It’s Fall Y’all: Family Photo Cheat Sheet for the Season

Kicking off the upcoming holiday season with family photos? Us, too!

This colorful season has so much to offer and it’s a great time to grab the kids and capture those unique moments where everyone is together and ready to say, “CHEESE!”

However, family photos ARE challenging for many reasons. Especially if you are an overachiever and want to incorporate props and pets. Hey, I know you are out there ๐Ÿ˜‰ And guess what, effortless photo mama?! I have always admired you. You make it look effortless: I am here to admit I have been taking notes after every family photo session to be just like you, and I am thrilled to share what I have learned. 

Here are my quick tips for Fall Family Photos to make the experience just a little easier!

#1. Use fake pumpkins! Raise your hand if you have been known to lug around heavy pumpkins just to have them in the photos. I may be late to the party on this one BUT I found using fake pumpkins will make the photos much more manageable. They are light as a feather and look gorgeous. 

#2. Patience makes perfect. Embrace the chaos! It can feel draining to pull the family together to show off your “picture-perfect life” when in all reality…perfect doesn’t exist. Get in the mindset to embrace the chaos and life will be much easier to capture! Even take some snapshots of the impromptu moments. Some of the BEST photos come from these moments. Caleb caught a moth in the middle of our creative little photo session and it set the humorous tone and theme for the entire evening.

#3. Allow PLENTY of time and make sure everyone is fed prior. Clear the afternoon and make sure everyone is FED. I love the “idea” of morning photos because of natural light and all, but let’s be REAL here. The morning prep before photos is a whole ordeal and if “someone” didn’t have breakfast we have a WHOLE “hangry” family on our hands. 

#4. Do a test run before you hire the professionals. Do a run through and snap your way through the scenes. Add props, take away props, give the kids time to get all of the wiggles out. No pressure, right?! Also, talk through what it will be like when you have your photographer on site. The whole family can anticipate the moments ahead!

#5. Have the kiddos be a part of the process. Ask them to set up the props, take their creativity into account. If they want to incorporate silly props, let them bring the silly props. Silly faces add character! These photos are for THEM to remember, too.

#6. Bring the pets and bring treats. Including pets in family photos is a blessing. They ARE a part of the family and it makes the time very special to include your furry friend. One year, we even added the hamster because…why not?! Adding some festive outfits and collars to pets is fun, too!

Photo Credit: Julia Sharapova

#7. Wear comfortable clothes. I have had photo sessions where everyone is so uncomfortable from the stuffy, fancy clothes and it adds unnecessary stress to the entire family occasion. “Can we be DONE yet? I want to change!” Hey, if you were in the comfortable clothes I BET you will have more of an opportunity for that perfect shot. Try it!


Sarah Crilley
Sarah Crilley lives in Plano, Texas with her nine-year-old son Caleb, husband Nick, and adopted french bulldog Daisy. They are introducing the newest member of the family, Rocky Elliott the Hedgehog! (Yes . . . Hedgehog) With hands full balancing "working mommy-life", Sarah works full-time managing the team at Real News PR in Dallas. She is a lover of coffee, listening to podcasts, attending community events, social media, and writing! She enjoys connecting and sharing with other moms. Sarah has been a contributor for CCM since October 2016! She loves blogging and plans to incorporate video into some of her posts.