Tips For A Great Pumpkin Patch Shoot
Tips For A Great Pumpkin Patch Shoot
The temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter. This can only mean one thing: Autumn is officially here!
While the fall can be a busy time for parents, there are plenty of reasons to slow down and savor this season. As you add festive touches to your home, prepare cozy dishes, and plan costumes, there’s one especially memorable place you can take your little ones: the pumpkin patch!
There’s nothing like watching your children frolic through an open field, their jackets buttoned up and their cheeks perfectly flush as they peruse the selection. This year, why not capture the moment with a photo shoot or video shoot?
With the right approach, you can create heirloom-quality pumpkin patch photos and videos that you’ll cherish forever. Here are five tips to help you get those great shots.
Tip 1: Time Your Visit Just Right
With so much on your plate this fall, it’s easy to push a visit to the pumpkin patch toward the end of your schedule. However, it’s best to go as early in the season as possible, and here’s why.
First, you’ll have a better selection. The longer the patch sits open to the public, the fewer of those blue-ribbon pumpkins you’ll find. Not only are these delightful for your kids to discover, but they also make great props in your photos and videos of the day.
Second, there will be fewer people. Most visitors tend to plan their trips right around Halloween, when they finally decide it’s time to decorate their front stoop for all the pint-sized goblins sure to come.
Once you’ve decided on the day you’re going to go, it’s also important to choose the right time of day. When it comes to both photography and videography, lighting is everything and late afternoon light is ideal.
There’s a reason why they call this time Magic Hour! Right before the sun sets, there’s a soft, beautiful light that washes everything in a gorgeous glow.
However, it's perfectly fine if you can not plan your trip around perfect light!
While it’s still high in the sky, keep the light even and in front of your children as you position your camera. Then, move them to the front when the sun is just about to set. Especially if you’re using a phone camera, turn your little ones toward the light to keep shadows off their face and create some truly stunning captures. You can use an app like this one to find out exactly when Magic Hour will hit your location, so you can time your shoot just right!
Tip 2: Encourage Natural, Explorative Play
If you’ve ever tried to get a Christmas card photo shoot just right, you know how maddening planned poses can be! This is true for both kids and adults.
When they first arrive at the pumpkin patch, it’s a child’s natural tendency to explore. Older kids might run off in search of the weirdest-looking gourd they can find, while toddlers bumble around the rows touching absolutely everything.
Instead of discouraging this movement, embrace it! This is one area where video excels. While a posed photo of your children next to a pumpkin is cute, you can’t capture fluidity with a still picture.
Instead, get out your camera and press “record.” Then, sit back and watch as the little loves of your life make themselves right at home.
Hold your camera steady and travel around the patch, following their lead. If you see something especially darling, get closer to focus in on the action.
Is your three-year-old trying to push that wheelbarrow on her own? Did your middle-schooler manage to deadlift that humongous pumpkin after a few hilarious tries?
Don’t be afraid to move your camera high and low, and try to shoot from multiple angles to achieve the perfect perspective. You can even make a video of your children running toward you or away from you, zooming in on their exuberant smiles or their tiny hands clasped together.
The less you direct this pumpkin patch video shoot, the better! You might be surprised at the sweet scenes your kids can create all by themselves.
Tip 3: Capture the Big Pick-Up
Once they’ve explored the grounds, your children might be ready to narrow their focus and really start shopping for The One. As they browse all the available pumpkins, pay close attention to what they do and keep your camera handy while you watch.
Little ones love to pick out the biggest pumpkins in the patch and are surprised to find that they won’t budge, despite their best efforts! This can make for an adorable video, especially if you get close and ask them to narrate what they’re doing. Their determined, teeny-tiny voices are the stuff memories are made of.
Ask them to try to pick it up, or see if they can move it just a few inches. Remember to keep the tone encouraging and lighthearted—we don’t want any tiny tears to develop over this playful frustration! If you have older kids, see how many pumpkins they can balance in their arms, or capture a funny shot of them holding the smallest one they can find.
Once you’ve chosen the perfect pumpkin, don’t check out with it just yet. Take it to an empty patch of grass and ask your children to roll it around. Position your camera low to the ground and capture it as it passes through the frame, going back and forth a few times. This is a unique way to commemorate your visit and celebrate the one that finally made the cut!
Tip 4: Put Yourself in the Frame
Finally, don’t forget to show them that you were there, too! Often, parents prefer to be the ones behind the lens, allowing their mini-me to take center stage.
While there’s nothing wrong with that, you’ll want to remember the full memory of what happened on this special day, and that includes your presence. Don’t worry too much about what you look like, how your clothes are fitting, or whether you remembered to put on lipstick. You’re creating a memory and preserving a moment, and all that matters is that you showed up.
So shake off those inhibitions, prop the camera up somewhere sturdy, and get in the frame.
While the video rolls, talk to your kids and keep the interaction natural. Ask them to share their favorite parts of the day, and why they chose the pumpkin they did. How will they carve or decorate it when they get home? Will you roast the seeds together? Put your arms around them or pull them in close for a hug, but remember to stay in the frame.
If the camera is close enough, you can capture some super-sentimental audio in this clip. Or, you can position it a little farther away and focus on the motion alone. In addition to sitting and talking, you can also run or walk through the frame with your little ones. Film yourself having fun in the moment, and you’ll have a memory for life.
Tip 5: Tell a Story Through Details
The videos you take on this day will consist of both primary footage and secondary footage, also called B-roll footage. The B-roll includes detail-rich captures that provide context and add visual interest to the story you’re weaving.
This term goes all the way back to Hollywood’s early days, when directors used to shoot on film. Back then, the A-roll was considered the primary roll of film, while the B-roll was used mostly for cutaways and transitions.
While it might sound as if B-rolls are less important than A-rolls, this isn’t the case. Rather, you need both to create a professional-looking video.
B-roll allows you to stretch your creativity, using different shots and angles to establish a tone for your video and make it more compelling. In addition to the big-picture moments, don’t forget to focus on the small parts of the day, too. When you go back to combine everything together, you’ll be glad you have a vast collection of shots to tell your tale.
From wide panoramas of the pumpkin patch to a close-up of tiny hands on the pumpkins, there’s no shortage of B-roll footage to capture. The more you can add, the better!
Turn Your Pumpkin Patch Shoot Into a Film You’ll Always Cherish
Most of us are great about bringing our phones and cameras everywhere we go. We even remember to press the button and capture the moments as they happen around us. However, that’s usually where it stops.
All too often, those beloved video clips remained stored on our devices, sitting there unused unless you decide to click through them one day.
What if you could turn them into a gorgeous short film instead, without doing any extra work?
At Little Laughter Films, that’s exactly what we do. Send your videos to us, and our team of experienced editors will take the time to view, filter, shortlist, and finalize the perfect highlight reel, creating a montage you’ll always treasure.
Keep these pumpkin patch shoot ideas in mind as you head out this season. Then, choose your package, upload your captures, and we’ll take care of the rest.