Hello and Happy October!!
It’s that time of year … where pumpkin patches are popping up all over town! My Facebook feed will start to fill with cute pictures of your kiddos in the patches (which is a lovely change from the political posts). But, because I’m a photographer, I want you to get excellent photographs of your kiddos! It might be hard to believe, but pumpkin patches can be difficult because it’s often crowded and there is a sea of orange …and not many of us look good in orange (especially burnt orange, but that’s a topic for another day). 😉
Here’s my top ten list of how to get the Perfect Pumpkin Patch Photographs:
1. Avoid the crowds!! Go early. And I mean … early. Before 8:30AM. The light will be gorgeous and you will be the only ones there. Plus, if you have toddlers, chances are, they are already awake!
2. Dress your kids in a color other than orange — teal, brown, cream, blue. Why? You’ve got plenty of orange as it is — and that orange color is already bouncing on their face! Unless it’s a dash of orange like this little bow!! How precious!!
3. How else can you avoid the orange color cast? Position your kiddos so that the sun is behind them and their heads are slightly tilted up toward you and away from the pumpkins. Stand above them and shoot down … but not so much that their head looks uncomfortable … but enough that the orange color cast dissipates.
4. Bring a towel — not to sit on, but to dry off the pumpkins. You know your kiddo — will they complain about a wet butt or mud? Be prepared! Maybe they won’t end up enjoying the pumpkins that much — so, bring the pumpkins to them!
5. Want to avoid squinty eyes? See number one. Unless the patch you find is completely shaded, your kids will start to squint right around 9AM.
6. Go to the patch early in October — don’t wait until the weekend before Halloween because the pumpkins will be thinned out which changes the depth of your pictures. Plus, the pumpkins start to get gross — some go rotten, some are destroyed from kids climbing all over them. I always host mini sessions the first weekend in October and there are 100’s of pumpkins in each row! And pumpkin patches aren’t on everyone’s mind yet –so there’s no one there! See how pretty this image is? 120 pumpkins and not another person in sight!7. Get creative with your shots. Use the pumpkins as leading lines. Get a picture of your child trying to lift a pumpkin twice their size. Bring a pad of paper and have your child sketch what they see and photograph them in action. Bring your own metal wagon and have them pull it up and down the aisles. Think outside the box and have fun with your kids!
8. Once you are done with pictures — buy a few from the patch you just used as a backdrop! It’s just the kind thing to do.
9. Do you love photographs other than on your phone? Hire a professional! Mini sessions are perfect for little kids and dads — they are short enough to keep everyone interested and they are inexpensive! I partnered with Austin Moms Blog for $125 for fifteen minutes and we did nine families in a row! And all of these images came from those quick sessions!
10. Get in the photograph with your child. Hire me — I LOVE mommy and me photographs. Hand your camera to someone else. Take a selfie. Don’t worry about how you look. Or what you’re wearing. But know that your kids want to look back and SEE you in their memories. I know it’s preachy — but, our lives are short. We don’t get to live forever. And we are part of their lives each and every day. They will want to look back on their lives and see you!
My two favorite pumpkin patches (based solely on photography):
1. Austin — Tarrytown United Methodist (all the pictures in this post are from this patch) — This is a beautiful patch — but only on a shaded day or at sunrise. They have lovely lines of pumpkins and beautiful trees. The church backdrop is quite lovely. The downside of those trees is that in harsh sun, you get terrible shadows if you aren’t positioned juuuuuust right. You can get close to the tree stump and avoid the shadow but then just watch out for that harsh light behind your subject.
2. Georgetown — San Gabriel Presbyterian Church — I see this patch each time I drive my kids to school and it’s gorgeous! They even have a tractor in the middle of the patch.