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How to Get Beautiful Outdoor Photos in the Fall & Winter

Pregnant woman poses in burgundy dress with fall landscape backdrop

It's no surprise that Fall and Winter in Colorado are some of the most popular times for photoshoots. Whether you're getting your annual family photos taken or you have a little one on the way and want to document your baby bump, there are a million wonderful reasons to schedule an outdoor session during the holiday seasons. However, given the cooler weather, the desire to capture the changing leaves, or the hope for a snow globe of a photoshoot, it can take a little extra planning and preparedness to get those perfect photos.

In this blog post, I'll share a few things you can do to ensure your Fall and Winter photos turn out beautifully so you have wonderful memories to enjoy for years to come!

Gather Inspiration for Your Fall or Winter Photos

The first thing I recommend when planning your outdoor photos in the Fall and Winter is to gather inspiration for your photos. Maybe you like a more casual look with a snowy backdrop, or perhaps you prefer a glamorous gown surrounded by fall leaves and a mountain backdrop. Whatever your preference, it's a good idea to gather inspiration photos so you can share them with your photographer ahead of your session and keep them in mind while scoping out locations and picking an outfit.

Pinterest is a great tool for gathering inspiration, as well as social media or even a simple Google search!

Family poses in front of garden of the gods on a snowy day

Scout Out the Perfect Location for Photos in the Fall & Winter

Finding a beautiful location is the next step to capturing the perfect Fall and Winter photos, and it's an important one! Do you have a vision of your photoshoot taking place in a field of sunflowers, at an ice skating rink, or with a beautiful, snowy mountain backdrop?

All of these locations will take a little planning to get the look you're going for in your photos.

For example, if you want to try and ensure there's snow in your photos, you'll want to aim for the colder months of winter and choose a location with a higher elevation to give you the best chances. Or if you prefer the look of sunflowers or a pumpkin patch, you'll want to aim for when sunflowers or pumpkins are in their peak season.

You can ask your local friends on social media if they have any recommendations that fit your vision, you can ask your photographer's advice, and you can even post it to your neighborhood Facebook group or app. An online search is another way to get location advice and see sample photos.

Here is a blog post featuring some of my favorite outdoor photo locations around Colorado Springs!

Understand the Timing of the Seasons

The seasons shift a bit each year, but there are tools that can help you pinpoint when, for example, the changing leaves might be at their peak color. Typically local news sources will share predictions for peak color season for the leaves, depending on where your photo location is. Additionally, they can typically predict when the first snowfall might start at the higher elevations to help you pinpoint the right time for those snowy photos.

family poses in front of early fall greenery

Keep an Eye on the Weather

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in outdoor photography, as the weather can be a big, unpredictable factor. It's always a good idea to keep an eye on the weather leading up to your planned session. Knowing what the weather is the day before, of, and after your session will help you plan your clothing accordingly and manage your expectations.

If you wanted a wintery backdrop and it's not supposed to be cold or snowy during your session, having your eye on the weather for the week or so leading up to your photoshoot will allow you to either mentally prepare for a different vision for your photos or work with your photographer to try and find a new location that DOES have a better chance of providing the weather you hoped for.

Additionally, if you know what the weather is going to look like, it will allow you make any final necessary changes to your wardrobe before the big day.

Plan Your Outfit Accordingly

Not only do you want your outfit to be perfectly you, but you want it to be practical as well. This doesn't mean you have to forego the glamorous gown, but there are a few things you can do to make your photoshoot in your beautiful outfit go smoothly.

  • Bring a jacket or a shawl – Or anything you can either wear in your photos or for short bursts during session breaks to warm up

  • Wear sneakers/boots and bring your fancier shoes – If your location requires walking, you likely won't want to walk in heels or high-heeled boots! Not to mention the possibility of ice. So wear something practical and bring your less practical footwear to change into.

  • Think about the vibe and colors in your photo location – If you are planning a backdrop with yellow, orange, and red fall leaves, a neon pink outfit is probably not the best option. Plan the colors in your outfit around the colors most likely to be featured in the background. Check out these blog posts for more on planning your outfit(s):

  • Bring something comfy to change into after – You probably don't want to be wearing a gown all the way home after your photos. I recommend bringing thick socks and something comfy to change into so your drive home is comfortable.

pregnant woman poses on a bench with partner in front of snowy backdrop

Embrace Bad Weather

At the end of the day, we can do our ABSOLUTE best to ensure your session goes smoothly, but Mother Nature has a mind of her own, especially here in Colorado and at higher elevations. The best thing you can do to ensure your photos turn out beautifully? Go with the flow!

If you can embrace whatever happens in your photos, you WILL end up with beautiful photos because at the end of the day, all that really matters is that we capture your joy. If you can accept and lean into the idea of a few snowflakes or an exceedingly hot November day, then you'll end up with photos that look as though you ended up with the weather of your dreams!

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