Fall Family Photos: Where to go, what to wear

family picknik in the park

Fall Family Photos: Where to go, what to wear

Fall is the most popular time for family photos. Maybe the amazing colours of the season makes it so popular or the cooling weather and upcoming holidays reminds us the family time. Fall evokes feelings of warmth, coziness, and togetherness. These emotions can translate well into family photos, capturing the love and unity within the family.

Fall often brings families together for gatherings, making it a convenient time for family photos. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, a birthday, or simply a weekend reunion, families can use these gatherings as an opportunity for a photo session.

Autumn is known for its stunning natural beauty as the leaves on trees change colors. The vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows create a picturesque backdrop for family photos, making the pictures visually captivating. Soft, diffused autumn light, which occurs as the sun sits lower in the sky makes fall photos even more beautiful, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Where to go for fall photos in Calgary

Calgary, Alberta offers a variety of picturesque locations for fall family photos. The city and its nearby parks and natural areas provide stunning backdrops with vibrant autumn foliage. Here are some excellent places in Calgary to consider for your fall family photo session:

1. Bowness Park

Bowness Park is the first place that comes to my mind when it’s time for fall family photos. The park offers picturesque lake views, walking trails, a kid size train tracks and a historic lagoon. The fall foliage and reflections in the water makes for beautiful images.On the river side the rocky shore is another fine spot for photos. When it is close to the sunset time, the leaves on the trees look like little lanterns shining through the pathway.

2. Nose Hill Park

Known for its panoramic views of the city, Nose Hill Park features rolling hills, wide open grassy fields and treed areas.


Nosehill Park

During the fall, the park’s tall grasses and trees turn beautiful shades of red and orange. Since it is a big park, be ready for long walks, but it is worth for blue sky and yellow grass on the sunny hills. You can also see some wild life here. It is a perfect place if you like golden hour photos and silhouettes. You can check out my blog post about nosehill park photo session here

 3. Fish Creek Provincial Park

This is one of the largest urban parks in Canada and offers a diverse range of landscapes, including dense forests, open meadows, and the picturesque Bow River. The park’s trails and bridges make for great photo opportunities.

4. Edworthy Park

Edworthy Park is situated between the Bow River and the train tracks, providing scenic views of the river and the surrounding hills. The park can be accessed from Wilwood SW or Montgomery NW. Google map will direct you to the south entrance, but if you live in the north, you can also use the north entrance where Angel’s Cafe is located by the bridge. On the weekends it is busier, you have a better chance to find parking in NW side of the park. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables throughout the park, making it easy to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. When you come to this park for a photo shoot, there are multiple spots to visit. One is the Edworthy bridge connecting south and north sides of the park. Another one is the tall tree area behind the central playground on the south side. It is a perfect place for soft light and perspective shots giving a sense of depth to your photos. For open space photos, I recommend north side of picnic sites 8 and 9. This is also the place where you will find apple blossoms (so called cherry blossoms) in the spring time. To include the river in your photos, you can go down to the river shore, but it may be a bit challenging to avoid people in your photos as many people go there to swim the in summer. If you want a foresty look, you can go past the train tracks and follow the bike path in the east direction. I had a couples session here. They brought their cat, dog and wine, we had a full wagon filled with stuff haha.

couple in the park

Edworthy Park

5. Silver Springs Boardwalk and Botanical Garden

When going north on Crowchild Trail, If you turn left to Silver Springs way, you have two options for your fall photos. If you go right from the first intersection you will arrive Silver Springs botanical gardens, if you go left, you will come to Bowmont Park, also known as Silver Springs Boardwalk.
Boardwalk offers wooden pathway cleaving a grassy area with vibrant yellows and reds along the way, then you will walk through a treed area and then arrive at the Bow River. The lookout at this point is a beautiful spot with the alluring river views. I have a dedicated post about this park if you would like to read, click here. If you climb up the wooden steps ahead of this point, you will see a breath-taking view of the river, train bridge and Paskapoo slops. This maybe a rough spot for the families with babies as you don’t want to climb those stairs carrying a baby.

I recommend Silver Springs Botanical Gardens for those who have little ones or elderlies in the family. Botanical gardens offer a nice flat area which you immediately arrive after parking. The light here is perfect for fall family photos, as it comes filtered through the yellow and pink coloured leaves. You can go into the treed areas for a forest look. The wide walking pathway is a great spot for big families. Beware that this is an off-leash area so you may not want to choose to have picnic here. Once I did a cakesmash session there. We managed to protect the cake during the photoshoot but it eventually got smashed by the dogs, not the baby, haha.

6. Strathcona Ravine

This is a hidden gem in the SW Calgary nicely camuflaged behind the houses and streets. Actually there is a secret entrance to the park from a cul de sac. Since it is a ravine, you go down through wooden steps alongside trees, which makes a great photo location by itself. Through the pathway, you are surrounded by tall trees with narrow trunks. You feel like you are in a forest, not in the middle of a residential area. Strathcona Ravine is a perfect place to get some pretty fall family photos. The sun beams filtered by the tree leaves provide a warm ambience. If you follow the path in the NW direction, you will arrive a wooden boardwalk with lush foliage with interesting plants and more trees. If you choose this place as your photo location, do not go there too late as it is like a canyon and you cannot get the last rays of the sun and it will look dull without sunlight.

7. Confederation Park

Located in the heart of Calgary, Confederation Park boasts a lagoon, tree-lined pathways and wooden bridges. It’s an excellent spot for capturing the fall colors. You may need to wait until October to see bright yellows in this park but it is worth the wait. You will not want to leave the park even after the photo shoot.

8. Riley Park

This park features a beautiful garden with a wide variety of flowers and plants. In the fall, the garden is transformed by colorful leaves, creating a lovely setting for photos. Huge trees on the west side of the park make you look like you are somewhere in BC. Warm colours of earth on the ground look so inviting with the shadows of the tree trunks and branches. Riley Park wading pool area is also a nice spot to capture some yellow leaves where the tree branches hanging all the way to the ground. For little kids, I usually look for trees with low branches.

9. Prince’s Island Park

Situated in the Bow River, Prince’s Island Park is known for its picturesque bridges, water features, and walking trails. The fall foliage along the riverbanks can be particularly stunning. At Prince’s Island Park, it is possible to get both groomed urban park looks and a wild park feeling at the same time. Beautiful trees by the river nicely blocks the downtown buildings. It’s up to you if you want to include the highrises in the background in your family photos.

10. Stanley Park

This urban park in Calgary’s southwest offers a tranquil setting with a small lake, walking paths and plenty of trees that turn vibrant colors in the fall. There is also a playground if you have kids. You can get some awesome fall family photos at the beach area, and then if you continue walking on the pathway towards the Rideau bridge, you will arrive at a brighter place and will see the turqoise waters of the Elbow river between bright yellow leaves. My favourite colours in one frame! What else can I ask for?

11. Lindsay Park

This park in the mission area, gets so pretty yellow all around in the fall. Little body of water, bridges and wooden fences offers great photography opportunities. If you have kids, they can enjoy the playground located in the centre of the park at the end of the session.

12. Carburn Park

Another hidden gem in the SE Calgary. I found this park when I was searching for a nearby photography location for my clients to make it convenient for them, as they had two little kids and a baby. In Carburn park, A beautiful lagoon with a little island in it provides amazing views for your fall family photos. It doesn’t matter if the park is crowded, when you turn your back to the lagoon, there will be only nature in the background of your photos.

13. University Research Park

This is a beautiful little park, located near the University campus in NW, with a lovely duck pond in the middle. If you are looking for a peaceful and quite place, then this is it. Along with the duck pond, it features a wooden deck next to the pond, a treed area and a wooden bridge over a little stream. There is a playground for little kids on site. Perfect for families with babies.


What to wear for your fall family portrait session

The fall season allows for a wide range of clothing choices, from cozy sweaters and scarves to stylish boots and hats. Families can have fun coordinating their outfits and expressing their personal style in photos.

Choosing the right clothing for a fall family photo session is vital for creating a cohesive and visually appealing look. Here are some tips on what to wear for a fall family photo session:

Coordinate, Don’t Match: Instead of everyone wearing the exact same outfit, aim for coordinated colour schemes. Choose a colour palette with complementary or analogous colors. For fall, warm tones like earthy browns, deep reds, rich oranges, and muted greens work well.

Layering: Fall weather can be unpredictable, so layering is a great option. Sweaters, cardigans, scarves, vests, and jackets not only keep you warm but also add texture and dimension to your photos.

Avoid Loud Patterns: Large or busy patterns can be distracting in photos. Opt for simpler, subtle patterns or solid colours. Plaids, subtle stripes, or small floral prints can work if they fit within your chosen color palette.

Textures and Fabrics: Embrace the textures of fall. Wool, knit, tweed, denim, and corduroy can add depth to your photos. Consider using some fabrics with texture in your outfits.

Dress for the Location: Think about where the photo session will take place. If it’s in a park with colourful foliage, earthy and warm tones may work best. If you’re in an urban setting, you might go for a more polished or casual look depending on the vibe.

Accessories: Accessories can enhance your outfits. Hats, scarves, belts, and statement jewelry can add personality and style to your photos. Just be mindful not to overdo it; less is often more.

Comfort is Key: When you are getting ready for your fall family photos, make sure everyone is comfortable in their outfits. Uncomfortable clothing can lead to awkward poses and expressions. Ensure that the kids’ clothing allows for movement and play.

Shoes Matter: Don’t forget about footwear. Shoes should match the overall style and colour scheme. Closed-toe shoes or boots are often a good choice for fall sessions, as they keep feet warm and can look stylish.

Consider Skin Tones: Think about how the chosen colors will complement your family’s skin tones. Some colours can make skin appear washed out, while others can enhance it. Jewel tones often work well for a variety of skin tones.

Test Outfits in Advance: Before the photo session, have everyone try on their outfits to ensure they fit well and are comfortable. This can also help you spot any potential issues with colours or patterns that clash.

Be Weather-Ready: Bring along extra layers or coats just in case the weather turns chilly during the session. These layers can also be incorporated into the photos for a cozy look.

Personal Style: Let each family member’s personality shine through in their outfit choices. This adds authenticity and individuality to the photos.

Avoid Logos and Branding: Clothing with large logos or branding can be distracting in photos. Opt for plain or subtly branded clothing items.

Remember that the goal is to create a harmonious and visually pleasing ensemble that reflects your family’s style and personality while complementing the fall season’s colours and atmosphere.

If you haven’t booked your fall family photos yet, let me help you nail down some unforgettable family moments this fall. You can call or book your session online from the website, choosing the time works best for you.  www.alpinaphotography.com