5 Bay Area Fall Family Tips to a Successful Photo Session

5 Bay Area Fall Family Tips.

It’s that time of year again…the days are getting shorter, a little cooler and fall family photos are in full swing. The Bay Area is so full of amazing locations for fall family photos, but before you choose you’re photographer and book you session check out these 5 Bay Area Fall Family Photo Tips.


1) Create a Comfortable Atmosphere for your kids and family

Many want to save a bit of money by going to JC Penny’s or doing a cheap mini session with a newbie photography, but what this often brings is a VERY uncomfortable and rushed experience for your kiddos. Trying to create authentic, genuine and playful moments with your family is sometimes difficult if rushed into ridged posed cheesy look. The MOST IMPORTANT tip is to make things comfortable for your kiddos. Make it fun, more of a play time, NOT a sit still, look at the camera and say cheese time.

2)Be Patient and Playful

One of the most important 5 Bay Area Fall Family Photo Tips is this one. Patience is KEY!! This goes for the photographer as well as the parents. Trying to rush into that perfect holiday card moment often causes stress for everyone and littles can definitely feel that. If they are 5 and under, all kiddos really want to do is have fun. So when prepping for the session, tell them they are going to have a play date with your friend who is going to take some fun and even silly pictures of them with mom and dad.

3) Use Props Toys and Favorite Things

Again this is partly for the photographer, so a good question to ask whomever you hire is “how do they plan on getting genuine smiles and authentic photos if the kiddos are a bit challenging”.  I always like to bring a little tickler and a squeaky toy. One way for parents to help out, is to prep a few of their favorite songs on a playlist that they love to sing and dance to. If you’re dealing with a pre-teen or teen that is just plane moody…sometimes this still might work. Pull out something ridiculous and funny from when they were younger. Of course not every trick works for everyone, which is why a pre-planning call or zoom meeting is so important.

4) Respect Their Boundaries

Remember to be mindful of your kiddos boundaries and comfort level. If they become shy or overwhelmed, give them space and time to regroup. Forcing the issue can lead to stress rather than smiles. Many newbie or inexperienced photographers will force the issue…and if I am honest some experienced photographers who are doing this just for the money will do it as well. Only book someone you have a connection with. I promise it is work spending a bit of extra money for the right experience.

5. Be Open to Being Silly Together

Sometimes, the silliest moments create the most authentic smiles. Make funny faces, dance, or play peek-a-boo. These unexpected, light-hearted actions can lead to laughter and those precious candid smiles. I often will make fun of myself or tease mom or dad to get those moody pre-teens to crack a smile. The most important thing is to have fun together!


This year I am hosting curated Mini-Session events with the same high-touch point and full experience but at a more budget friendly level. If you’d like to learn more about our outdoor and studio mini-session this year. Click on the below photo. Each mini-session will help to raise money to Early Alert Canines, a dog training non-profit for those with diabetes.

I hope to see you soon:)




I am so happy that you're here! My name is Crystal Summer Bear, I am an avid traveler, solopreneur and boutique portrait and wedding photographer. 
I love to share tips, tricks and beautiful stories that connect us all. 
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