How to take stunning outdoor fall portraits

While I admit that summer is and always will be my very favourite season, fall is arguably the most photogenic one. The light is beautiful but rarely too intense for portraits, the sunsets are early and stunning, and the rich golden colours make the perfect backdrop to any photograph.

Whether you’re just snapping a few candids with your phone on a laid back fall walk, or taking your DSLR out for some family portraits, here are some tips to make the most of photographing this beautiful season.

1. Take advantage of fall fashion

We might not all want to be caught on filmĀ in our bikinis in July, but we’re all comfortable and picture-perfect in our sweaters, jeans, and scarves in October. Make sure everyone is wearing enough layers not to freeze, and opt for simple, comfortable outfits, livened up with accessories like bold scarves, cute hats, and tall boots.

How to take stunning outdoor fall portraits
photo credit: Jack Fussell on flickr
How to take stunning outdoor fall portraits
photo credit: Shandi-Lee Cox on flickr
How to take stunning outdoor fall portraits
photo courtesy Emily MacKenzie

2. Catch the best light

With the quick changing of the seasons (at least way up north where we live), sunset always seems to take me by surprise this time of year. When planning an evening shoot, you can always check the Farmer’s Almanac for when sunset will happen in your area on your chosen day. Then I like to head out an hour earlier to catch the gradually fading light and, eventually, the beautiful colours of the sky. Unless you’re taking photos on a cloudy day, you may find the intense sunlight of earlier hours causes faces to be blown out or your subjects to be squinting.

How to take stunning outdoor fall portraits
photo credit: antonio on flickr
How to take stunning outdoor fall portraits
Photo credit: Lina Hayes on flickr
How to take stunning outdoor fall portraits
photo credit: Vandan Desai on flickr

3. Have fun!

Carefully posed photos can look great, be flattering for everyone, and if done well, look surprisingly natural. But sometimes you just can’t beat a great candid photo. Run through the fallen leaves, jump in a pile of them, or just relax and watch the sunset. These little moments can create the best memories.

How to take stunning outdoor fall portraits
photo source: stocksnap.io
How to take stunning outdoor fall portraits
photo source freeimages.com
How to take stunning outdoor fall portraits
photo credit: Giacomo Carena on flickr

Got any other great tips to add? What are your all-time favourite autumn shots? Share below!