Like most of you, I’m looking forward to and planning for fall, and fall family photos. Fall is my favorite color. When you have the right photographer, you can just smell the air in a photo. There are so many things about fall photography that make it gorgeous: the cooler weather the season brings, the props and backdrops that nature provides and—most importantly—the colorful displays of nature before winter sets in. Fall colors can be so impressive, it really doesn’t matter where you take your photos; there are many great Quad City locations to explore for your fall family photos. 

Here are just a few ideas to bring out the kaleidoscope of the season’s colors, while simultaneously capturing the best of you and your family right now.

Playing in the Leaves

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me fluttering from the autumn tree.” -Emily Brontefall photography family photographer quad cities

Fun at the Farm

“Autumn is as joyful and sweet as an untimely end.” Rémy de Gourmon

The farm is a perfect backdrop to any fall photo shoot. Something about the barn, tractors, and bales of hay just screams fall. autumn flowers fall photos photographer


“I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin, and crisp sunburnt leaves.” -Ann Drake

Pumpkins just might be the most fall of all. Use as a backdrop. Plop into a wagon of them. 

On the Fence

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” –Jim Bishop

Even the most formal of occasions looks beautiful next to an old wooden fence in the fall .fall leaves wedding quad city wedding photography

Apple Picking

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”-J.K. Rowling

Apples are fall. An orchard would be a perfect location for fall family photos. Then pick a bushel basket full while you’re there and make some delicious Italian delights with your freshly picked apples.

Shadows and Backlighting

“The heart of autumn must have broken here, and poured its treasure upon the leaves.” -Charlotte Bates

fall photos quad city photographerIn the fall, the sun doesn’t get as high in the sky, which means less daylight. You get the typical, dreamy flare effect that so many families are fond of, but it also tends to give the leaves an amazing illuminated appearance. You just can’t capture that light with a cell phone camera, and no experience or training, like Elaine and Stephen from Giraffe Photography.


Take advantage of those imaginative costumes and use them in your photo shoots.  Costumes may help your shy subjects come out of their shell and will always make for great photographic keepsakes.

A Basic Brick Wall

“If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.” -Victoria Erickson

The best photographers can make something like an old brick wall become magical, and focus the love and light of your child’s eyes right back to you.

fall photos quad city photographer

In a Field

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.”- Elizabeth Lawrence

I just love the juxtaposition of furniture out in a field. A flower crown and sun glints make it all the more perfect.

in a field fall photos

Leaves and Sky

“Autumn is the season to find contentment at home by paying attention to what we already have.”

A blue sky is a great complement to the strong, warm colors of the leaves at this time of year. Any kind of tree will work, as long as the colors of the leaves have started to change. That golden sun on golden leaves: is there anything better?

By a Stream

“Dancing of the autumn laves on a surface of a lake is a dream we see when we are awake.” – Mehmet Murat Ildan

Here in the Quad Cities you can find beautiful backdrops like this one without going very far off the beaten path. Scout out some Quad City splendor for your next photo shoot- or better yet, hire a local, experienced photographer who already knows all the best locations.


In that golden, rustly corn.

“Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable…the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street…by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese.” -Hal Borland

Notice how a lot of our subjects are wearing blue? Blue really pops against the fall background colors, no matter what that background is. Other great options are burgundy, deep pinks, jeweled purples, deep yellows and oranges, emerald or forest, and denim. One color theme should connect  all of the outfits, but don’t choose exact matches. 


And of course, near some quintessential autumn dressed trees.

“And the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep and autumn was awakened.”- Raquel Franco

The fall in the Midwest is a fantastic time of year to get the family outside for your yearly portraits. Call a Quad Cities local photographer like Giraffe Photography and get on their books now for your fall family photos, before all the good session times fill up!

Thank you to Giraffe Photography for sponsoring this post. All opinions are the author’s own.


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