choose a starting location, such as a city.   He may walk around for hours looking for something to inspire him or elicit some type of emotion worthy of being captured on camera.  This could be something as simple as a kid helping an elderly lady across the street.

Candid photos can also be taken during a portrait session.  Sometimes those photos that are taken when you least expect it end up being your favorite ones.  Before you say, oh no, I want my hair to look look amazing, consider this.  The distinguishing factor in this type of photography is that the moments are not staged.  Imagine that a photographer staged you and the love of your life on a beach with the sun setting behind you.

family walking into the sunset

The photographer says, “I want you two to take 10 minutes and interact with one another just like you do any other day and forget that I’m even here”.  With such a beautiful environment how could you refuse to touch each other, kiss, hold hands, laugh, or whisper in each others ears?  You get the photos several weeks later and you’re amazed that he captured a silhouette of you and your love kissing with the sun glowing just between the two of you.  This is considered a form of candid photography because he didn’t stage your interactions he simply led you to a location.

Traditional Portraits

This type of photography has been in existence since cameras were first invented. A traditional portrait would display the face or expression as the predominant element. These photos are most commonly called headshots but the photo can also encompass the entire subject or multiple subjects. The direction of this type of photography is to display visual representation, personality and likeness of the subject. The subject is expected to be looking directly into the camera lens while the picture is being taken.

example of a traditional portrait

Environmental Portraits

An environmental portrait will normally focus on the relationship of the environment with their subject. The environment and subject relationship is more dominant than the facial expressions. The environmental approach photographs their subject in their environment, whether at the park, at home, fishing or playing a sport.

Each type of photography is unique and beautiful in its own way and there is no right or wrong option to choose from. You can even combine a lifestyle and a candid photo session or mix several styles into one scene. The importance of the subject matter is the most critical part throughout the different categories of portraiture photography. If you choose the style that best suits your personality, you’ll achieve the best results.  Visit the latest, Choosing an outside photographer.

Studio Photographer or Outside Photographer

Studio Photography Vs Outside Photography

Choosing between getting your portraits taken inside a studio and outdoors can be a difficult decision. All photographers have a preference for outdoor or indoor photography but it’s up to the subject to decide what types of photos they would like to have hanging on their wall for years to come.  Here are a few things to consider from Gary, Virginia Beach family portrait photographer

If you are leaning towards a photo-shoot outside, some of the benefits are the following:

Lifestyle photo of family at beach

Natural Light:

Nothing beats natural light. Sunlight is the best source of illumination for photographers. Professionals also know which times of day will have the best light and know well in advance how to manipulate outdoor light with reflectors in order to get the best lighting for pictures.  Typically anytime you choose to have beach portraits your session will be scheduled during the golden hour.  This is the best time of day for beach photos and occurs 1 hour before the sun has fully set.  If photographed properly your images will come out with a nice golden tone and their will be rim light around your body.  This separates the family from the background which adds dimension.  This type of lighting is only available to you at this time of the day but some photographers who are specialists with off camera flash can pull off a similar look.  However if you are looking for that natural look and have kids you may just want to opt for using light that is available to you naturally.  Anytime you have bright flashes going off it can really make kids uncomfortable, especially babies.


More Locations

You can show off more of your personality by having your photos taken outside. Example; If you love soccer, it makes more sense to have an active photo-shoot in a field shooting at a net than to have a portrait of you holding a soccer ball inside with a solid background.  Parks are a favorite with outside photographers and unlike the beach, you can schedule your session anytime during the day as long as there are trees or other natural objects that can create shade.

When outdoors, the location options are endless. You could be swimming at your favorite lake, sharing an ice cream cone with grandma or enjoying the sunset on the beach with a few friends. When it comes to outdoor photography, the background is your choice.

More Unique

Having photos from the outdoors will allow your family portraits to be more unique. Instead of having a solid and staged colored background, you will be able to choose a background that fits you best, perhaps standing in front of your childhood house or your new car or motorcycle that you love.  If you really want to have unique portraits make sure you bring anything you and your family find sentimental such as a ring, necklace, bracelet or anything else that may have been given to you by a loved one.

If you’re not a lover of the outdoors and prefer to stay inside, there are also some benefits to indoor photography.

Picture of smiling family

Controlled Environment:

Everything can be controlled, from lighting, wind, background colors and temperature. You will not have to worry about sunlight or weather conditions and there are no other outside distractions.  The downside of a photography studio is there is typically a limited amount of options for backdrops.  A good idea would be to ask the photographer if you can see the choice of backgrounds they offer.  If they don’t offer what you’re looking for it may be a good idea to see if they can custom order something for you or maybe reconsider having your session outdoors.


When shooting indoors, there will be less noise, distractions and best of all privacy, which allows the photographer to focus entirely on the job.

For portraits, lifestyle and fashion shots, it is more convenient to work indoors. There is an abundance of creative freedom thanks to new lighting systems.

There are pros and cons to outdoor and indoor photography. No matter where you prefer to have your portraits taken, you must hire a photographer who is organized, pays attention to detail and has an understanding of portrait photography in order to have a successful session.

There are plenty of great photographers across the United States.  Once you decide on whether you want your photos taken inside or outside do a search for local photographers and read their reviews.  Go to the next post, choosing your style.

Why Family Portraits Are Important

Family portraits are important because they make it possible to freeze time and capture an entire family at one single moment. In our technology crazed and fast paced world, it is sometimes hard to look back at our lives and remember what happened, with who, and when. Having pictures of the family at different stages in life is a great way to retain those valuable memories and make them last a lifetime.

We all have those times in our lives when we look back in the past and think about how fast children grow up and how quick time flies. Having a photo to capture the memories of those times is priceless. You’re able to have a wonderful, memory evoking and storytelling portrait of the different phases in life as children and family members grow older.

Family dynamics will always change and you do not want to miss an opportunity to have a few beautiful professional family portraits hanging in your living room. The timing may never be perfect but you might not know when the next opportunity will be to capture the entire family together.


Children leave the nest, grandparents pass, jobs get transferred, marriage and grandchildren arise and life has its unpredictability’s. Would you rather be saying ‘remember when this happened’ or be able to hold and show a picture of that exact memory in time?

As time goes on, portraits become treasures to us and as we look at them, we’re able to lose ourselves in that precise moment and bring back to life the joyous memories of the past. You are able to have a constant presence and reminder of each of the family members you love even if you are on the other side of the world.

Getting your family portraits professionally taken is a great way to have the entire family in the picture. Parents are normally the ones who are focused on the children in the pictures but with time being so precious, the focus should be on each and every family member.


If you’re looking to capture the growth and changes of the family unit as well as relive unique memories, then having family portraits around the house is a great way to reminisce and relive memories.

A great photographer understands that memories cannot be repeated and they are well equipped to deal with precious moments in a matter of seconds. There is no time to let life pass by and wonder why you didn’t get those family pictures scheduled. Avoid ‘I wish’ situations and book a Virginia Beach Photographer today.  Check out Studio or Outside Photography