Autumn is one of the most deep and colorful seasons to capture in photography because so much change is happening outside. It’s pretty to look at and very symbolic, too. If you appreciate a scenic shot of crispy leaves and like to share pics of yourself on social basking in Mother Nature’s glory, here are 7 pro tips and ideas to follow for getting the best shots of Fall foliage (and hopefully a lot of likes too!).
I decided to write this blog post because every year whenever I’m photographing scenes or myself during the fall season, I have to go the extra mile to make the shots look good. I may even have to do retouching in post. I find that what I see in that very moment and within viewfinder isn’t the final shot I get. This can be very frustrating for any level of photographer. I’ve been taking photos with professional equipment for years and hate when I can’t get it right. And it's not always about technique...sometimes it's about your approach to shooting your subject matter.
So in an effort to make it easier on all of us, I went straight to the pros for these tips. I asked three New York based professional photographers who I’ve worked with on campaigns and photoshoots for their best tips and tricks to get a shot that not only pays the rent but also captures our immediate attention when scrolling. Here’s what they have to say…
Photo courtesy of Travis Keyes
“Look for the light. Morning sunrise or sunset will give you the most pleasing light and colors.
Use the harsh midday sun to scout for locations but don’t expect it to work in your favor.”
This tip comes from photographer Travis Keyes, who capture this epic scene.
Photo courtesy of Alla Rico
“Shooting at a slower shutter speed will show blurred motion when playing in the fall leaves and a higher shutter speed will freeze the action.”
Travis explains to me how to get those playful leaves shots that we all love. Even a shot of kicking up colorful, crispy leaves from the sidewalk at groundview can be captured this way.
Photo courtesy of Alla Rico
“Your iPhone is actually a powerful camera so don’t feel bad if that’s all you’re working with.
Put it on portrait mode to blur the background and bring focus to the colorful leaves or subject matter you’re trying to highlight.”
Photographer Alla Rico explains how she achieved the shot above on her phone (which is actually a pic of her).
Photographer Caitlin Mitchell, whose shot countless fashion stories and spreads recommends getting comfortable with your curiosity.
“Go into nature, get off the path and find what inspires you. Is it the warmth of the afternoon light? The colors, the moss growing, the smell?
Get in there and get close. Sometimes the most unrecognizable is the most interesting as a photograph."
How about a fashion story? To shoot a fall inspired fashion story, Caitlin Mitchell recommends:
“Go with layers! Incorporate sweaters with hints of lingerie and or a little skin.
Fall colors with their deep hues of orange, yellow and red look great with contrast colors like blue.
Always go for a sexy eye. Look for moss and bark. Keep the light or sun behind the camera so the subject is in the sunlight.”
Photo (of me) courtesy of Alla Rico
One of my favorite tips inspiring my content is MOVEMENT. When I think about fall, I think about change and cycling through life.
Nature is turning different colors and moving through new phases of it’s life. Some plantlife is blooming while others are dying.
For me, this translates as movement. If you can show movement against a background of fall’s earthy yellows, oranges and browns,
then you’re giving the viewer a lot to take in. You're communicating a feeling that reflects deeply on life and the changes happening even within ourselves.
Tell a story through your imagery that is stimulating and inspiring. That's what makes it shareable!
Photo by me!
Here's one last tip from yours truly. Communicate the warm vibes of fall through your pics and posts by showing a place or a scene that makes people want to go there.
Is it a cozy spot? A charming outdoor Parisian-style restaurant with a great street view? A painted street or mural wall?
A street with a gorgeous tree-scape? If you can find these locations to shoot in, it builds a sense of desire in people to see it for themselves.
It makes them more likely to favorite your content, save it and share it with someone else because they want to go there and emulate your shot or experience.
Got a tip? Feel free to share it in the comments below. Thank you and as always I appreciate you coming here to read my blogs :)