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Family Portrait Time

Marie Torio is a NY based photographer specializing in food, restaurant, interior and editorial. Her website where she can be reached www.photosbymarietorio.com and her Instagram photosbymarietorio 

Hello friends! We have approached the time of year when the air starts to feel more crisp, we layer up and beautiful trees begin to impress us with gorgeous colors. I’m a huge fan of taking seasonal photos so I thought I’d demonstrate how to take Autumn family photos before winter begins.

Location.  Last year, I decided to check out Caumsett State Park. It’s a beautiful 3-mile walk with plenty of different backdrops to take advantage of. Backdrops are easy to find whether it’s an open field, beautiful trees, benches, paths, fences, a space overlooking the L.I. sound or the beautiful entrance of Caumsett Hall. For this location, I didn’t need a permit, but if you plan to take lighting equipment or props elsewehere, I’d give the location a call. The last thing you want is to arrive and scramble to purchase a permit last minute. I’ve been there and it’s not fun, so please avoid that kind of stress and make sure you have all that lined up before hand.
Individual photos. Whether you are personally taking photos or have a photographer taking them, think of the images you would like to have of your children or family that year.  For example, in the past, I would bring a soccer ball, fire truck or take photos of my son throwing rocks into the water.  Last year, he was more about climbing trees so that’s exactly what I chose to capture. For my 9-year-old daughter,  I thought of having her sit on the ground with beautiful colored leaves surrounding her while looking up at her momma. There’s something about the serenity in her face that truly touched me. It made me feel proud of how beautifully she is growing up but sad as I noticed that she was shedding her kiddie props which used to be glitter, dolls and books. For my toddler, I used bubbles, board books and puzzles in the past. Since she’s playing catch up with her older siblings, last year she was more into climbing small fences and feeling extremely accomplished so that’s what I chose to shoot.

Group photos. I am all for letting your kiddies run, taking photos of them doing what they do. Have fun. Let them be and get as creative as you’d like, but as a mom, I definitely need to have a group photo of them sitting nicely, smiling and looking at the camera. Even if you don’t get the, “perfect shot,” make time to capture a few, regardless if someone isn’t looking or someone is laughing and it snowballs into a giggle photo. Take those shots! You will be happy you did. 

I hope I’ve inspired you to take photos of your family and think about the process and how to approach it.  Definitely go into it having an idea of the kinds of images you want to take.  Think about how or what you want to highlight about your family that particular year as a whole or individually. Add props if you need to. I love to color coordinate so look up color charts, which can help give you an idea on how to match colors. If you’re not up to that, just keep it neutral. You can never go wrong with keeping it neutral. Most importantly, have fun.  Happy shooting!!


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