Top 5 Fall Family Documentary session ideas - and why you don't need the "perfect" setup

Y'ALL! Tomorrow is officially FALL, can you believe it?

Time for cooler nights, the occasional crunchy leaf, and knocking back some mulled ciders to celebrate the fact that those damned kids are back in school (kidding / not kidding)!

Fall is one of my favorite seasons to dress my clients up in matching sweaters and perfect hair, and pose them in pretty fields at sunset. I mean, isn't this what everyone's richest, most treasured autumn memories look like?

JUST JOKING! Y'all know that's not how I roll.

2017-01-22-a Sunday adventure-80.jpg

I often have folks contact me wanting to book a short family storytelling session, but feeling paralyzed by what activity to organize around.

Since the matching sweater sets / sunset field combo is out, we always have a chat about what they like to do as a family. Something interactive. Something fun. Something meaningful to them. For some reason though, this conversation leaves some folks feeling like deer in headlights. 

I have no idea what we do together. We must be really boring!

I get you, friend. When I ask myself these questions, this is my first instinct, too.

But here's the secret:

Who you each are and how you interact with one another, at your core, is the same whether you're eating donuts at Wheatsville or shopping for dry beans or building a stick fort in the yard. The story's framework may seem vastly different, but the underlying details are the same. The premise of a short family documentary session doesn't have to be grand, elaborate, or amazingly creative.

2017-01-16-january daze-19.jpg

Just dig deep. I dare you.

Think about what you're most looking forward to doing as a family this fall, before this gloriously sun-baked season fades into winter.

Might this be the year you memorialize one of those traditions in photos that do it proper justice?

To get you started, here are MY TOP FIVE IDEAS for you, based on what my own family looks forward to each fall.



This place is sort of my personal heaven. The scenery is gorgeous, the beer is delicious, the vibe is always relaxed, and there are cornhole tables, expansive fields, squishy mud pits, big boulders, and an informal sandbox to keep the children happy. And the sunsets? Amazing, sweater-set or not. We show up, and instantly everybody's in a good mood.


What can I say? We're camping people. And while we have a few big camping trips lined up this fall, our children feel strongly that one can never have too many s'mores in one's life. Getting together with friends (or just our family, nobody else invited) to build a fire, play guitar, and get our fingers and faces covered in marshmallow and chocolate goo is a time-honored tradition for us.


Somehow I never manage to document this for my own family -- probably because I'm usually elbow-deep in pumpkin slime! This is HIGH on my list of session recommendations for families with kids. Is there anything cuter than kids getting creative and messy, carving or decorating pumpkins? Throw in a grandma or some neighborhood friends, some festive seasonal snacks and drinks, and you have yourself a perfect setup.


When the weather cools and the party vibe wears off on the greenbelt, we love trekking down to explore its various mysteries, watering holes, critters, and treasures. Sometimes we pack a picnic, and sometimes not. But there's something magical about heading into nature to enjoy the silence together as a family.


Admit it. You hate taking your kids to the park in the summertime just as much as I do. But when the weather cools down? I'm ALL IN! Our beloved neighborhood park is Little Stacy Park, which our children know like the back of their hands, and we always run into a friend. Time at the park is such a quintessential childhood experience -- and such a parenting experience, too.

To brainstorm your own fall family session, contact me here!