I love summer, but Autumn has my heart.

Crisp bright days, chunky knitwear, new stationary (I might not be in school but I’m still a stationary addict). I love this season, and it’s just so beautiful for photoshoots.

So grab your camera and yours scarf mama, and let’s shoot!

Autumn Leaves  – The Perfect Prop

No kid is going to say they are bored when they’ve got a big, crunchy pile of Autumn leaves to throw around. They don’t just look great, they keep the kids busy.

A trick to get toddlers to look at you…

Sit down and let them throw piles of leaves over you. They will love being allowed to do this and will happy run to you, smiling. (Hint: channel your inner Meryl Streep, make it dramatic. Fall over and scream when they throw the leaves, that’ll keep ’em coming back for more.)

A few other ideas for using leaves to keep children entertained

  • Have them gather the largest pile – and then see who can through it the highest
  • Ask them to find the biggest leaf, the smallest etc
  • Ask them to look for a blue leaf – get ready with the camera when they laugh at you

Get Your Knit On!

I love using knitwear in Autumn photos. It can add a lovely, snuggly boost to your images. I’m currently crocheting a dress for my daughter just for the occasion. I have very basic knitting skills and can just about whip up a bonnet (with lots of dropped stitches and swearing), but if you’re looking for something fancier, check out Miou. They make beautiful, fair-trade knitwear for children.

Have fun with props

One Autumn, I took a scrap piece of velvet fabric and I hot glued a pile of Autumn leaves to it to make a cape.

It looked cool but it didn’t last long, so the next year I bought some fake leaves online and did the same, this time with red leaves. It took a while to do but it’s pretty easy to do sat in front of the TV (I was binge watching season one of Colony on Netflix). I think this cape took 1 and a half packets of leaves.  I’d love to make another one, maybe a floor length in reds, oranges and yellows.

For the red outfit I used a leotard and a skirt made from a roll of tulle.

Have fun with Overlays

Boost the Autumn effects with overlays. I love these leaf overlays from Jessica Drossin .

 

Leave overlays are also great for adding depth to an image when they are placed in the foreground. I got these ones from Etsy and I love them. They are green but it’s easy to change the colour in Photoshop (I will do a video on it soon!).

Use a Long Focal Length

Longer focal lengths create beautiful bokeh. Find a pretty woodland path and it will fade away to soft Autumn tones due to the compression caused by a longer focal length.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on a super expensive, super long lens. I use the Canon 135mm F2.0L. It’s a beautiful lens, and compared to most telescopic, prime lenses, it’s a great price (I saved even more by getting mine second hand.)

Shoot Low to Capture Fallen Leaves

Get down low so you can get a wide swathe of fallen leaves in your image.

Use Fall Colours for Clothing

Take your cue from the tones of fall for clothing. Switch blacks and greys for warm tones such as browns and creams. Use russet and mustard tones for a colour boost that won’t clash with the scenery.