Leah O'Connell

client tips, families

What’s the big deal about fall family photos

I'm Leah!

I’m obsessed with stories of family, creativity, and simple joys.  A nostalgia nerd, educator, wife, and mom of 3, I believe life’s most fun when you’re dreaming big and having kitchen dance parties. 

Education and articles for family photographers

TOp categories

FAQ's and guidance for stress-free family and newborn sessions 

Essays, letters, favorites

Highlighted family and newborn photography sessions

Every year, families scramble for fall family photos. In Charlottesville, particularly, it’s the gold medal of seasons for a reason. A few reasons, actually.

And if you’ve never had fall family photos (or maybe this is your first year as a family with kiddos!) you might be wondering what all the fuss is about.

Why does everyone want photos in the fall anyways?

From a photography standpoint and from a practical standpoint, let’s lay it all out:


In the summer, the idea of just starting a session at 7:45PM for sunset can be really stressful for families with little kids, and that’s the last thing we want. 

But in the fall, the sun starts setting closer to 5:30-6:30, so we can start your fall family photos earlier, which means both beautiful light and happy (little) campers. 


Fall has the most fun and simple activities to incorporate into your session – anything from jumping in piles of leaves to carving pumpkins, picking apples to sharing cider on a blanket when it’s not 90 degrees outside. When we can incorporate activities that your family enjoys into your fall family photos, it makes the whole experience less stressful and more fun!



Cooler temps mean the cutest accessories, and lots of warm, lovely colors and layers for your fall familiy photos. I’m pretty partial to boots and sweaters, myself, plus these colors and styles tend to be more flattering and comfortable than their short and sleeveless summer counterparts.


Choosing to book fall family photos between September-November means all the vibes of fall without stretching into the colder months that follow. You have to know your kids and what they can handle, but usually, super cold weather means red noses and kids who won’t take their parkas off. Set yourself up for success by planning for a shoot before the winter chill rolls in.


Here’s the hard truth – if you just want a “nice photo” for the holiday card, I’m probably not the photographer for you.

Yes, we’ll get that traditional shot, no problem. But the beauty of a full session is that you’ll also get all the magic of photos with feeling, the kind you’ll want to display in your home, give as gifts to family members, AND use one or two on your Christmas card.

This gives you (and me) plenty of time to choose your favorites, design and order gifts (I can help with that part, too!) and allow for assembly/shipping time outside of holiday rush.

BONUS : The GIFT of fall family photos!

What if the session itself could be a gift? (*gasp) I’ve had many families give their parents an extended family session over the holidays and it is so so special. Reach out about gift certificates and capturing some family fun at home while everyone is together.

you may also like:

Favorite photo gift ideas that aren’t cheesy

4 Tips for family photos with your dog

Tips for family photos with teens

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Leah.
Family photographer, writer, educator.

I’m  one of the first to meet your newborn baby, the one who won't judge your clothes baskets and unmade beds, and the one who can capture the way your husband looks at you with a twinkle in his eye after 12 years of marriage. I believe in honoring people and telling stories.

I believe art has the power to light up the world in dark places, starting at home.