Planning family photos is notoriously stressful. So many things go into a photo shoot. Scheduling. Finding a special meaningful location. Planning outfits. Will my kids behave? Will we get any good photos? On top of that everyone gets photo shoot jitters on the day of. Do I look ok? Don't let the kids eat, or they'll get something on them. Finally when you're at the location and in the midst of the shoot, you're thinking where do I look? What do I do with my hands? Kids are running around like crazy. They never sit still, what were we thinking? All of these fears are what prompted me to create this list. These are my top 5 reasons you should go apple picking for your fall family photos. I'm also going to answer the big question: what do I do with all these apples?
The number 1 reason I suggest going to your local apple orchard for your fall family photos is: LESS STRESS!!
Going to an apple orchard is a fun and casual activity that you might already do with your family in the fall. Most likely your kids remember going and having a good time. Even if you haven't picked your own apples before, going to a local farm is always a good idea. Because apple picking is more casual, your outfits don't have to be super matchy-matchy or particularly special. Jeans, a flannel, a cozy sweater, and a pair of boots are probably items you already own and would wear if you weren't having a photo shoot. Don't overlook them, they are great pieces for start a family session wardrobe!
Reason number 2: Give your Kids Something To Do
Let's face it, kids are full of energy. Most moms, and dads too, worry about their kids sitting still and smiling for pictures. The more you try to make them, the less happy and willing they are. At the apple orchard, I encourage parents to let their kids have fun! Kids are natural explorers and they want to check everything out. Explore the orchard with them. Discover all the beauty nature has to offer here. Pick apples together! Let them taste the different varieties and have a healthy snack together. When kid's hands are full and their minds are engaged, there are amazing opportunities to document them just as they are.
The 3rd reason I love photographing families at the apple orchard is that you get a lot of Variety in your final gallery!
The way I shoot apple picking sessions lends itself to giving you a lot of variety in your final gallery. After we meet up and say hello, I let you explore the orchard together. This gives you an opportunity to shake out your nerves and get comfy in front of my camera. Interacting with your children naturally and without direction might scare you at first, but follow their lead. See the orchard through their eyes and have fun with them. Help them collect apples to take home with you and feel free to snack, it's highly encouraged by the orchard. After you have had some time to explore, I will find the perfect spot for us to update your traditional family photo.
Number 4: Support A Small Local Business
Apple Orchards and Farms are generous to allow the public to pick their fruits. Because they don't charge for photographers to take photos of families there, I think it's only appropriate to pay for the apples you pick. A bag of apples is usually around $15-$20 which is a very small price to pay for an hour of fun and lots of beautiful fruit. I usually have families pick me a bag to take home too! For ideas on what to do with the apples, check out the bonus article below!
The 5th and final reason to go apple picking for your family photos is to create fun family memories and traditions for your kids.
I am always trying to make memories and lasting traditions with my kids and the apple orchard is really a no-brainer for us. Holding hands, siblings racing down the rows of trees, eating freshly picked apples, laughing until your tummy hurts. This is an hour of quality family time that you can repeat year after year. The fun really doesn't end there, once you bring your apples home you can continue the traditions by making one of the recipes below.
What Do I Do With All These Apples?
When you get home from your apple picking session, the first thing you'll do is sit the bag of apples on the kitchen counter or table and think: Now what? Well, I hope these three ideas will help you out!
1. Make an apple pie. Never done it before? Me either. Haha. But it's the perfect way to use those apples. Make one for a family get together. Make one for your neighbor! Here is a great easy recipe. Enlist your kiddos (and your spouse) to help! If it doesn't turn out, you could always give it to your dog?
2. Make applesauce. Now, I know what you're thinking... apple sauce? I can do that at home... YES! You can! It's really easy too.
3. Now this is my favorite. DONATE THEM!! Food pantries are always on the lookout for fresh fruit. Take a bag to your local food pantry. Canal Winchester Human Services accepts donations at the back door of the food pantry located at 80 Covenant Way, Canal Winchester, OH 43110. Mid-Ohio Food Bank also accepts donations at 3960 Brookham Drive, Grove City, Ohio 43123 (loading dock #1 on the east side of the building) Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 4 PM. Please consider gifting some to friends, family, neighbors, and your child's school! There are so many food deficient families in our communities that would appreciate these beautiful apples.