Fall Engagement Photos: Tips, Examples, & Ideas

July 7, 2021
Engagement Photographer | Fall Engagement Photos | Adventure Engagement Photographer

If you’re considering fall engagement photos, this article is chock-full of examples, fall engagement photo outfits, and tips on when and where

The leaves are falling, the weather is turning brisk, and sweater weather is back. It’s time for your fall engagement photos, and you’ve picked (in my opinion) the best time of year for them!

Couple in waterfall - waterfall engagement photos www.KathrynCooperWeddings.com

I’m a California and New York wedding & elopement photographer who loves capturing fall engagement photos for couples all across the country. Why? Well, if you already Googled “Fall engagement photos” and found your way here, it’s likely for similar reasons: Beautiful weather, the colors of changing leaves, and no more sweat running down your back.

Okay, and also things like pumpkin-flavored this and hot cocoa that. (By the way, did you know that most items labeled pumpkin are actually squash? Sorry if you didn’t know, and I just ruined your week/month/fall.) But back to fall engagement photos!

I photograph couples all over the country and world, though most of my couples do their engagement photos around my home bases in New York (all over the Northeast) and California. Many of these examples of fall engagement photos are from couples I photographed in New York City, the Hudson Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area—but there are so many beautiful places for photos, and many examples from my other fall engagement photos in different spots of the USA.

My top locations for fall engagement photos, typically taken around September-October:

New Hampshire (entire state)
Vermont (entire state)
New York (upstate shows color much earlier, while fall colors often don’t reach NYC until Oct-Nov)
Colorado (the mountains are best)
Utah (entire state)
California (Northern California)
Arizona (late September – Nov/Dec)

Of course, there are many other locations for fall engagement pictures, including New Jersey, Idaho, Montana, Illinois, Maryland, etc.—but the ones above are my personal favorites. The West has aspen trees that turn magnificent yellows, while the Northeast shows off maple trees in hues of reds, rusts, oranges, and yellows. Taking engagement photos in the fall foliage is often a guess, but in the Northeast, you can generally plan for apple picking and peak fall engagement photos right around Columbus Day—now called Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 11).

Fall Engagement Photos: Outfits

So you’re doing engagement photos in fall. What should you wear?

Jewel tones and earth tones are best for fall photos. Why? They stand out and/or complement the warm colors of the plants around you. And if you’re doing a fall engagement shoot, you definitely want to be in nature!

Look, I’m no fashion maven (seriously, I have no fashion sense when it comes to myself), but I sure as heck know what looks good on others, and what looks good in photos.

Examples of what to wear for your fall engagement photos, whether you’re a her + him, her + her, him + him, or anything else:

Maroons + navy blues + khaki

Emerald + yellow + rust

Canary yellow + Blue

Royal purple + maroon

Rust + khaki

Denim + white + mustard

Red + grey + white

Flannel + white + black

Mustard + grey + blue

Teal + white + black

Examples of what NOT to wear for fall engagement photos outfits:

  • Easter colors, like mint, lavender, pale blue, baby pink, etc. They just wash you out when the colors of the leaves are so strong.
  • Hot pink
  • Brown
  • Neon green (because unless you’re doing an 80s-themed roller skating engagement photoshoot, which I’m totally down to do, why would you wear this color?! I digress.)

    But hey, experiment! This couple below went bold with her bright top and bright floral skirt, and you know what? It worked! I always recommend bringing at least 2 different outfits so you have choices.

A few more tips when it comes to outfits for fall engagement photos:

-Bring a second outfit and layers, such as a cardigan, blazer, or blanket. It can get chilly, especially in the evening

-Make sure you’re comfortable. If it’s an outfit you’ve never felt comfortable in, your photos will likely also look uncomfortable

-Always have an extra pair of shoes! A lot of my couples plan for hikes, romps through fallen leaves, jaunts around lakes, etc. Those high heels ain’t gonna cut it here! Make sure you have comfy shoes for photos and/or for getting to your location (at which point you can change). If you don’t want to schlep real hiking boots, I recommend Keen hiking sandals or Salomon hiking sneakers.

-Bring a hairbrush or comb for the inevitable fall breezes

Need ideas for fall engagement photos? Here are just a few:

  • Go for a hike
  • Get in a canoe or kayak on your local lake
  • Walk the dogs in your local park
  • Spend some time fishing or wading in a river
  • Ride horses
  • Have a picnic
  • Ride bikes
  • Go rollerblading
  • Enjoy a local waterfall
  • Take a piggyback ride
  • Go pumpkin picking
  • Go apple picking
  • Ride a merry-go-round
  • Visit an outdoor museum
  • Find a covered bridge
  • Play with your cats/ferret/hamsters in your yard
  • Enjoy a hot-air balloon ride
  • Sip coffee or a cup of hot cocoa together
  • Go rock climbing
  • Play some board games
  • Take a private helicopter ride
  • Visit a botanical garden
  • Go surfing
  • Walk through tree-lined streets in your city

As an adventure wedding photographer, I’m lucky enough to get couples who want to do adventure engagement photoshoots! My clients and I have gotten in waterfalls, gone on boats, hiked up mountains, jumped in lakes, and more. Don’t feel like you need to do the same-ol’, same-ol’. Have FUN! Do something wildly you. Being an adventure engagement photographer makes my job even more awesome, so in the wise words of Bob Barker, if you’re an adventure couple, Come Oooooon Dooooooown!”

Fun engagement photo ideas - bride and groom jump into lake with wedding clothes on - trash the dress photoshoot

Fall is an incredible time of year to take engagement photos, and many would argue that it’s the best. It’s cozy, it’s fun, it’s not too hot nor too cold, and the colors are magnificent.

One word of warning before you book your fall engagement pictures: September and October are generally the busiest time of year for photographers, especially throughout the Northeast. In fact, in this report, The Knot says that the 3 most popular months to get married are October (when 16% of couples get married); September (15%), and June (13%). I wasn’t making it up! That said, if you’re picking autumn for your engagement photos, You’ll most likely be doing your photos Monday-Friday, or if you’re lucky, on a Sunday. I can speak for all New York wedding photographers when I say that we don’t get a breather until November comes around!

Because of our crazy fall wedding photography schedules, book your fall engagement photos as soon as possible. There’s truly no better time for your proposal photos, engagement photos, and weddings!

Now, enjoy some more fall engagement picture inspiration from photoshoots of mine all over the country, from New Jersey to Hawaii, and Colorado to Maine. I can’t wait for fall!

Kathryn Cooper Weddings: Fall Engagement Pictures | LGBTQ Engagement Photographer | New England Wedding Photographer

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Truly beautiful

you have shared so many incredible tips for all engagement adventure souls I bet they will be saving this set! Absolutely incredible info!

Love that you broke down what colors to wear and what colors to avoid! And also that you threw in a few ideas of what to include in your engagement session beyond just photos like having a picnic or going pumpkin picking! What cute ideas!

Can’t wait for fall again! I really do love summer but a beautiful fall is so special! Love your part about what to wear and not because that makes photos really awesome and harmonious

Thanks! Couples ask so much so I figured it was time to give some tips.

As much as I love spring, this makes me wanna be fall again very soon!!

Super good tips here about sessions in the fall! Loving that you included what colors to wear!

Great information for your clients to looks over… Happy adventuring!!

I love this blog post. So informative, especially about what not to wear for engagement pictures.

Exactly! There’s so much on what TO wear, but very little on what NOT to wear. Hope it helps lots of couples!