alright, the leaves are changing and it's time to start planning!

Before I jump in to all the details for what you should wear to your fall family photo shoot, I'm going to drop my disclaimer again. I want your family to look like YOU! I'm not aiming to make you look like you belong on a perfect Pinterest board, or you've walked off the pages of a magazine. While we can choose some items that are going to look awesome on camera, I also want to make sure you are choosing things you and your family are comfortable in and that you like to wear! These are your memories after all, I want them to tell your true story of who you are right now!

try out some contrasting colours!

Step one, check out the colour wheel! Now, choose some colours that are opposite from each other on the wheel. My favourite way to use this, is to choose colours that will contrast nicely from your backdrop. So if it's a green leafy spot, reds and pinks really pop! With all those leaves about to be bright orange and yellow, try out some blues and purples for your family!

As I talked about for spring, the best way to look coordinating without being too matchy is to choose 2 colours and 1-2 neutrals and collect everyone's outfits that fit those colours and lay them out together on a bed or the floor. Then you can take a look and see if one colour is a bit too heavy, or a shade of another doesn't quite fit. And you can always snap a pic of your ideas and send it to me at if you want another opinion!

dress for the weather

Fall weather in Ottawa is all over the map and I have never met a toddler who was happy to take photos when they were freezing cold. Layers are your friend! Vests, flannels, long sleeves all add warmth as well as a layer of style. And yes, even scarves and hats if we get to those low temps! I aim for most fall sessions to be in the afternoon/evening for the most warmth possible, but you just never know!

check your closets!

It's super tempting to go and buy everyone something brand new, but I highly recommend trying out what you already have so we can do our part to reduce fashion waste. If you do get something new, especially for kids, give it a test run before photo session day to make sure everything fits well, is comfortable and any itchy tags are removed.

be YOU!

And finally, be yourself. If you are not normally a heels and dress type of person, don't feel the need to bring those out for a photo session. My family and I love colour, so we always rock most of the rainbow in our own sessions - but if you typically wear more neutrals that's great too. I have Pinterest boards with ideas, but again, they are just that - ideas. There is no hard rule here, everything I've talked about is a suggestion or ideas. It was so hard to find pins that included colours other than neutrals. And so often we strive to be worthy of the style of everyone else on social media. Or to get the latest outfit another influencer wore. But the truth of it is we all have our own personalities and I would absolutely LOVE to document all of you exactly how you are. I promise, you are beautiful!

Kate Steele is a professional photographer based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Specializing in documenting the un-posed love, the genuine joy, and all the other real life stuff happening around us. Offering lifestyle newborn, family and couple photography in Ottawa. For behind the scenes and current work please follow along on Instagram!