Mary is one of my most creative clients, and her goal this year was to make the most of her family portrait session. This past September her family and I had an adventure to Alstede Farms in Chester, New Jersey. Find out what happened on our photo odyssey and get some tips on how get the best apple picking family photos for your own clan.
The Do’s for Apple Picking Family Photos
Do let the kids have fun! Mary’s little ones delighted in taking a bite of an apple and then moving on to the next juicy piece of fruit. As you can see by their toothy smiles, these little ones had a blast. Apples are healthy, so let them go nuts.
Do get the whole family involved. Apple picking is fun for family members of all ages and it’s a great time to have one-on-one time with grandma and grandpa.
Do keep it casual. No one goes to an apple orchard wearing high heels or a tie. Let your clothes reflect the fact that you aren’t afraid of getting your hands dirty. Mary and Chris look effortlessly casual in their jeans. Also, note that Mary and her family chose coordinating colors that blended well together without any 90s matchy matchy nostalgia happening.
Don’t think you will have the orchard all to yourself. Our trip to Alstede Farms happened last year just as families were coming out of quarantine. With very few other family outing opportunities available, it seemed like everyone had the same idea to come pick apples. Needless to say, the place was packed. Know that it won’t be your family alone picking fresh produce. You will need to do as Mary and her family did and walk a bit further afield to find a less crowded row of fruit.
Don’t schedule your trip when rain is in the forecast. Fall around New York is usually glorious weather. But know that there is no rain cover at the farm. If bad weather is in the forecast, I would plan to reschedule.
Don’t plan to make a pit stop. At Alstede Farms, the bathrooms were upgraded port-a-potties. These definitely did the trick, but the lines to use the facilities were long. Don’t plan on needing to change outfits unless you can do that in the middle of a field. Also, make all bathroom stops before you get on the tractor to traipse out to the orchard. It’s a long way back to the main barn where the bathrooms are located.
Don’t plan on ideal lighting. Perfect lighting conditions are equally hard to come by when you need to plan around nap times and the time it takes to travel to the farm. This was my number one concern when looking at other farm-friendly family photos online. Luckily we picked an area where we could shoot on the shady side of the apple trees. Also, some of the taller trees helped to cut down on the harsh overhead glare.
About Alstede Farms
This was my first time going to a ‘pick your own’ farm as an adult. (I remember going on a field trip to a farm when I was little.) I had a great time, personally, and would love to revisit Alstede Farms on my own. Alstede has a number of different fruits and vegetables that you can choose to pick, and their gift shop is full of tasty items. In addition to picking vegetables, Alstede Farms also has a petting zoo, corn maze and hiking trails, cider mill, and an ice cream stand. It’s a veritable vegetable amusement park, so plan to spend the day at the farm. Best of all, as a New Yorker without a car, if you call Alstede Farms ahead of time they will arrange for a free roundtrip ride to and from the New Jersey Transit station.
The photos came out great, and I would highly encourage other families to consider this type of ‘destination’ family portrait session. Enjoy the images and I’ll have more photo adventures for you next week!
Interested in scheduling a ‘destination’ family portrait session for your own clan? Drop me a line, and let’s chat about your photography needs.
If you would like to see more images from my family portrait portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com