Fall Engagement Photo Shoot Ideas

From pumpkin patches to steaming mugs by the fire in your cozy living room, there are many different ways that you can incorporate the changing season into your engagement photos.

By The Zola Team

Fall Engagement Photo Shoot Ideas
Photo by Zola

The First Look ✨

After basking in the happy glow of engagement, it’s time to kick off the exciting new period in your relationship with engagement photos. For those couples who love the crisp autumn air and any excuse to cuddle up during sweater weather, fall engagement photos are perfect for announcing your coming union.

As we dive into your dream engagement photoshoot, we’ll go over:

How Engagement Photo Shoots Come in Handy

Proposals can happen at any time, anywhere. The element of surprise can be a romantic part of the proposal magic, but it might also mean less than ideal circumstances for capturing that special moment. And if your spouse wants fall photos, but you popped the question in June, then a pre-planned engagement shoot can get you the pictures you want.

A well-done photo shoot will give you a beautiful set of photos of the two of you that you can use throughout the pre-wedding phase, including:

  • On your save the date cards or wedding invitations.
  • As a display at your engagement party or wedding.
  • On Facebook and Instagram to announce your big news digitally.
  • Adorning your wedding website.

At Zola, we offer free, easy-to-use wedding websites that you can personalize with your engagement photos and wedding details. With hundreds of customizable templates, you can choose the color schemes and fonts that best complement your fall engagement photos. We also offer matching invitation samples, if you’d like to create a cohesive design for your wedding paper.

So, how do you snap the perfect fall photos to plaster across your website, invitations, and wedding venue? We’ve got you covered.

Planning for Fall Engagement Photos

From pumpkin patches to steaming mugs by the fire in your cozy living room, there are many different ways that you can incorporate the changing season into your engagement photos. Take advantage of the stunning colors of autumn leaves and create the perfect backdrop for photos that you’ll be able to use again and again during the wedding planning process.

Here are some pro tips to keep in mind while you plan and look for fall engagement photo ideas:

  • Timing is everything: The fall season is glorious but brief. If fall foliage is an important part of your dream engagement photos, make sure that you check when the leaves will be at their peak at your location.

  • Coordinate your outfits: Matching couple outfits are a bold choice and not for everyone. However, coordinated prints and complementary colors are important for every couple’s photoshoot. If you want to incorporate the reds, golds, and oranges of autumn into your backdrop, opt for neutral or cool tones that will help your faces pop without distracting from your colorful surroundings.

Some prints may be too busy for the camera, but if plaid is a must-have element to your autumnal shoot, you can try layering it under a sweater or breaking up the pattern with an open vest.

  • Dress for the season: Snuggling looks cute on camera but shouldn’t be the only thing keeping you warm out there. Take advantage of the weather and bust out your fall wardrobe. From plush, thick cardigans to fleece-lined boots, there are tons of options for you both to look fashionable and stay warm.

  • Check the weather for lighting conditions: Good lighting is important to beautiful photography; luckily, in the fall, both sunny and overcast days can work to your advantage. Direct sunlight will add shadows, depth, and texture to an image for a dramatic flair, while overcast days are perfect for capturing the bold, saturated colors of fall foliage. Check the weather forecast ahead of time and make sure that you pick a day that’ll result in the type of photographs you want.

  • Bring props: Props are an easy way to make your engagement photos unique and personal. Don’t be afraid to add some personality to the classic fall backdrop. Pack a picnic blanket and scarf for a snug day out in the park, or double down on the seasonal theme by making use of pumpkins, squashes, and apples.

  • Have fun: Candid photos are some of the best ways to capture your genuine love, but can also feel a bit awkward. Finding a photographer who understands your vision and who you can relax around will make the process easier, but just try to remember that this is a chance for you and your partner to have fun and enjoy some time together.

So, what exactly should you do while having fun in your matching outfits surrounded by gorgeous autumn colors? These creative suggestions will help you hammer out the details and plan for truly special moments.

#1 Use the Colorful Fall Foliage

Classic fall photoshoots take advantage of the best that mother nature can offer by incorporating the gorgeous fall foliage into the natural backdrop.

Close-up shots that center on you and your partner will intimately focus on your relationship, while still using colorful leaves as an accent or frame around your happy faces.

If you have a beautiful location in mind with trees full of red and gold, take advantage of it with long, panoramic shots. Wide spaces can be framed to add drama or depth to certain shots. For a more whimsical and playful vibe, use the fallen leaves as your prop to capture your fun side.

#2 Monochrome Backgrounds

Autumn leaves are beautiful, but the various colors can be overwhelming. Pick a location where the trees are all the same color, such as gold or red, for a monochromatic background that will complement, not overwhelm, the central subjects. Against a single shade, the two of you will pop more on camera and immediately draw the eye.

With a monochromatic background, your stylish, cohesive photos will be more versatile, making them perfect for invitations, Facebook posts, and the wedding itself. Zola offers hundreds of customizable invitation designs with different colored template options to match the palettes of your engagement pictures.

#3 Take a Hayride

For a rustic aesthetic out in the countryside, a hayride is a unique and fun setting for your autumnal engagement photos. And if the country vibe is more of a lifestyle than a theme, take full advantage of the setting and don your best cowboy boots and Stetsons.

Here are a couple of different ways that you can set the tone for your hayride engagement:

  • Playful and relaxed: Think soft flannel, your comfy jeans, hay fights, and peals of laughter as you unleash your inner child among the bales.

  • Intimate and romantic: Dress in your best farmhouse chic as you ride off into the sunset, with cuddles and steamy, cinematic kisses included.

Try to time your shoot during golden hour so that you can make use of the flattering light over the open countryside.

#4 Opt for Neutral Tones in Your Fall Backdrops

What if fall foliage isn’t an option, or your photoshoot is scheduled for the tail end of the season after all the leaves have gone? Perhaps your significant other prefers a more neutral, cool palette to prioritize the subjects—the two of you.

Whatever the case, it’s still possible to have beautiful autumnal engagement photos without the colorful tones clashing with your hair or clothes. Take a stroll in the woods later in the season after the leaves have dropped. Empty branches can provide a clean and elegant frame for your photos. Beech trees in particular, with their pale white bark, will look lovely and ethereal in the background.

#5 Go Apple Picking

If you and your partner are looking for a more active, dynamic set of photos, shake things up with activity during your shoot.

Apple picking is a quintessential harvest time activity that you can incorporate into your engagement photos. Orchards with long, lush rows of ripening fruit will make a picture-perfect autumn setting. Make teamwork a focal point to some of your photos by picking apples, climbing trees, and taking sunset strolls with a basket full of the fruits of your labor.

#6 Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Nothing says fall quite like a pumpkin patch, making it the perfect spot for fun and whimsy (and quintessentially fall) engagement shoots.

Showcase your playful side with hide-and-seek in the patch, or carve your initials and the wedding day date into the side of a pumpkin for a personalized set prop.

Other accessories that will be right at home with your pumpkins include:

  • A big flannel blanket to snuggle up beneath.
  • Chunky boots and denim for a more casual look.
  • Tasteful touches of plaid that can coordinate with your wardrobe.
  • Thermoses and mugs were full of your favorite steaming beverage.

#7 Embrace the Spooky Season

For all the Halloween lovers out there, there’s no reason not to make this day a part of your October engagement. A special celebration for many, couples has found creative ways to include Halloween-inspired elements in their engagement photos.

Here are a few different ways that you can approach a themed engagement:

  • Comedic: If you don’t like to take yourselves too seriously, throw tradition to the wind and have fun with the photo shoot. Break out the costumes, cheesy decorations, and Halloween candy galore.

  • Creative: For the hardcore cosplayers and historical reenactors out there, your engagement is a chance to go all out. Show off your artistic side with elaborate costumes and detailed makeup.

  • Atmospheric: For those who prefer a subtler touch, but still want to pay tribute to the spooky and mysterious, use locations such as gothic castles, haunted houses, old ruins, abandoned woods, or charmingly rundown cabins. Mix formal wear with edgy accessories that showcase your personality.

#8 Catch the Early Morning Mist

Autumn morning mist across a wide-open field can offer stunning shots full of atmospheric mystery and allure.

Look for wheatfields and other open spaces where the mist can settle. If there’s frost in the field the night before, you might get a lovely glittering effect by dawn. Once the sun comes up, the pale, waving fronds of wheat will be perfect for a rustic or bohemian shoot, as long as you have the right outfits and accessories.

Check ahead of time that your photographer knows how to work with foggy and misty conditions since they’ll need to adjust for exposure time and other variables.

Other tips to keep in mind when arranging misty fall engagement photos include:

  • Checking the weather forecast often for the location of your shoot. Weather in the autumn can be unpredictable, so be prepared to reschedule if necessary.

  • Head out to your location early so that you can catch the fog before it burns off.

  • Foggy conditions are great for capturing rays of light on the camera, whether it’s man-made or from natural sunbeams. Use that to your advantage during the photo shoot.

  • Communicate clearly with your photographer about the tone and atmosphere of your photos. You might want to practice framing shots beforehand to avoid wasting time while the fog is just right.

#9 Schedule Waterfront Photo Shoots

Bodies of water make fantastic locations for photographs in the cooler season, such as:

  • Babbling brooks in a moody forest.
  • A simple, rustic dock in front of a wide-open lake or sea.
  • The reflecting pools of still lakes, ponds, or even large puddles.
  • Autumn storms at the horizon of the ocean for dramatic effect.

The tone of your waterfront shoot will change depending on the weather. For a relaxed, casual atmosphere, direct sunshine is best, while sunset shoots on the water are more traditionally romantic. Overcast days can be framed into either dramatic photos or intimate ones as you keep each other warm from the fall chill.

#10 Adventure into the Great Outdoors

Hiking is a favorite fall time activity for many. If you and your partner love getting off the grid and exploring the great outdoors, why not share that aspect of your life in your engagement photos?

Here are a few ways that you can wander off the beaten path (literally and figuratively) for your fall engagement photos:

  • Find big fallen tree trunks, ivy-wrapped rocks, gushing waterfalls, or other landmarks to strike a pose with your favorite hiking (and life) partner.

  • Find a spot in the middle of the road (while it’s empty, of course!) that has a view of the forest and mountains. Show yourselves on the path towards your next great adventure to immortalize the real-life journey that you’re about to embark on together.

  • Make your way to the top of the mountain so that you can play around with perspective and angles. Use the breathtaking view as a central part of your engagement photos.

  • If you love to camp out underneath the sky, break out the tent and overnight gear. Finish off your photoshoot with a cozy campfire and s’mores.

#11 Embrace the Cozy Indoors

You don’t need to be outside in nature to have a fall engagement. The right props and clothing will set the scene from the comfort of the home. For example:

  • Dress in thick sweaters and soft scarves, or wrap up together in a blanket.

  • Use the fireplace as a backdrop with mugs and thermoses as seasonal props.

  • Decorate your home with all things autumn, such as mini pumpkins and gourds on the hearth. Dried wreaths, cinnamon brooms, lit candles, and centerpieces with acorns, cranberries, and maple leaves would also make for lovely fall decor.

#12 Turn It into a Celebration

For many people, the fall season is a time for family and friends to come together. If you and your partner love playing host, why not open up your home to your loved ones and the camera? Your fall engagement photos are the perfect chance to show off your teamwork skills and put the spotlight on domestic bliss.

Recreate favorite dinner parties and holiday celebrations by decking out your home in autumn-themed decorations. This is where props will come in handy, such as:

  • Mini pumpkins, squashes, or gourds. You can stay natural or get creative with ones that have been painted in gold, silver, or other elegant patterns.

  • Harvest wreaths with a red, gold, orange, or brown palette. Dress it up with tiny crab apples, acorns, or maple leaves.

  • Fall-themed centerpieces on the table, such as cornucopias overflowing with harvest bounty, or sugary bowls of cranberries, oranges, and star anise.

For those who love cooking, consider adding a few action shots in the kitchen or dining room as you prepare your favorite dishes together. Mashed potatoes, mouthwatering pies, roasted chicken, or turkey would all do a great job of setting the scene for fall festivities.

#13 Take Your Love Out on the Water

We’re not just talking about waterfront photoshoots—we mean venturing out onto open waters.

The same aspects we love about waterfront photos also apply here, from the gorgeous, clear reflections to the beautiful fall backdrops.

Take your spouse-to-be for a spin on the nautical vessel that suits your style:

  • An intimate paddle boat: Your photographer can capture intimate moments as you push off from shore as well as big picture wide-angle shots from hills and cliffs surrounding the lake. Just the two of you, alone in the middle of a massive lake is a seriously romantic image just waiting to happen—think Rapunzel and Flynn Rider in “Tangled” and you’re pretty much there. If your photographer can shoot through the autumn trees, you can still feature the fall colors in all their glory.

  • A luxurious yacht: With a boat this big, you can invite your photographer onto the ship with you. The early evening light will look beautiful at this time of year, as will your Jack and Rose in “Titanic” moment. To emphasize the fall vibes, dress for a cozy autumn day and bring your favorite plaid blanket to layout across the bow of the ship.

  • An adventurous sailboat: Showcase both your outdoorsy spirit with sailboat action shots and your romantic side with the intimate moments in between. By shooting towards land, you can capture the colorful autumn background of surrounding trees and mountains, while maintaining all the intimacy of a boat ride just for two.

Showcase Your Engagement Photos Front and Centre at Zola

With all these ideas now bouncing around in your head, you can start planning your fall engagement photo shoot. Feel free to mix and match with elements that capture your relationship and fit with your wedding vision. Once you’ve received your photos in all their digitized glory, you’ll be able to put them to use on all your wedding invites and paper, from Save the Dates to your wedding registry.

Lost with all the options of paper types, fonts, colors, and graphics? Our experts at Zola have put together templates and paper collections that will make it easier for you to choose matching designs across your wedding paper and online. Our matching wedding websites are customizable and easy to use.

If a font needs to be adjusted, or you’d like a color palette that better matches your fall engagement photos, it’s as simple as the click of a button. You can also easily include your wedding registry and a way to RSVP for your guests in one handy location.

Learn more about how Zola can help with your wedding planning needs, and check out our most popular designs for captivating wedding stationery.

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