Take a deep breath with me. What fragrances greet you? The crispness in the early morning air? The scent that the leaves make as they crunch underneath your feet? The aroma of the pumpkin spice latte you are currently cradling in your hands? Regardless of what you smell, the message is the same:
FALL IS HERE!
Fall will always be my favorite season. I love the chilly temperatures, the radiant sunshine, and the coziness that settles itself into my home. Another favorite thing for me about Fall is the colors. Growing up in Kansas, Fall brought beautiful hues of gold, orange, and red from the Maple leaf trees. Now living in Colorado Springs, I look forward to the mustard yellows, deep oranges, and other beautiful colors from the changing Aspen trees.
Fall is the perfect time for outdoor family photos. With our state boasting more than 300 days of sunshine a year, chances are good the weather will cooperate. And with so much natural beauty surrounding us, you really can’t go wrong in picking a location. Some of my favorite settings, however, have been a bit off the beaten path, or at least maybe not the first places you’d think of for photos. These locations mean something to my family, and with the Spirit of Fall in my heart, I want to share some of them with you today.
Bear Creek Park
I probably seem obsessed with Bear Creek since I’ve already written about the nature center here, and now I am writing about the park! This place is just beautiful and provides stunning family photos. Allison Johnson, Colorado Springs architect by day and photographer by night/weekend, took these photos for my family last November. I love how natural things look and how she managed to capture our spirit.
Rock Ledge Ranch
This place has a sense of solitude; it’s simple, rustic, and has animals that are occasionally up for a small photo op. While my family has attended a few of their events throughout the year, I haven’t personally taken photos here. However, my friends who have taken family photos here love it, and the pictures speak for themselves in beauty and uniqueness. Click here to view their photo gallery and get some ideas for the future!
Old Colorado City
This area holds a special place in my heart not only because it is our neighborhood, but also because the brick walls, vibrant colors of the buildings and alleys, and fallen leaves make a perfect backdrop for any photo. Inside Old Colorado City are a couple of parks that yield some fantastic settings for photos, as well. The shop owners in this area of town are all delightful, and the people at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory were more than happy to have us take a few shots inside their store. Because nothing says Fall like fresh caramel apples and little boys peering into the cases of chocolatey treats.
Starsmore Discovery Center
Nestled at the base of Cheyenne Canyon, Starsmore Discovery Center is gorgeous at any time of year and will always produce unique family photos. The building structure itself makes for a pretty backdrop, but if you walk along some of the trails, you will also find some beautiful waterfalls, wildflowers (depending on the season), various rock formations and trees, and, of course, the ever-present wildlife. Click here to be taken to some pictures of this somewhat hidden treasure.
Your Own Home
Does this surprise you? This didn’t even cross my radar until Allison mentioned that sometimes people’s homes produce great photo opportunities. She has done home photoshoots before, and children are more comfortable in familiar environments, minimizing tantrums and awkward photo faces. And also, there is just something special about our homes. They are where we raise our families, where we find shelter, where we retreat after long days. Capturing family pictures in an environment so dear to our hearts will mean so much down the road when we have moved on to another house or another city or even when our children are all grown up and on their own.