Fall is here and that means families are heading to the pumpkin patch! Keep scrolling to find out how to get kids on board with a pumpkin patch photo shoot!
I am so thankful for my PEPS group. We all connected when we had newborns within a few months of each other.
After our program was completed, we chose to continue as a group and now more than 6 years later, we are still great friends and our families love to do activities together.
This year is a bit different, but we wanted to continue our family tradition of doing our own pumpkin patch photo shoot.
Pumpkin patch photography can be a bit tricky, depending on where you live.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, it might be a super bright almost-summer day. Or, it could be chilly and rainy. And the weather really can affect how your kids react to doing more than a few photos at the pumpkin patch.
We love going to Washington State pumpkin patches because they offer so many activities and it’s a great way to spend the morning.
When we had babies and toddlers, we’d aim to go early in the day to avoid crowds (and nap times.) Plus, we’d always score on great parking if we arrived right before opening.
Now that our kids are a bit older, we have the option of heading out in the late afternoon after the families with little kids have gone home.
We also tend to dress the kids in overalls or plaid shirts and jeans. This makes for super cute pumpkin patch photos and it feels very “Fall.”
Our group also likes to bring along pumpkin flavored treats and hot coffee (Kahlua is optional) and tailgate a bit.
Pumpkin Patch Photoshoot with a Baby
The first year we attempted pumpkin patch family photos, the babies were 7-10 months old. We were able to prop some of them up on the pumpkins, which were wet and much colder than we anticipated.
Pumpkin Patch Photos with Toddlers
The second year, the kids were now walking and running and it was nearly impossible to get a group photo of them!
The trick with taking pumpkin patch photos with toddlers in the 1yo-2yo stage is to find place where they can’t really escape.
We usually try to find farm equipment they are able to sit in, trucks where they can stand in the truck bed, or piles of pumpkins where they can sit on top.
At that age, they are old enough to pick out their own pumpkins and walk around the patch, so it’s great for getting candid photos.
Pumpkin Patch Family Photos
While it can be super easy to focus just on getting pumpkin patch photos of kids, don’t forget to get a family shot (or two!)
We try to find a spot away from crowds so we can set up our tripod. Cornfields like the one above can be a great backdrop that is neutral and still highlights fall.
And for outfits, you don’t have to be matchy matchy.
We tend to always wear plaid, but in whatever colors we already have.
My oldest is wearing one from Christmas last year. And I’m wearing a shirt I got in my last Wantable Style Edit.
8 Tips for a Successful Pumpkin Patch Photo Shoot
1. TIME OF DAY
Only you know your child’s happier times of day. Our kids are almost always in a great mood first thing in the morning, so we like to get to the pumpkin patch as early as possible.
We also get great light that time of day.
But, golden hour in the late afternoon/early evening is also one of the best times of day for good lighting.
2. BRING SNACKS
Sometimes a grumpy kiddo just needs a little snack to perk them right up and get them on board for pumpkin patch family photos.
I like to bring pumpkin bread (either homemade or from Starbucks) and pumpkin bars from Trader Joe’s for festive treats.
Many pumpkin patches also serve warm apple cider, which would be a fun option.
3. USE THEIR PHOTO PROPS
A lot of the larger pumpkin patches have signage and wooden cutouts that are meant for photos.
We are a big fan of kitschy stuff, so we do as many photos ops as possible.
Even if you think they are cheesy, it’s really nice to do photos every year with the same props to show how big your child is getting and it emphasizes the annual tradition.
Almost anything can be a photo prop. Think of any signs they have, wheelbarrows, trucks, farm equipment, etc.
4. WEAR RAIN BOOTS
The fields are always a bit mucky (especially in the Pacific Northwest) and the last thing you want to deal with is your child complaining about wet feet (or experiencing wet feet yourself.)
It can be chilly, so keeping everyone’s feet warm is a good idea. And make sure everyone is wearing socks!
5. WHAT TO WEAR TO THE PUMPKIN PATCH
When our kids were babies and toddlers, we liked to dress them in overalls and a plaid shirt for a farmer look.
It works well with kids rain boots and we are okay if they get these clothes really muddy/dirty because it makes the photos look even more authentic.
It’s also cute to dress babies and younger toddlers in pumpkin costumes (or any Halloween costume) for a few photos.
Now that they are older, we still go for a plaid shirt and pair them with jeans. And I always bring an extra shirt and pair of jeans in case they spill something on them or their clothes get too muddy for the ride home.
Whatever you choose, I’d avoid the color orange (except for a pumpkin costume) or your child will blend in with the pumpkins.
6. BRING YOUR OWN PROPS
Wagons of all kinds always look cute in pumpkin patches, but we are especially fond of the red Radio Flyer wagon.
You can either load pumpkins in the wagon and have your child pull it or you can set your child in the wagon with the pumpkins.
It would also be cute to bring a Raggedy Anne or Andy doll if you are going for a vintage vibe.
And you can always bring an outdoor blanket and have kids sit in the pumpkin patch.
7. EXPLORE THE PUMPKIN PATCH ACTIVITIES
We usually get fun shots of our kids playing in the corn pit, riding in the tractor, doing the corn maze and other activities.
Those action shots are priceless and they also make a great bribe for participating on some staged photos.
Sometimes we go back out into the field after our kids have burned off some energy for just a few more photos.
8. HAVE FUN!
There’s no point in taking photos at a pumpkin patch if your family is miserable. And yes, I have to remind myself of this every year.
As your kids get older, it’s easier to bribe them to do pumpkin patch photography. But know when they have had enough.
There’s nothing wrong with calling it a day and trying again some other time.
BONUS TIP FOR 2020
With social distancing at play in most pumpkin patches, try to get your mask to coordinate with your outfit.
I personally forgot about this and wore my pineapple face mask everywhere and I’m kicking myself for not having a more neutral option!
Thankfully, my kids had solid color masks from Old Navy and they looked great!
Looking for more Fall Activities in the Pacific Northwest? Check out our posts about the best Fall Weekend Getaways from Seattle!