The Golden Hour: Best Times for Fall Family Portraits in Minneapolis
Fall is the perfect time for a family photo shoot. Discover the magic of the Golden Hour, where warm, golden light turns ordinary moments into stunning works of art. Schedule your fall family photo session during this enchanting hour and capture memories that will last a lifetime.
The Golden Hour: Best Times for Fall Family Portraits in Minneapolis cover

Hey there, fabulous families of Minneapolis!  Oh, don’t you just adore fall? That crisp, refreshing air, the explosion of vibrant leaves everywhere you look, and the smell of pumpkin spice wafting from every coffee shop corner—it’s like the world turns into a cozy, colorful wonderland. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking this is the perfect time for a family photo shoot. And you’d be right! But let’s dial it up a notch with a magical secret I want to share: it’s called the ‘Golden Hour.’

What is the Golden Hour?

Picture this: those photographs where everyone—yes, even the family dog—seems to be glowing. The light seems almost ethereal, wrapping everyone in a warm, golden hug. That, my friends, is the magic of the Golden Hour. So, what’s the science behind it? The Golden Hour occurs during that sweet, brief time right after sunrise and just before sunset. The sun is low in the sky, providing a soft, warm, and diffused light that can turn any ordinary photo into a piece of art. But it’s not just about looking like models; this light also helps bring out everyone’s best features, erasing harsh shadows and turning skin imperfections into charming soft focus.

Why is it So Special for Fall Family Photos?

Minnesota fall is a visual feast, right? Everywhere you look, trees are flaunting their colors—fiery reds, sunburst oranges, and golden yellows that could put the best artists to shame. Now, imagine these already-stunning colors basking in the Golden Hour’s glow. It’s like your family just stepped out of a Disney movie! But it’s not just the colors that get a boost. The soft light you get during the Golden Hour removes those pesky harsh shadows and harsh highlights, making every family member look their absolute best.

Timings and Locations

Let’s talk logistics—when and where can we capture this magic? First off, the Golden Hour isn’t a day-long affair. We’re talking about roughly an hour after the sun rises and an hour before it sets. But in fall, the window is even shorter because the sun isn’t taking its sweet time to go down. So timing is everything!

As for where to go in Minnesota, the options are as abundant as our lakes. Try places like Minnehaha Falls or the Stone Arch Bridge for a nature-filled backdrop that will amplify that gorgeous Golden Hour glow.

Here are five more examples of places to go for fall family photos in Minnesota:

  1. Como Park Zoo and Conservatory: Capture stunning fall colors amidst the beautiful gardens, ponds, and pathways at Como Park. The vibrant foliage combined with the zoo’s picturesque surroundings make it an ideal spot for family portraits.
  2. Summit Avenue in St. Paul: Take a stroll along Summit Avenue, known for its historic mansions and tree-lined streets. The grand architecture and colorful trees create a charming backdrop for your family photos.
  3. Lake Harriet Bandshell: Located in Minneapolis, Lake Harriet offers gorgeous lake views surrounded by colorful trees during the fall season. The bandshell area provides a unique setting for capturing candid moments with your loved ones.
  4. Afton State Park: Head to Afton State Park for a rustic autumn photoshoot experience. With its rolling hills, wooded trails, and scenic overlooks of the St. Croix River Valley, this park offers endless opportunities for capturing memorable family moments.
  5. North Shore Scenic Drive: If you’re up for an adventure, take a drive along the North Shore Scenic Drive on Highway 61 from Duluth to Grand Marais. This iconic route boasts breathtaking views of Lake Superior framed by vibrant fall foliage.

Remember to check local guidelines and restrictions before planning your photo session at these locations to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.

How to Prepare for Your Golden Hour Shoot

Okay, so you’re sold on the idea, but how do you get ready? First things first, coordinate outfits. This doesn’t mean you all need to be matchy-matchy. Think complementary colors that will pop against the fall foliage but also look fantastic in that golden light. Also, don’t forget to consider comfort—especially for the little ones. Happy kids equal better photos!

Pro Tips for Nailing the Golden Hour Shoot

Here are some quick tips to get that perfect shot:

  • Use props like blankets or chairs that fit the fall theme.
  • Consider bringing along some playful accessories like a kite or a football for candid shots.
  • Don’t overlook the importance of snacks and drinks, especially for younger family members. Happy bellies often lead to happy faces.

So there you have it! The Golden Hour is truly a magical time for capturing fall family photos. It’s during this time that the warm, golden light transforms ordinary moments into stunning works of art. With the right timing and location, you can create images that even Mother Nature would be jealous of! So don’t miss out on this enchanting hour and make sure to schedule your fall family photo session during the Golden Hour. You won’t be disappointed!

Ready to Capture Your Family’s Magical Fall Moment?

If you’re ready to embrace the magic of the Golden Hour for your family’s fall photos in Minneapolis, I’d be thrilled to help! Click here to get my exclusive Golden Hour style and planning guide for fall photos. Let’s make some memories that will last a lifetime!


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