Pixel Dreams Blog | Andre Toro Photography

Fall Photo Sessions, When To Book & For What Month?

One of the most known phrases (if you're a GOT fan) is WINTER IS COMING! Well, for family photographers our favorite phrase is FALL IS COMING. I even own a shirt that slogan! Fall is MAGICAL, BREATHTAKING & CRAZY BUSY for family photographers in Massachusetts. It's a photographer's dream. We get inspired by mother nature and family's love, we shoot nonstop for ~10 weeks. For me, Fall is THE best season for family photos, Mother Nature puts on a show and it provides epic surroundings for emotive storytelling. Today I'll share the Fall beauty you can expect in the Boston Area from mid-September to mid-December. Let's get started!

Andre Toro Photography 2020-3

When to book your Fall Family Portraits?

Let's get logistics out of the way. The answer to this question is yesterday... LOL. I mean it, Fall is the most popular season for photos in New England. Why? the FOLIAGE. It's breathtaking, it's beautiful, it's beyond your (and my) wildest dream.

Photographers release their Fall calendar in as early as mid-Spring. Repeat clients get first pick (I email my Fall Newsletter to my ATP clients around April/May) then the dates are published to the world. We get completely sold out by early September the latest.

Fall boston family photo collage

What's the best month for my Fall photo session: September / October / November?

Foliage takes place in mid October (give or take), Mother Nature NEVER tells us when she'll be at peak but if previous years are a good reference, then mid October is a solid guess. So yes, in mid October most of the trees will be screaming color. But in the same way that there are no 2 identical humans (not even twins!!) there are no 2 trees alike. Photographers scout ALL the time, specially in Fall. Every location has it's own timing. In 2019, I started shooting Fall Sessions in Lexington, then Concord, moved to Belmont, then Lincoln, and back to Lexington. In 2020, the Boston Area order changed, we follow the leaves.

I'll walk you through sessions from 2019 and 2020 shot from Mid September to Mid December. The magic is there no matter the week or month ❤️

Mid September 

You would never know that I shot this session on September 15th. I remember the exact date because I was shocked myself. This family had a limited Mid-September availability, I scouted and found a hidden gem. Yes!! some trees decide to go WILD in color in September. So if your family's calendar asks for September, don't hesitate, go for it.

  • Location: Lexington, MA (2019)

 Fall collage 1

Fal collage 2  

Early October

In October the possibilities open up and beauty is super predictable. Before the colorful leaves there is tons of GOLD color. This gold grass is a photographer's dream and BIGGEST obsession. Yes, even more than the colorful leaves.

Finding an open field full of gold grass is the best feeling in the world? What makes it difficult to find? THE TOWNS CUT THE GRASS. Can you believe that?? who dares to cut the most adored golden grass LOL. The grass we (photographers) have been waiting for ALL YEAR LONG. We have to scout same day, literally same day. The grass that you see today might be ALL GONE tomorrow. I once tried to negotiate with a guy cutting the lawn in Lincoln... haha if ONLY I could access the town's cutting-grass-calendar ;)

  • Location: Lincoln, MA (2019)

Fall collage 4

  • Location: Lexington, MA (2020)

Fall collage 15

  • Location: Concord, MA (2020)
Fall collage 22

Mid October

Yay! The leaves start to change color. Here is where your photographer's 24x7 scouting pays off. We'll be monitoring trees like crazy, over the years we become best friends with Mother Nature and we can predict (we're not magicians but very close LOL) where will be a gorgeous spot to shoot during this time.

In New England that foliage goes in waves, which is awesome! In Massachusetts, around the Boston Area, starting Mid-October, there is always an area with amazing colors from golden to gold tones waiting for us.  In addition, the GOLD tones are still there, it's a dream come true.

  • Location: Belmont, MA (2019)

Fall collage 6

  • Location: Canton, MA (2020)

Fall collage 7


  • Location: Concord, MA (2020)

    Fall collage 26
  • Location: Concord, MA (2020)

    Fall collage 24

Mid-late October

For me, this is the best bet to book your photo session. You'll have the best chances to catch the peak foliage. The colors speak for themselves. This is the busiest for photographers and the first weekends to get booked. If you're flexible and a weekday works for you, go for it. 

During this time of the year you'll see many photographers in each location. For me, I ADORE finding hidden gems to avoid the crowds. My peak foliage locations are well kept secrets, haha ;)

  • Location: ?? (2019)

Fall collage 9

  • Location: ?? (2020)

Fall Collage 10

  • Location: ?? (2019)

Fall collage 17

  • Location: Carlisle, MA (2020)

    fall collage 31

Late October

Late October is a hit or miss depending on the year. In 2019, we had standing yellow trees until Halloween.  The super colorful tree you see here with the family sitting below it, was taken on October 28th, 2019!! Can you believe that?

If you book your session for the last days in October, be flexible. You might have a stunning yellow/orange/red as background or you may not. What I can tell you is that the leaves will ALWAYS be there left in the floor. Mother Nature lets us play with leaves until the end of the year. And remember, you will always have the gorgeous golden grass tones ;)

  • Location: Lexington, MA(2019)

fall collage 34

  • Location: Lexington, MA (2019)

Fall collage 13

  • Location: Concord, MA (2020)

fall collage  27
  • Location: Lexington, MA (2020)

    Fall collage 37

Early November

Believe it or not, these weeks are the hardest for clients (but not for photographers!). Moms might stress out that the leaves are falling from trees, they want to hold the leaves with their eyes praying that they will last until their photo session.

For me, it's a new beginning. The locations start to be super flexible again because I'm not the tree hunter anymore.. LOL. I'm not analyzing the wind + rain + trees 24x7 (yes, my engineer hat almost has me running a mathematical model for trees with standing colorful leaves). Now is back to normal scouting (like THE rest of the year except those 2-4 weeks of foliage). I scout for locations that allow for candid love and emotive storytelling.

  • Location: Concord, MA (2020)

Fall collage 28

  • Location: Concord, MA (2020)

Fall boston family photo collage 2


Mid-Late November

College kids! Yes, Thanksgiving is THE time of the year when the adored college kids come home. Moms' hearts explode. Finally the house is full and loud. The jokes and laughs are non-stop. Booking a family session for Thanksgiving weekend (or the weekend before) is very common. Make sure you reach out to your photographer way in advance, those 2 weekends are VERY popular and you photographer might also be traveling. 

For me, Thanksgiving is always in Boston. Lucky to have my sisters in town, everyone flies home. So I do work those weekends and I love it! So many amazing college kids I get to meet and learn from.

  • Location: Concord, MA (2019)

Family Fine Art Portraits, Family Photographer Boston, older siblings


  • Location: Lexington, MA (2020)

Fall collage 29


Late November

Some families book later in the season, others are waiting for family to arrive for the Holiday season. Grandparents are worth the wait! I would trade peak foliage for grandparents ANY DAY. Ultimately the sessions are about your family's love & essence. The leaves are just leaves. If we have them wonderful, if we don't then other backgrounds will be gorgeous. The golden tones will be there until the end of the year :) :) :)

  • Location: Lexington, MA (2019)

fall collage 38

  • Location: Lexington, MA (2020)

    fall collage 39

Yes! I still shoot into December. This starts to be the slow fall season yet the weather is still enjoyable if kids have warm clothes (the cold is not too harsh yet) and the leaves are still there (in the floor but there!!). It makes for the perfect timing for those who like the photos after Thanksgiving. Families who book me by then are not too worried about Holiday Cards (depending on the date you might not make the shipping cutoff), they hire for for the moments. I love it!

Sometimes the love and opportunity explodes in December and you know what? it's PERFECT. The snuggles will keep everyone warm, the leaves will make an awesome prop for kids and your Mom heart will be warm and cozy. 

I would encourage you to book your session as early as possible, many photographers starting mid December take time off. By then we have been working around the clock since September, so we might agree to shoot the session (sometimes it is hard to say no) yet the gallery might be delivered in January. I would totally do it! If Stormy Solis was visiting Boston in December, I would book my family session with her and wait whatever-long-it-takes to get my Fine Art photo gallery :)

  • Location: Lexington, MA (2019)

    fall collage 40

At what time of the day do Fall Sessions take place?

Regardless of the season, photographers shoot around the Golden Hour (sunrise & sunset). The best light is 60-90 minute around sunrise and sunset. Then we get the blue hour (which is that soft light after the sun is set).

In Boston, in late October sunrise is around 7.20am! This is AWESOME news for sunrise sessions, no need to wake up at 5am for photos!

At that time fo the year sunset is around 5.30pm. So yes! you'll be home for dinner, yay! :)

Fall Family Fine Art Portraits, Family Photographer Boston, dad 3

Here you can see that Fall lasts much more than just 2 weeks of peak foliage. The leaves are incredible yet your photo gallery will be stunning and breathtaking regardless of what week you picked. I'm sure you've seen gorgeous spring and summer photos that have taken your breath away 😊

If your dreamed photographer is fully booked in October but has openings in November or September, go for it! If you're late to the game and just realized you want your Christmas gift to yourself to be family memories with your kids, go for it! December is still an option in the Boston Area.

Christmas Cards are incredible! I LOVE THEM myself. I display them ALL in my kitchen and the kids love it! They remind me how much I LOVE my job and how blessed I am to capture lifetime memories for each of these families! Yet the real purpose of hiring a professional family photographer is to invest in memories.

Why is Family Photography important? Celebrating and embracing your loved ones is at the core of Family Photography. The holiday cards are just a tiny reason, these artistic family portraits with a purpose will live in your heart for years to come. So don't let foliage determine if/when you book your session, follow your heart and make the investment when it feels the right time do to so.  In any month, your photographer will scout a dream location and your family's essence will be captured with love and purpose!




Andre Toro is an award wining family photographer based in Lexington, MA. She calls her style Real Art Photography, which she defines as Fine Art inspired by candid moments. Andre is a passionate soul, obsessed with human connection, and emotive storytelling. She believes love is raw, messy, and beautiful. She specializes in Family, Maternity, Newborn, and Birth Photography. To inquiry about booking a photo session, please contact her at andretorophoto@gmail.com 


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Topics: Family Photography, fall

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