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Fall Photo Ideas and Tips for Grandparents

In this podcast, we talk about how they love to take photos during the fall, with the beautiful leaves as backgrounds. We have plenty ideas of photo shoots, what to wear, what colors to think of, props to use and so much more. 

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Full Transcript of Podcast

Jim 0:03
welcome to our weekly podcast, modern grandparenting, where we discuss issues that grandparents must deal with in this changing world, for maintaining the best relationships with both our children and our grandchildren, to giving you all kinds of ideas of what to do all year long, and hopefully making memories that will last a lifetime. In this episode we talked about fall is one of the most amazing times of the year, it’s definitely one of my favorite seasons. And it’s the best time for taking family photographs.

Corinne 0:32
Yeah, this is the making memories part of the podcast, we want to make sure that we’re capturing those special times all year long. And I don’t know about you guys, but fall is definitely my favorite time of year. So Gemini, historically, literally, for the last 40 years have been going out on a Friday, Emma on a weekend, and in the fall and finding just some random place to take pictures, what we do is we take some props with us, we load up the kids, the cats and dogs, whenever we want and whatever kind of little vision is for the shop, and then we just go out looking sometimes, you know, you have to remember we’ve moved around a lot in their lives. So a lot of times we have no idea where we’re going after you’ve been there a little while then I started to think this would be a great place for a family photoshoot. But it

Jim 1:27
really helps to scout out a location and know have a good idea of where to go before the photo shoot.

Corinne 1:34
Yeah, because let me tell you from past experience, you put the kids in the car and you don’t have a destination in mind, they get grumpy pretty quickly. That’s a fact. But some of the props we take sort of alleviate that a little bit tip

Jim 1:48
that can help if it’s something that they can play with, or which is always nice. Or also always like you said that this goes back for years and years and years. And that’s true. I can remember I think one of our first big family photograph outings in the fall was when your dad was coming to visit in Germany and

Corinne 2:10
our oldest child was all of for mental. Yeah. Yeah. And we we went out and did a lot of what we what I’m going to tell you about we found a log out in the middle of the field.

Jim 2:22
Yeah. And there was leaves. And of course the colors of fall all around. And you know, if the leaves aren’t where you need them, you can move them, you can always move them bring a rake and do some adjustments of the scene. Yes. Oh, and also on that trip, then we bring that big wicker basket that we have.

Corinne 2:41
Yeah, we break mascot is something that I like to bring all the time. Any basket really, baskets are naturally they fit into any nature, kind of surrounding anyway, but to me, they do feel more fall, right? Whether it’s gathering apples, or Well, yeah, my cat had kittens, and I stuck them on the basket, took pictures of them. And one of them

Jim 3:06
escaped. We had to chase it down. Yeah,

Corinne 3:09
I was maybe in the same field. Anyway, but a different time. Anyway, um, so some of the places that we like to go things that we’re looking for, for backgrounds for four locations, locations, that’s the one I’m looking for. We You know, I’m from New England, so you can’t get any better than a covered bridge. But if you don’t have cover bridges in your area as we don’t here anyway, let me tell you I am bridges or any kind of wooden bridge will work really well. I just love bridges. They just, they’re just so photogenic. And I think it works really well in the fall, especially of course, if you got trees around.

Jim 3:48
Yeah, in Alaska, there was a park near our house that had you remember that is like a walking bridge that went over a stream. And that was perfect. There’s the background was just the stream and the trees. No, no buildings or anything like that. So a really nice, clean, pretty background is essential.

Corinne 4:07
I think. We are always looking for as I mentioned big rocks, or logs to sit on. We do bring like Jim said, our big wicker basket, we set our bat a lot because it’s it will fit for people. But we’re a little bit heavier than we were in the kids were little so maybe we didn’t quite do that. That’s still baskets, rocks, logs, things just so that you’re not always standing up sitting can be a little bit more relaxed and uncomfortable. Right. A blanket. Yeah, blanket. That’s one of the props that I mentioned too. But yeah, you can sit right on the ground, of course. I think it’s really fun to go and I think they have these all over the United States. A country road.

Jim 4:54
Yeah, it doesn’t take long to get out of the sand roads, country roads. It could be gravel Or or not?

Corinne 5:01
Well I think the important thing if you’re using the road and especially if you have the grandkids with you is to make sure that it’s not well traveled a busy road I mean but I was in North Dakota a couple summers back in the middle of the day

Jim 5:14
was there a busy road at

Corinne 5:16
the highway but we were on this this highway and we we were in the middle of the road for I’m not gonna I’m not kidding you at least an hour and a half just taking all kinds of portraits and photos because you know, roads are pretty Yeah, people love roads. But But you know, especially in the fall again, what’s what’s critical in the fall is the colors that’s what it’s all about, right? So you want to make sure that you have some changing colors well

Jim 5:44
and if you’re on the coast another good place would be the beach of course, by the beach, it’s always good to ideally with you know a lot of driftwood here, the Pacific Northwest, we get a lot of driftwood logs, like huge trees washed up on the shore and those make a perfect little prop area to sit in. And they’re very photogenic to

Corinne 6:05
exactly Of course, there’s lots of fall events that lend themselves really well and in fact, a lot of times events will be set up specifically for people to take a lot of Instagram photos or, or family photos. The only thing you have to remember is if you go into a place like that is don’t take up all the time be ready for your shot move out of it give somebody else a chance. Yeah, if you want to do it again get it again a little. There’s nothing worse than a family that gets up there and takes half an hour and that’s not really fair

Jim 6:37
and found the most those are more than willing to let you go ahead and use the set and take the photos that they would normally be taking for you. Unless it’s like a big professional.

Corinne 6:52
We’re not Yeah, I wasn’t really talking about a place that hasn’t played Southern for photos. I’m talking more like a pumpkin patch Oh yeah, or a fall festival oh

Jim 7:00
but you often see those types of things set up at those and they’ll let you still pop in and take a couple of pictures

Corinne 7:06
or you can take it we have them sitting then you take photos in the back to the picture. But but but look around at the schools and see if there’s a fall festival school or a farm nearby. But you don’t even have to leave the house you can just stay you know, build a fire in your fireplace or go in the backyard with a fire pit or even go up against the fence. Some of my favorite photos of AJ his first fall just up against the fence and it looks so cute with the leaves all around well

Jim 7:38
and they have this beautiful maple tree that has some gorgeous colors in the backyard yeah it’s all about all we had to do is bring in a couple of small pumpkins and the kid and the kid so yeah, we mentioned bringing props like the pumpkins into the backyard we had to go buy those we don’t have a pumpkin patch in our yard unfortunately but you know fall it’s pretty easy to find pumpkins big wicker basket that was always a good problem

Corinne 8:04
any any basket of baskets inside as well as outside

Jim 8:08
and even if it’s not a basket that you’re sitting on or sitting in it could just be a small basket with apples in it or you know something else fall related like that. Yeah, I’m part of the decor of course pets cats and dogs they’re part of the family too. So you want them in the photo too. And maybe you just want pictures of the pets with the grandchild that’s always cute

Corinne 8:32
pins on the panel child but yeah for this well

Jim 8:35
that’s true well of course anything with fall colors I really like red and black flannel over the night coats but they’re not also not shirts like their work shirts a heavy work shirt type thing

Corinne 8:51
and they’re very popular there’s a red and black planner just their their fall I mean they’re just

Jim 8:58
good Yes. Bring some treats like God chocolate with marshmallows, and that steaming cup if it’s cold enough outside

Corinne 9:07
Yeah, well you can take your you can take your camping stove or if you have a fire fire but but really the simplest way to do this take a camping stove and go ahead and have the water boiling or have really hot water in the thermos and then pour it in but make sure if it’s when it’s given steam pretty good and then everybody can hold the cups around maybe not

Jim 9:29
have the toddler’s holding in the boiling water. But older kids for

Corinne 9:34
sure cups of hot chocolate are going to be older kids maybe teenagers or like you know, young couple or something like that. As opposed to maybe toddlers. We have lots of things for tablets. You know not everything harder to find things for the older ones. Like for example the next crop I always like to bring as a red wagon. What are those wagons called Red,

Jim 9:56
red flyers, little

Corinne 9:56
red flyers. Oh my gosh, they’re just the best Photo prop for kids. So those are some of the things that we bring along. And I mean, it really depends on, you know what our goal is for the day. Typically, we have a couple of ideas that we want to run. And when I take photos I usually take a day, I’m going to say 100 of each theme, each, each theme, because I really believe that, you know, especially when you have multiple people in a photo, it’s sometimes it’s hard to get. Some people never open their eyes. Some people never smile. Some people always are a little sideways. Some people just don’t listen, some people I mean, there are so many things to play, especially

Jim 10:40
with kids, they’re fidgety, they’re moving. So you want to be able to take multiple photos in one burst. That’s always a good a good strategy.

Corinne 10:51
Yeah. And then, so we’re talking about tips for photos. There’s lots of things that you want to do. Take it from us, we love to have leaves in our photos leaves or you know iconically fall, so you want to have them? Well, you know, depending on where you’re from, that may not be an option. It may not but there should be some type of fall color or something that signifies to you like I don’t know what a Floridians do in the fall. Do they have fall colors? No, but I know that

Jim 11:21
probably while I believe there’s some blooms some flowers that bloom in the fall Yeah, so that’s so maybe you can find that typically fall thing in your area and make sure that that’s in your photo

Corinne 11:32
and and if you don’t, that’s when you’re going to go to the pumpkin patch fields and stuff like that, or

Jim 11:40
the multicolored corn, dried corn corn husks. Yeah,

Corinne 11:44
the corn field. Yeah, I think that fall is where if you can find a forest and even some most of the southern states as I was looking it up, have places that you can go it just might be a drive, it might mean might be a weekend that you take or something. But anyway, you’re looking for those colors. And of course, if nothing else, like I said, you can get a pumpkin patch, or just buy pumpkins yourself and keep him around your house. Okay, so last year, this just cracks me up. I did not get a picture of it. She was so quick. We were at a grocery store. And they have this beautiful huge pumpkin sitting on a wooden pallet. And it was just perfect for the kids to sit down in front of this pumpkin. And there was really nothing behind it except for more pumpkin. So it was really pretty. And this one lady, all she had was her phone and I think it was very impromptu. But she had her kids sit on the pallet right in front of the pumpkin. And she took a Great Pumpkin picture. It was just amazing. And I just thought well that’s that’s great. You know, you don’t need necessarily to buy anything, just go somewhere that has the display there and use it.

Jim 12:58
Yeah, there’s a couple of stories around us that just put out the pumpkins in not the parking lot necessarily, although some do some do that right out front of the store. And they’re

Corinne 13:07
usually piled high. Yeah, there’s walls of them a

Jim 13:11
store that has the pumpkins that are going to be lit in the afternoon, or evening as the sun’s getting lower in the sky. So you get that good golden light. That’s always poppin at that point. And yeah, that’s a great idea.

Corinne 13:24
Yeah, well I thought she she she killed it when I’m sorry. Do that. I thought that was awesome.

Jim 13:30
But it’s all about those colors. It really is complimentary colors. Red and Maroon

Corinne 13:35
as far as wearing clothes and stuff. Yeah, right. blues. Well, blues are opposite colors from Orange. So they really Pollock is a bit like the maroon and the reds. those are those are still complimentary fall colors too. So I think you could use any combination of those colors and really looked at I would stay away from whites or Pink’s or pastel for that’s more spring or winter. Right spring or winter. I mean winter in a different way we think of winter we always think of Christmas but if you’re just thinking snow and stuff and white, then pastels really work well that but as far as oranges and yellows, if you’re talking about Aspen rest, maroon Brown, yams, those are all sort of along the same color scheme.

Jim 14:24
So did she have the mom that you saw with the two kids that you have matching outfits on the kids? She

Corinne 14:29
did it they had time. And yeah, they had sweatshirts on that said Seattle because they were from Seattle. I thought it was I thought was fantastic. I thought it was a great picture. And I was getting my camera out to take a picture of her. I wanted the back of her picture of the kids and I was just perfect. I was like you’re brilliant. Maybe. Anyway, yeah. So you want to have really good colors. If you I don’t think you need to wear the same outfits as Jim was saying but did you It’s nice if you have the same colors on just because if you have too much competing in the picture then it sort of takes away from it yeah

Jim 15:07
and if if it’s too busy of a pattern that is also going to be really subtle should be subtle patterns if there’s a pattern

Corinne 15:15
what I kind of wanted to do this week he brought up our red flag but I was thinking just flannels, different color of flannels would be kind of cool jeans and like you know somehow purple flannel, summer blue flannel and they’re all kind of along the same

Jim 15:29
but still needs to be more of a like not a high contrast flannel because you can get some that are you know whites and reds and blues and it really gets too busy I think and the

Corinne 15:41
other thing that of course always works is a good knitted sweater especially off white or gray or brown they’re just so pretty and it makes it makes a huge difference as well. The other thing that you want to think about is maybe a theme so my themes are always pretty standard I like leaves leave some pumpkins pumpkins on leaves, but they’re every maybe your family like skill hunting. I think that’d be a really cute theme to have for fall because hunting season or I’m trying to think of what other things are maybe you’re into football like that’s a really cool right fall activity that maybe the whole

Jim 16:23
family in their favorite team jersey

Corinne 16:26
and they could do a quick ball tailgate party or Yeah, that’s a really good idea now like we mentioned before the foods so you can sit around I mean Thanksgiving is a huge fall activity a huge holiday so maybe you just want to make lots of pretty foods and have the family sitting around looking like they’re eating what they’re not eating it because it would be too much of a mess. And more or less kind of whatever artists name back well Norman Norman Rockwell seen? Yeah, you could do that. I mean, be sometimes it’s fun to have a theme and sometimes it can just

Jim 17:02
be too kitschy. If you can’t really stay on it depends on

Corinne 17:06
what you’re looking for, you know, um, so then there’s lots of ideas for actual photos and then even some videos because nowadays, I I’m a still photographer, I love it. But we’re, we get into video a little bit more. And I think it’s important to try and keep keep photos and videos of all the different life stages of your grandchildren. Of course, for example, I was thinking about this I didn’t. I didn’t really think about it too hard, but one of the things he is really into right now he just learned how to smell things and sniff and he’s so cute about it because he is he like wrinkles up his whole face. Like he thinks it’s a huge, you know, muscle figure something out.

Jim 17:59
So get that cup of cocoa there and have them smell that that’d be cute.

Corinne 18:03
It could be cocoa or cinnamon. I think cinnamon hasn’t really nice shot it stick would be good. That’d be really really cute. You know, things like that. Yeah. So anyway, think about the life stages and think about things that you might be doing year after year so that you can see the growth in the kids as well. I think that’s important. Babies are always the most fun to photograph, prop them up. When you strip them to begin with, right I mean, come down to it. I do love having really cute little outfits on the babies and you can find them everywhere like we have one of AJ work is in a little like Fox out outfit, which is super adorable. But it doesn’t even have to be that it could just be like a knitted orange hat or a knitted Apple hat. Or you know have a bed all those are crochet all those hats to put on naked babies and stickers and things. You could stick him in candy corn, you could stick him in that basket of apples or a big pumpkin or a pumpkin itself. Yeah, or you could stick him in. You know, in Germany. We used to go and watch. They had such big pumpkins that they used him as boats and they had races. So if you I mean, if you’re a gardener a you can try and build farming yourself. And now it’d be really fun to see how many kids you can get into the pumpkin poppy now, like instead of a cake.

Jim 19:26
You want to go by a giant pumpkin

Corinne 19:30
farm so so I don’t think yeah, that’s necessarily the idea, but it was just Yeah, for little kids. You could do a big pumpkin that you can get downtown. No problem. So that’s kind of nice. Um, you could also paint a little I’ve seen it where people have painted the pumpkin on the baby’s bottom and they’re laying down sleeping or something and that’s super cute. That’s for little little tiny baby like body paint or something. Yeah. And then you give them a bath after In one thing that I really like for all kids is to have all different sizes of pumpkins. And so you can have kid sized pumpkins too. And they can hold them up and either snuggle them or put them over their eyes and make them their eyes or

Jim 20:18
you talking about the little tiny pumpkin.

Corinne 20:20
Yeah, or if it’s a bigger pumpkin, you could, instead of carving it like a jacket, we have a new kid carving empty and put a face in it and make funny photos with pumpkin head people, right?

Jim 20:33
Well, and if you’ve got older kids, older grandchildren, photos of them, actually carving the pumpkins would be really cool to

Corinne 20:41
well, and that’s why I was talking about video as well in Vegas, even though I do think that you can get the idea from carving and pumpkin and a photo is still photo, how much fun is it to really capture some of that on video as well. So I think that we say photos all the time. But a lot of this, you could do some video and really have fun with it as well.

Jim 21:02
Well, like the leaves, it’s a great, it makes a great Still, if you will, if you’re lucky enough, and the leaves are just falling from the trees naturally great. You know, make sure you get some photos during that. But more often than not, that’s not the case. And if they are falling, it’s really windy. And that’s going to be problematic, anyway. So better yet is to collect your own leaves that are the right colors, and throw them in from outside of the scene.

Corinne 21:30
Now the problem with that is hopefully you’re using a tripod, so you might be able to do it by yourself. But hopefully, you also have someone helping you, right? because let me tell you, you’re not gonna throw and take pictures at the same time. It is so hard, it is so difficult. And you need lots of leaves. So you need to, like Jim said, Bring your rake and put everything there and be ready for it because you just keep throwing leaves and leaves and leaves and leaves and leaves and to get just the right picture. Especially if you’re taking 100 like I am.

Jim 21:58
Yeah, and a great video. And also another good picture is to have the your grandchild, pick the leaves up themselves and throw them in the bow. Just play with them like that. Because that’s a good one for most ages. Actually,

Corinne 22:11
we’re chasing the dog in and out of the pile. Right? We did that last year too. That was fun. One thing I’ve seen a lot of lately, which I think is a really cute idea is you get one really pretty probably a maple leaf because they are the most iconic, and kind of shaping it me in a heart. But it doesn’t have to be a heart. It could be you know anything. And then you hold up the leaf and use it as a frame shoot through the leaf. So it’s a frame to get the kids, which is just super cute. So you can play with perspective. And, and that’s really fun, too. Yeah.

Jim 22:48
And if you’re in an area where there’s apples, it’s this is Apple harvest season so you can get out and do apple picking the apples on the ground is kind of cool picture as long as they’re not ready.

Corinne 23:01
Yeah. But you can get them reaching up and picking them you can get them making hoarding, taking a bite, or making the game, the stuff whatever they’re gonna make with it. Like we made applesauce with ours. Yeah. So, um, and there’s also you know, we used to do when we were younger, this is not such a thing anymore. But they used to do Apple, Bobby. But for older kids who you really have a lot of control over. And you can watch I mean, maybe you could do something like that that would become a cue. Now it’s up to you

Jim 23:32
as I’m gonna be very photogenic. And I know it’d be good video.

Corinne 23:36
It’d be really good video. That’s true. And a favorite that would be more of a video thing. I just bought myself one of those feeding pails. What

Unknown Speaker 23:44
do they call that’s a doc bean. I

Corinne 23:47
think it’s doc pin. Because I just love the all the different things that you could do with it with photography and fall is such a perfect time to do that.

Jim 23:56
Well it’s like a it’s like a small mini metal bathtub. About what three feet long.

Corinne 24:03
Ours is two feet. There’s different sizes,

Jim 24:06
not too high. There are different sizes for sure. And you can stick tons

Corinne 24:09
of pumpkins in there or on or turn it upside down and put it on top of them but you’ve got that sort of farm feel right with it, which is nice to add to any kind of fall picture.

Jim 24:20
Oh, if you can get somewhere with hay bales. That’s pretty good hay ride here. Go for a hay ride.

Corinne 24:25
Who doesn’t love a hay ride? Well, people say fever.

Jim 24:30
So what about how they’re photographing the equipment to use?

Corinne 24:35
Well, like I said, you want to make sure that you’ve got your tripod. And it would depending on what time you’re shooting, the best time to shoot, of course, is like Jeff was saying and like you were saying earlier. About five o’clock could be afternoon, right? Right by

Jim 24:52
Well, whatever sunset is you want to be about an hour before sunset.

Corinne 24:56
All right. The problem with that is kids depends on the age. Have the kids and when they’re getting tired and cranky, unless you can get those little ones to take a nap before them, it might be a hard time to do it. If it is then pick a different time kids, it’s really more important to get the kid than it is. Right? Right, those extra colors.

Jim 25:15
And if you can get a like a partly cloudy day, if you’re lucky enough on the day, you’re going out for photos or planet for the weather. That just has more of a fall feeling as well, as opposed to like a bright blue sky.

Corinne 25:29
And you know, what’s really popular nowadays is those lights, I don’t know what you call those lights, I’ve got like pretty good size bulbs, and everybody strings them off their back porch, you know, string lights, string lights, whatever, those look really cool in the mid afternoon, just just just at the beginning of starting to get dark. So that would be a good time to do your hot chocolate or your toasted marshmallows with those or something that would look really, really

Jim 25:58
nice. You’re talking about, we’re not talking about like an LED string. Now. They’re actual bulbs that hang down, then they’re usually a nice orange glow.

Corinne 26:06
Yeah, yeah, yeah, they’re just beautiful. So anyway, so you want to have the right equipment you want to

Jim 26:13
well is a phone, okay? Oh, absolutely.

Corinne 26:17
I mean, nowadays, you pretty much attention to your phone. One of the things that I’m planning on doing where’s the time is talking about some of the apps on the phone for making really good photos. But one thing that you can do right now is whatever photos you take, you can go into Canva ca And it’s a free app that you You do have to join, it’s a membership. But you can make photo collages with. So you can either make cards out of them, or you can just make like a little poster to put on your fridge that has all different posters, pictures of the family at all time. And I think that’s a lot of fun, because depending on the season, you can change it up. And it’s so easy, all you have to do is print it out. And the good thing about life today in the 2020s is that you don’t have to even have your own printer nowadays. So you make something up and you have one page you want to print, you go to the library, and you can usually print it there for free, I have a car for five cents or 10 cents. And if you really want a bunch of copies, you can go down to a copy place and they’ll do it for you for pretty cheap too. So

Jim 27:32
if you want to, like a real on photographic paper print out, you can do that as well.

Corinne 27:37
Well, you can upload it to a photo site, yeah. And then you can get it framed, you can get on different materials, different sizes, different sizes, you can do so much. And you don’t really even have to leave the house to do it.

Jim 27:49
Or you just get one of those digital photo frames that you put on your desk or on your wall. And it just cycles through and then you just change the photos based on the season. But in a different card for each season. Yeah, a different card. That’s or they have the same thing on most TVs have a slideshow function. So you just have that running in the background.

Corinne 28:14
And then they have card slots. I do a lot of TVs. Yeah. I mean, we live in such an amazing time, don’t we? Right? Hey, it makes life easy to share. And yet at the same time, you’re not boring people with the same photos over and over again.

Jim 28:30
Yeah, well, my final tip on shooting with the phone is to make sure you’re using portrait mode for at least some of the pictures so that you get all those fall colors in the background. But they don’t, they’re not sharp enough to take over the picture and take over the subject matter.

Corinne 28:50
And if you shift into those lights that I was talking about with the lights or in the background, you’re going to get a nice bouquet effect right using the portraits, which is studying. So we’ll put some of the links to the props, and some of the gear that we use in our show notes. But just make a plan. Get out there. I think the best thing to do, depending on the age of your grandchildren, it’s great if your grandchildren are old enough to help you find a location. But if not figure it out ahead of time. That’s probably the hardest part of this whole thing.

Jim 29:25
city parks are good places to look. If you have a river walk or something like that. Those usually have bridges walking bridges that go across. Those are great, great places to look.

Corinne 29:39
The only thing is you don’t want to pick something that’s so populated that you’re constantly waiting for someone to get out of your scene. right because there’s nothing worse or a busy road with traffic. Yeah, I mean, try and be as cognitive of how busy it’s going to be and how many people are going to be around you as well. Anyway, that’s what I love doing for my fall photo photos. And we always have fun doing it.

Jim 30:06
Yeah. If you’ve got other ideas to share, please join us on our private Facebook group and reach out to the community. Share what you know or ask questions. That’s what we’re here for.

Corinne 30:19
We appreciate you listening and we’d love it if you’d tell your friends all about us. And like Jim said, and keep the conversation going in our Facebook group.

Jim 30:28
Thanks for joining us this week on modern grandparenting. For more on all things grandparents, go to our website at Granny’s go digital. And by signing up for our newsletter you’ll never miss out. Also, like we said, please subscribe. Thanks and

Corinne 30:43
happy grandparenting

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