Rebecca Clair Photography

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Posts tagged fall family photos
The Intimacy of Sunrise; The Gripka Family’s Sunrise Session at the Lake {Johnson County Family Photographer}
 Candid photo of a family cuddling in a blanket by a lake, Kansas City family photographer, autumn family session at Shawnee Mission Park, Rebecca Clair Photography

It might be the introvert in me, but I have a special fondness for sunrise. Whenever we’re on vacation, I try to set aside at least one morning where I set my alarm a little earlier than normal so I can creep out and appreciate the sunrise over whatever lovely place we’re visiting. And I am beyond excited whenever someone agrees to a sunrise photo session.

Because there is something uniquely intimate about sunrise sessions.

It starts with the early morning drive in the dark, with only a few other headlights piercing the dark streets around you and (if you’re like me) the scent of coffee still lingering in the car. Then there’s that faint whisper of light creeping across the landscape, the silvery blue of the not-yet dawn as the morning dew brushes against your feet. Then, as the bird songs rise around you, the gentle pinks and golds spread across the horizon and a blush of light wraps around your face. And then finally, that burst of golden sunlight crests the horizon and bathes everything in a warm light. There’s a breathtaking beauty in the whole process that invites you to hush your words, close your eyes, breathe deep, and draw close to the ones you love.

Of course, there is still the blare of your alarm breaking your early morning slumber, not to mention the daunting task of getting yourself (and potentially several small children) picture-ready before the sun is even up. But believe me, this magic is worth it (and getting your outfits – and coffee – ready and set out the night before can go a long way in making that morning scramble a little smoother).

So why should you consider scheduling a sunrise photo session?

1) Even the most popular locations are rarely crowded at sunrise, so you can enjoy the quiet intimacy of these moments together.

2) The softness of that dawn light allows you to use some wide open locations without any shade (like beaches and open fields) where the light quickly becomes too harsh later in the day.

3) Sometimes you even catch some fog or mist rising in those early morning hours (especially if you choose a location with water). The golden sun shining through morning mist is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my life.

4) Your portrait session starts and finishes early in the day before most people are up, so you have the rest of the day to relax and enjoy. You can even make a full outing out of it and treat yourself to breakfast out afterwards.

5) The light and colors in that sunrise progression, from the cool blues of dawn, to the soft pinks just before sunrise, to the rich golds as the sun crests the horizon, are really unparalleled. And that soft light is far more flattering than the light you’ll find even an hour or two later.

And if you need any more convincing, check out some favorites from the Gripka family’s sweet sunrise session last October. I was so glad they braved the early morning drive, even with two littles, to spend some time cuddling (and dancing!) by the edge of the lake at Shawnee Mission Park.

Fall Traditions to Start (or Continue) This Year {Kansas City Lifestyle Photographer}
 Rebecca Clair Photography, Kansas City lifestyle photographer, apple picking photo session, apple orchard photos, Kansas City family photographer, apples on the ground

The cold yesterday caught me by surprise, but even as I pulled another jacket over my sweater and dug my hands deep into the warmth of my pockets, I couldn’t help smiling, because it finally felt a bit like fall! And I knew that the cool, wet weather meant that soon the trees will be kissed with the reds and yellows I’ve been waiting for.

I’ve been ready for fall since the day I flipped my calendar to September, but this cooler weather has really started me dreaming about all things fall and cozy. We’ve already gone apple picking and picked up some mini pumpkins to decorate our dining room table, but I’ve been dreaming about autumn picnics, hikes through paths of golden trees, and sweet, spicy pumpkin pie.

And so I thought it would be fun to compile a list of fun fall traditions to start or continue this year (there’s still time!):

Go Apple Picking

This is at the top of the list because it’s one of my favorite fall traditions! I love wandering the rows of trees, plucking the best apples to put in my basket (and usually munching on one as I go). And it’s even better if you can snag some fresh apple cider donuts to enjoy at the end of it! We started this tradition with friends years ago, but it was fun to bring Ethan for the first time this year and watch him experience the wonder of it. There are several great orchards in the Kansas City area, but Cider Hill Family Orchard and Alldredge Orchard are two that we’ve personally visited and loved.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

We haven’t taken Ethan to a pumpkin patch yet, but maybe this will be the year that we start that tradition! I’ve heard that Kansas City has some great ones, many with fun family activities besides just the pumpkins (check out the handy guide that KC Parent put together, listing a lot of the popular patches in the Kansas City Area)

Take a Nature Walk

Every season has its own unique beauty and I’m a fan of getting outside all year round, but there’s still something especially inviting about driving out of the city in the fall, as the leaves start to change from green to gold and red and the fields soften to rich browns, to get just a bit closer to nature to witness its autumn transformation. The Kansas City area has a lot of great places to hike, including Weston Bend State Park and Shawnee Mission Park. Even if you don’t want to drive too far out of the city, Lakeside Nature Center and the Anita Gorman Conservation Center are both great places to explore nature right in the city.

Bake a Yummy Fall Treat

In the summer, I sometimes sweat when I just think about turning on the oven, but when the weather gets cooler, I suddenly feel the urge to mix up something sweet and spicy (preferably to enjoy with a hot mug of tea or coffee!) Sometimes I’ll bake during naptime or in the evenings, to surprise Ethan when he wakes up, but more often I’ll invite him to climb up on a chair to help me pour and mix. Apple crisp, pumpkin muffins, and gingersnaps are some of my favorite fall treats to bake!

Visit a New Coffee Shop

Starbucks may be the first thing you think about when you think of a fall cup of coffee, but while I appreciate pumpkin spice now and then, there are so many sweet local coffee shops to explore in our city! Thou Mayest and Crows Coffee are two of our favorites, but I also just had a delicious pumpkin pie latte at Parkville Coffee this weekend (and it’s just a short walk from there to English Landing Park for a autumn stroll along the river).

Rake Leaves and then Jump in the Pile

Sure, kids love this tradition, but don’t let that stop you from trying it, too! I don’t think there’s much that could bring out your inner child quite like jumping in a pile of leaves! And crisp fall leaves are the quintessential fall smell!

Make a Big Pot of Soup and Invite Some Friends Over To Share It

You may have noticed that a lot of my fall traditions revolve around food, but really, all around the world we use food to celebrate the significant seasons and moments in our lives (hello, birthday cake!) While I love the sweet fall treats, I think sitting down to savor something warm and comforting, like a good, hearty soup is such an appropriate way to celebrate this cooler season. And it’s even better when you gather around a table with some friends and loved ones to share it. You can make it homemade (I love to throw soup in my slow cooker!) but even soup from a can counts if your short on time!

Schedule a Fall Photo Session!

I know, I know….but I had to end with this one, because if you’re like me and you love to celebrate fall with all these traditions, don’t you want a tangible reminder of those sweet memories with your loved ones to look back on year after year? Maybe it’s your child’s first experience apple picking or that hike you took with your fiancé the fall you got engaged or that coffee date alone with your husband while your mother in law watched the kids for a morning. These traditions aren’t even as much about the fall season as they are about celebrating it with the ones you love. So while you can schedule a photo session all year round (and I hope you do!), fall is full of these sweet traditions and moments that are perfect for capturing in a photo session! Message me to chat more about how I can help capture those fall moments for you, whether it’s with your family, your spouse, or even just you and your dog!

(Are you hoping to catch one of my fall mini sessions? I still have a couple open! Click over here for more details!)

So how about you? What are your favorite fall traditions?
Comment below and share some of your favorite things to do in the fall!