Capture your Family's Trip to the Pumpkin Patch with 8 Tips to Help You Lower Stress & Enjoy the Trip!

It's officially fall, and you're planning that quintessential pumpkin patch trip with your family.  Your toddler had so much f...

It's officially fall, and you're planning that quintessential pumpkin patch trip with your family.  Your toddler had so much fun last year, and yet you didn't quite get the photos you wanted.  Nor did you enjoy it because you chased them around the whole day snapping 1000s of pictures.  Once you got home you were exhausted and had no desire to weed through all those photos.  When you finally got around to it, you just couldn't find the one that expressed the joy of your child's experience.  Your photos didn't capture those key moments - their wonder of the giant pumpkins, their excitement to walk the fields to find and pick their very own pumpkin.  Or their amazement at each turn of the corn maze.

Today, I've got 8 tips for you to help capture these key moments you want to remember, so you can get back to living those special, beautiful moments.  These tips really helped me get the most out of our trip to the pumpkin patch this year.  Last year's trip was frustrating and difficult due to having a one year old who didn't want to cooperate at all (after about an hour at the site)! 

This year, I knew I needed to be better prepared, because life has changed drastically for us.  Jamie's recent disability meant that I was going to be the one doing most of the activities with our daughter, instead of just snapping pictures of them.  Since Jamie is now wheelchair bound, he wouldn't be able to navigate the dirt and gravel pathways easily and definitely wouldn't be doing things with Atty like feeding the animals at the petting zoo and running through the corn maze with her.  So I came up with a quick and simple way to make the most of your pumpkin patch trip so that you get photos you love that truly capture your precious memories - plus allow you to get back to living and enjoying your experience with your family!  Double win!

1.  Get on your subject's level.  

When you get on your subject's level, it lets you see the world a bit more like they do.  Think about different angles that enhance the story of this experience.

Our local pumpkin patch ends up being a huge festival with tons of activities for the kiddos.  They have a petting zoo, mining camp, mini maze, hayrack rides, tractor rides, u-pick fields, corn maze, pony rides, and honestly, just a ton of stuff to do!  Here, I have an example of the difference between shooting at your eye level at your subject and getting on your subject's level.  This first photo is of my darling daughter looking at the young pigs.

However, for the this second photo, I got closer to her level to really capture her interest in the pigs.  I just love the intimate feeling you get from this photo.  The photo draws you into the scene, and you can almost feel the awe and joy she had when she experienced these piggies.  She was so excited to see all of the animals that she squealed at each and every one.  Additionally, she had to feed every single animal, even the crazy goats that I really thought were going to nibble on her fingers once she ran out of food!

2.  Capture the environment.

In your first couple of shots, capture the environment or event so that you can have those over and done with.  This gives your photos the feel of the place and the background for your stories.

This photo instantly captures the scene and environment of our trip to the pumpkin patch.  Not only does the patch have u-pick fields, but they have hundreds of pumpkins all over the site.  Before we even got activity tickets for the day, Atty had picked out three pumpkins to take home with us!  She loved running around this particular group of pumpkins while we waited for Daddy to get our tickets.  And she wasn't even phased when she sat down on the stem of a pumpkin and got an owie!

3.  Zoom in on the details.  

Use close up photos to expand on what made this experience special.  Was it the awe when your child saw their first pumpkin?  Or was it climbing on the biggest pumpkin on the site?  Focus on these unique aspects of the trip.

This photo of my daughter captures our hayrack ride out to the u-pick fields.  Honestly, I didn't realize it was going to be a 30 minute experience, which Jamie couldn't go on with us.  I thought we were just going out for a ride around the fields...It was our first time!  That's my excuse anyway!  So the story of this photo was that she was getting sleepy, and it was really close to time to go get in the car so she could take a nap on the way home.  Yet, she really enjoyed watching the fields go by, and she even insisted on getting out to pick another gourd herself! That was totally awesome!  And we would have missed out on this experience if I would have had my way, because the fussy baby was getting on Mommy's nerves.  But this hayrack ride gave both of us a slight break so we could have another great experience before we headed out.

4.  Capture relationships with family and found objects.

Capture your child's relationship with others in your family, as well as with things they find in the environment.  These things really help capture what made this experience special.

This is one of the few photos I got of Atty with her daddy.  We were debating on whether we would eat while we were at the festival or if we were just ready to go.  I love this photo because both Atty and Jamie are so sweetly touching each other.  They both needed a breather and a bit of a break, and I like the feeling of comforting each other that comes across through this photo.  Neither one likes big crowds and having a bunch of strange people around them, so experiences like this can be hard on both of them.  Despite this, they had each other to help get them through and they both had a blast together.

One of the great things about our local pumpkin patch are these wagons that they have for hauling the pumpkins.  Oh my goodness!  What a time and muscle saver these guys are.  And yes, despite the fact that I know children are not suppose to ride in them (there was also a big sign saying this, just in case people didn't think about it), Atty insisted and I let her.  It made getting around the huge site so much easier.  She didn't ride in the wagon the whole time, but there were moments that I was so glad we snagged one when we walked in (unlike last year - ugh).  In my defense, we bought pumpkins so I felt justified in using a wagon - it wasn't just for her!

Atty had so much fun with the wagon.  She quickly figured out how to get out of the wagon, as you can see above.  She also spent quite a bit of time pulling the wagon around and trying to push it into trees.  I love this photo (above) because it not only captures a bit of the overall scene in the background, but it also shows her in the process of climbing out of the wagon and pausing to see where she wants to go next.  What else does she want to go discover or play with?  It's kinda like she's pausing to take everything in.  So awesome!

5. Get in the photo with your child! 

Capture your child's relationship with you, even if you have to hand off your camera to someone.  This is really important if you're the primary photographer in your family, like me.  You can never have enough of these photos!

This photo was just a quick little selfie of our shoes that I took on our hayrack ride.  It's a little different, but it does document our relationship.  She's very close to me, standing on her own, but holding onto Mommy while we go through this new experience together.  She's not quite sure what's going to happen, but that's okay, because we'll be together.

This photo is another excellent one for documenting our relationship.  Jamie took this one, as Atty and I took part in her first pony ride.  She loved the ponies and wanted to go pet them from the moment we walked through the gates.  However, she was very nervous at the prospect of riding one.  There was a brief moment that I thought for sure there was going to be a toddler meltdown and we weren't going to do the pony ride after all.  Yet, she did so great!  She held on perfectly to the saddle horn (I think that's what it's called) and let Mommy stay close in case she started to slip.  I was a nervous wreck the whole time.  I had troubles keeping up with the pony and keeping her balanced as she tossed around a bit.  By the end of the ride, Atty didn't want to get off!  It was adorable.  For me, this photo is all about trust.  She trusts that Mommy is not going to let her fall off, and in turn, she had a blast.  I just want her to know that every step of the way, Momma's going to be right here.

6. Catch the curiosity and discoveries.

Capture your child's discoveries.  This is especially important for toddlers and young children.  They are constantly finding something new and exciting.

This photo is from the u-pick fields.  Atty decided we had to get off at the gourd fields (it was the second stop on the hayrack ride).  She wandered around the field for a couple of minutes tripping over the vines before she found this lovely yellow gourd (which looks a bit like a mini pumpkin).  She managed to pull it off the vine all by herself.  Not only did we get pumpkins again (like last year), but this year she was able to experience where they actually grow and pick one herself.  Totally love that!

7.  Grab some action.  

Kids are always on the go - especially toddlers!  Make sure you capture that part of their ever-changing personality.

This photo was just a quick snap of Atty running through the mini corn maze.  First, she explored it slowly going through all the turns.  Then she decided to have Mommy chase her through it, which of course turned into chasing Mommy through it.  Again, I tried to get closer to her eye level so that this child sized maze still had the same impact in the photo as it did on her in that moment.

Honestly, when I captured this photo I was just playing around with the phone while pushing her.  We were still waiting on Daddy to get the activity tickets and she noticed the swing.  I am so glad I got some of these photos though, because she ended up swinging on three separate occasions.  That girl loves to swing!  These types of pictures often capture that pure childhood joy that brings back the viewer's own childhood memories.

8.  Get them involved.  

Whether you decide to do selfies, hand over the camera to them, or have them help pick the spot for your family photos, let your kids help capture this experience.  This is especially good if your kids are camera shy, and it can often help you land more smiles and personality than forcing them to participate.

The selfie above was on our hayrack ride back from the u-pick fields.  I'm holding on to her as she sits on my lap, while she is clinging to her brand new, handpicked gourd.  I love that contrasting bright blue sky in the background!  And let's be completely honest here, she's two.  I don't really care that she isn't looking at the camera, because the photo captures that moment versus being a perfectly posed photo.

In this photo, you can see my daughter's favorite way to use the phone.  She loves to take selfies!  This is such a quirky part of her personality.  Whenever, I am flipping through my photos on my phone I find these little surprises.  I love that she is taking after her Momma and having fun taking photos!

With these 8 tips, you'll come away with at least 10 photos that you really love and that truly document your experience.  Plus by focusing on getting these kind of shots, you free yourself up to get back into the action yourself.  Take some photos and get back to living and loving these precious moments!  Plus going in with a plan with greatly lower your personal stress about documenting the trip "perfectly."

Do you have any other tips to photographing your children?  I'd love to hear all about them!

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images