Tips For Taking Your Own Family Fall Photos While on Vacation

It might be hard to believe, but fall is right around the corner, and now is the time when people start thinking about their holiday photos.

Whether you’re in the vineyards of Napa or on the beaches of Carlsbad, fall is the ideal season for taking family pictures—the weather has cooled, and the colors have warmed, providing you with the perfect backdrop for beautiful photos.

While hiring a professional photographer is always your best bet, there are a few tips for capturing your own photos in a way you’ll actually feel good about showcasing on a greeting card this year.

family with kids and grandparents smiling for fall family photo

Smart Phones are So…Smart!

Smartphones all come equipped with high-resolution cameras capable of taking amazing photos. If you plan on using your phone to take pictures, consider investing in a couple accessories like a tripod or photo editing app that will help you easily enhance your pictures.


Location, Location, Location

You’ve heard it said about real estate, but choosing the perfect location applies to photography just as much. The spot you choose as your photo backdrop should not only be eye-catching, but should also serve as a reflection of who you are as a family.


Flattering Lighting

Soft, natural lighting is always best for maximizing each person’s assets while also helping eliminate any pesky shadows. The best time of day to take stunning outdoor photos is either early in the morning or at sunset (aka the famed golden hour)!


Keep It Natural

While props certainly aren’t necessary for beautiful photos, they can add a fun element to pictures when chosen wisely. Natural poses are typically best for real-looking photos, and some of the best pictures tend to be the completely candid outtakes that weren’t planned at all.


Outfit Coordination

Color coordinating everyone’s outfits rather than outright matching is the best way to go for photos. You’ll also want to avoid wearing too many busy prints, which can take the focus away from faces. Instead, stick with solid colors along with layers to add depth to your photos.


Don’t Stress About Perfection

Family photo sessions are about capturing your loved ones and their unique personalities, not about perfection. Cell phones conveniently allow for immediate viewing with the option to delete whichever ones you don’t like.


Start with the Most Difficult Photos

Start with what you feel will be the most challenging shots first. This allows you the freedom to work with any young children while you have their short-lived attention. You can move onto easier poses and adult-only shots later in the session.


Take a Million Photos

Taking good pictures ultimately boils down to a numbers game. It’s always better to have too many photos to choose from rather than too few. If you take way more than you think you’ll ever want or need, you’ll be hard pressed not to find at least one that you like.



Family photos are an important part of capturing lasting memories either while on vacation or at home. With a little bit of upfront knowledge, you’re sure to get some gorgeous family photos this fall!