How to Take Great Photographs of Your Children at the Pumpkin Patch
Autumn seems to have arrived very quickly this year, and before we know it it’ll be Halloween. Going to a farm to choose your pumpkin has become really popular in recent years, and it’s also a lovely opportunity for photographs. But did you know that simple things like the clothes your child is wearing, or the time of day you visit can make a difference to the overall feel of the photographs? Read on for five tips for great photographs of your children at the pumpkin patch.
1. Choose the right colour clothes for your trip to the pumpkin patch
It might seem a bit excessive to plan the colour of your child’s clothes so that they coordinate with the location, but the fact is that the right colour clothes can make a really positive difference to your photographs.
There are no set ‘rules’ for what your children wear to the pumpkin patch, but some colours will complement the surroundings better than others. I recommend starting off by thinking about the colours at your location, and then about which colours will complement them. Generally speaking, most pumpkin patches will be a combination of orange, and soft browns and greens and I find that autumnal colours complement these tones well. Here are some colours that you could include in your child’s outfit:
The other important thing to note is that you don’t need to include all of these colours in your child’s outfit! In fact, just choosing two or three colours is much better. If you have more than one child I suggest choosing a maximum of three or four colours for the whole family to wear. This guide to dressing your family for outdoor photographs explains more.
2. Visit the pumpkin patch early in the morning, or late afternoon
The obvious benefit of being the first or last people at the pumpkin patch is that you’ll hopefully have the place to yourself, and won’t have to worry about lots of other people appearing in the background of your photographs. But the bigger benefit is that you’ll have better light. In most pumpkin fields you’ll only have shade at the edges, and that’s only if it’s surrounded by tall trees or bushes. Visit in the middle of the day, and you may end up with a lot of bright, direct sunlight which can result in lots of shadows and contrast. At the beginning and end of the day you should avoid direct sunlight, and your photographs will have a much softer feel. You can see this in the photograph below which I took very late in the afternoon.
3. Sit back and let your children explore
Once you’re in a lovely location it can be tempting to immediately try and get your children to sit still for a nice photo. But as most parents will find, this is the last thing the children want to do! Let your children spend some time exploring and deciding which pumpkin they want to take home. This is a lovely opportunity to take some candid photographs of them, and once they’ve chosen ‘the one’ it will be much easier to keep them in one place!
4. Get down low
Once you do start taking photographs be sure to get down to your child’s level. You’ll have a much more natural perspective and will also be able to capture much more of their surroundings than if you are standing up and pointing your camera downwards towards them.
5. Capture the whole process
Keep your camera out through the whole trip, and you’ll also be able to capture the different stages your child goes through – from exploring the field, to selecting their pumpkin and (depending on how big they are) picking it up.
Over to you
I’d love to hear how you get on using these tips when you visit the pumpkin patch this year. Let me know in the comments below.