How To Take Beautiful Children’s Portraits For Under $150

For those of us who do not have extensive professional photography experience, taking the chance on higher end gear can be intimidating. But if you know where to look and follow these simple steps, you can take beautiful fall portraits with a single camera, one lens, and with some luck, ample sunshine.

There are a few steps you can take to ensure your portraits will shine. Choosing a suitable location is key. In Florida we are fortunate to have countless public parks and other spaces where you can place your subjects in lush landscapes. If you are local in Central Florida and looking for easily accessible studio space, consider the Melrose Center at the Orange Count Public Library, which offers free studio space to library card holders.

Considering The Location: Fall Portraits

I captured these shots over two days in two locations. I’m lucky to live in a neighborhood with two lakes, a dock, and a picturesque, shaded clubhouse. This offered a great backdrop for my subjects and was only a stone’s throw away. In addition to those options, I took my daughter to Greenwood Urban Wetlands Park. The park, with its old cypress trees and ponds, makes for a perfect Florida fall shoot.

Photographing children can be hard work, so making sure they can have some fun before, after, and during the shoot can greatly improve your results. My daughter loves the outdoors, so I knew she would enjoy our time there and that made our shoots a breeze.

Setting the Mood

Traditional family photography can involve elaborate sets of props and intricate posing–for those of us trying to capture photos of our loved ones, I would advise against this method. Allowing the little ones some free reign to participate in the making of the photos and letting them try out different poses can be a fantastic asset. My daughter picked up this perfect pine cone on a whim, perfect for our Fall inspired session.

The GearĀ 

For this shoot, I decided on the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G. The lens’ ability to create a cinematic look, with a beautiful, blurred background makes it the perfect lens for portraits. The bokeh on this lens is simply gorgeous. I paired the 85mm f/1.4G with the Nikon D610 FX on this particular shoot. Renting this combination for 3 days gives you ample time to shoot and comes in around $133. If you are looking to further restrict your budget or simply an alternative to the D610, you could match the 85mm f/1.4G with the Nikon D7100 or D500 for similar effect. You can rent all of this gear and more at


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