Seven Pumpkin Patch Photo Tips

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Seven Pumpkin Patch Photo Tips

It’s October which means its time for trips to the pumpkin patch. This past weekend my family made our annual trip to a local farm, giving me the perfect opportunity to put together these seven pumpkin patch photo tips for you!

For Milo, the highlight of going to the pumpkin patch was not picking pumpkins, but getting to ride in a big “trailer” (or wagon) pulled by a tractor. By the looks of excitement on the other kids faces, I’d say this was the highlight for many kids. The tractor ride is a part of the adventure to the pumpkin patch.

Capture the Ride.

I realize that not all pumpkin patches have big tractors, but many have mini trains, ponies, or other fun ways to get to the pumpkins. Even a ride in the wheelbarrow is exciting for young kids! The sun was bright so I had my family sit on the side of the tractor that put the sun on their backs. I just love how Grandma and Auntie are watching the kids for their reaction and Milo was watching the pumpkins go by and the wheels turn. I know this ride will be one he talks about for weeks.

ISO 100, Aperture f2.8, Shutter Speed 640

Seven Pumpkin Patch Photo Tips, Preschool Boy and sister on tractorIt wasn’t a minute off the tractor that we had tears. Milo saw a bucket of huge trimmers and wanted to carry a pair all by himself. Of course, daddy didn’t let him, but we told him he could help cut everyone’s pumpkin stems. He thought that meant he got to cut everyone who was at the pumpkin patch not just our family, but that was besides the point! When it came time to help Sawyer free her pumpkin from the stem, Milo and daddy came to the rescue.

Capture the Work

Milo may not be looking at me or grinning ear to ear, but I have captured his hard working, focused face. A face we see often around the house. I have captured my ‘boys’ working together to get our pumpkins! I know that in future years, Milo won’t need daddy’s help, so capturing this detail now is important for telling our story right now.

ISO 100, Aperture f2.8, Shutter Speed 320

Seven Pumpkin Patch Photo Tips, Father and son picking pumpkinsThis past weekend was gorgeous in Seattle. I felt strange complaining that it was too hot while I was picking pumpkins. But the setting sun provided gorgeous light for me to capture my family.

Use the Sun to Create Beautiful Backlighting.

As my family continued to pick pumpkins I could not help but get excited about the sun filling the frame of my camera. I love how the light pours into this image of everyone working together to get our pumpkin.

ISO 100, Aperture f2.8, Shutter Speed 200

Seven Pumpkin Patch Photo Tips, Family Picking Pumpkins

It may seem obvious that I was at the pumpkin patch too since I was the one taking all of the photos. However, it is so important for my kids to see years later that I truly was present with them on these adventures!

Hand off the Camera.

Before we even left for the pumpkin patch I told my husband that he would have to take a few photos with me in them too. Once out in the patch, I set the settings on the camera so that he could take some good photos without having to fuss to much, and then I handed off the camera. As moms it is so easy to use the excuse that we take the photos as a reason to not get in front of the camera. I was having a crazy hair day, my baby bump is at that stage where you don’t know if I’m eating too many cookies or if I’m pregnant, but I still handed off that camera. And I love this image of my daughter and I at the pumpkin patch! (She was so interested in the stem and wanted to “carry” the pumpkin. My husband captured that here, with me in the photo too!

ISO 100, Aperture f2.8, Shutter Speed 320

Seven Pumpkin Patch Photo Tips, Mother and daughter with pumpkin

While we waited for the tractor to come pick us up, the kids decided that the pumpkins were the perfect place to start. It was too cute that we had to take a picture. Of course, getting two toddlers to look at the camera (when Skittles aren’t involved) can be tricky. I used another trick up my sleeve instead.

Have everyone look at one person instead of the camera.

Sawyer was so proud that she was sitting on the pumpkin too, we all looked to her. I love this image my husband captured of our family. We aren’t looking at the camera, but there are genuine smiles and it is very telling of this time for our family with little Sawyer as the adorable center of attention.

ISO 100, Aperture f2.8, Shutter Speed 320

Seven Pumpkin Patch Photo Tips, Family with Pumpkins

When you’re at the pumpkin patch you can get carried away with pumpkins in your photos. They don’t have to be front and center in every image to show you’re at the pumpkin patch.

Be subtle with pumpkins.

This may be one of my favorite images from the day. Sawyer is leaning on grandma’s leg with the pumpkin next to her on the ground. I called her name and she looked up, catching the light in her eyes with the pumpkin softly blurred in the background. This is a great way to show where you are, or the time of year, without having the frame full of pumpkins.

ISO 320, Aperture f2.8, Shutter Speed 400

Seven Pumpkin Patch Photo Tips, Toddler girl with pumpkin

Milo thought the pumpkins in the patch were too big for him. He wanted a small pumpkin. We found a bunch of tiny pumpkins by the farmhouse for Milo to pick one from. Of course, Sawyer had to have a small pumpkin too. Actually, she had to have TWO small pumpkins (which meant she got 3 pumpkins on our adventure).

Focus on the pumpkins

 Instead of focusing on Sawyer’s huge grin, I chose to focus on the two pumpkins as she held them up for me to see. Kids love to show off their selections, so focus on what they picked! If their pumpkin is larger, capture them trying to pick it up (even if it is too big for them). Focusing on the pumpkins will put their “prize” front and center.

ISO 320, Aperture f2.8, Shutter Speed 500

Seven Pumpkin Patch Photo Tips, Toddler girl with pumpkin

Now it’s your turn! Grab your camera, pack the kids up, and head to the pumpkin patch! It is such a fun fall activity to capture.

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