5 Tips for a Fall Family Photo Session – Toronto Photographer

September 10, 2021

It’s often said that autumn carries more gold than all other seasons combined. As a family photographer based in Toronto, I agree. 

5 Tips for a Fall Family Photo Session
A guide to the ideal fall family photoshoot

There’s just something about how pictures taken in the midst of the transition season turn out. The burnt leaves, the unfiltered sunshine. That hot cup of cocoa in the crisp, wintery air. No wonder so many of my clients wait until September/October to have their photos taken. Sweet 16s, engagement announcements, retirement…No matter the occasion, fall is almost always the preferred backdrop. 

That’s why, I’ve compiled this list of tips that can help aspiring photographers make the most of the beauty of the next couple of months. It’s a bit more complicated that you’d think…

Pick a solid location

First and foremost, decide where to conduct the session. Since it’s fall, you want one that showcases all the eye-catching colours of the season. Open fields, beaches. Luckily, there are plenty of spots in the Greater Toronto Area that offer beautiful scenery for that charming, peaceful vibe typical of Pinterest-worthy fall photos. 

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Tell clients how to pose

If your subjects are having fun, the picture will turn out better. 

Unfortunately, posing doesn’t coming naturally to most. And it can get even harder in family portraits with babies involved. Not to mention, the uneven terrains in the wooded areas. Things can get uncomfortable, so you’ll have to communicate effectively, lest that discomfort show through in the photos. 

So make them run, dance, hide behind trees. Use the surrounding environment to add a little extra. I’d recommend candid shots of random, playful ‘calendar’ moments to capture the smallest bits. Use burst mode so you don’t miss any.

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Don’t make clients face the sun

Golden hour snapshots are a particular favorite but you must utilize the light properly. Direct sunlight is harsh and can, at times, enhance flaws, making your subjects appear older. It can also cast shadows on their eyes, noses and necks. Mind you, that’s besides the odd, squinty eyes.

So, choose a time of day that’s not too close to noon. A nice sunset, or just before one, are ideal – especially for romantic pictures – as they offer soft lighting. Or opt for a shadier location or cloudy day. Either way, pay attention to exposure. You don’t want anything in the picture to stand out too much. 

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Offer wardrobe advice 

The most common question I’m asked before a photoshoot is “What should we wear?” That’s why, I run a ‘client closet’ with many beautiful options for moms and babies so they don’t have to worry too much about their clothes. 

Often, families coordinate their outfits for portraits. This conveys a feeling of togetherness but there’s no hard-and-fast rule. You can offer them wardrobe advice according to their vibe and what you have in mind for the pictures. I’d tell them to avoid bright colours and logos or accessories, etc. that’ll steal the focus. 

Anchor Studio client closet

Don’t overdo the editing 

The point of outdoor photography is to highlight nature. Plus, family photos ought to be ones your clients will want to show their grandchildren years later. That’s why, avoid putting too many effects or filters. The simplicity will make for more timeless clicks.

Here are more blog posts in different locations in Toronto both outdoors and in-studio showing why you should hire a photographer to capture your beautiful family.

Family photo shoot at Scarborough Bluffs

Family and maternity photos at Scottsdale Farm

Family and cake smash photo shoot at Mint Room Studios

Family and cake smash photo shoot in The Solarium Studio

Family photos at The Evergreen Brickworks


There are a few ways you can book. You can book right online using this tab which leads you to my online booking calendar. However, not all available dates are on that calendar so if you need a different date, send me an email! You can reach me at hello@anchorstudio.ca

Anchor Studio Photography specializes providing a full service experience that starts with booking your session and ends with getting beautiful tangible heirloom products being displayed in your home. My style of soft, candid and timeless photos can be seen in all my maternitynewbornchild and family portraits in Greater Toronto Area, including Oakville, Mississauga, North York and Richmond Hill. If you are interested in booking a portrait session for your family, you can click here to book your session. I am now booking sessions for summer 2022, so don’t hesitate to get in touch soon!

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