SIX autumn storytelling sessions you will treasure | by Cambridge photographer Diana Hagues

Today is officially the first day of autumn.

I know, I know. Autumn felt like it arrived weeks ago with the cooler temperatures, nights drawing in earlier and the leaves changing colour. The other day I packed away our summer t-shirts and shorts, and brought out our woolly knits and long-sleeved tops. As reluctant as I am to be putting them away, I do love the fact that I now have the excuse to put on some warmer layers and pull on my wellies to go on autumn jaunts.

Your storytelling photography guide to six fun family-friendly autumn activity ideas

If your family is anything like us, who love to spend time outside regardless of the weather, then you are sure to have some incredible fun doing activities this autumn. Don't worry if you are not though. You can have some fun autumn-themed activities indoors too. At the same time, you will be creating memories that you might want to preserve in a storytelling session to produce beautiful photographs for your family to treasure.

Here are six ideas for you from things I like to do with my own family:

1. Visit to an apple orchard or Apple Day event

We are lucky to have a community nursery (Huntingdonshire Community Plant & Tree nursery) in our town with a little apple orchard on its 4.5 acres site. They hold an annual apple day event every year on the second weekend of October and it is a lovely event to go sample the nineteen heritage apple varieties they grow there, as well as try some traditional apple pressing where you get to taste the fruit of your labour with the juice you pressed. 

2. Go on a woodland walk

This time of year is beautiful with its riot of colours of burgundy red, copper orange and rusty brown. I love the sound of crunchy leaves as we walk our feet over them, reminding us how nature not only fill our senses through sight, but with sound and smell as well. The kids always have fun exploring and playing in the woods. There is always invariably one child that will want to climb a tree and the other might want to join in. Otherwise they can spend some time just getting into a bit of imaginative role-play using sticks or leaves they picked up.

3. Fill your pocket with conkers

If going to a wood is a bit of a trek for you, then you can always head to your local park where there are plenty of trees around. Most likely there will be some horse chestnut trees that you won't find in a woodland nature reserve (horse chestnuts being a non-native species). A fond experience is of gathering conkers from under these trees and stuffing our pockets full until it could hold no more to bring home.

4. PYO Pumpkin farm and Maize maze

Going pumpkin picking is a big highlight of this season. There are a few places in the Cambridgeshire area where you can go to pick-your-own pumpkin, such as Hills Farm, Riverford on Sacrewell Farm and Skylark maize maze. The latter has a pumpkin patch, tractor rides, animal farm and a maize maze, which is great fun for the whole family. You can also go carving and let the kids help decorate the pumpkins in one of the tents. It's a BIG day out for the whole family and I'd recommend a day-in-the-life documentary session if you want to capture some of the memories of the different activities on offer.

Family photography - Cambridge - My 365 - Autumn-6.jpg
Family photography - Cambridge - My 365 - Autumn-5.jpg

5. Autumn crafts

One of the loveliest things to capture in my in-home sessions is families interacting together over an activity at home. My kids are still young enough to sit down and enjoy doing some arts and crafts. We like to use the natural materials we collected from our autumn walk in our art-based activities, such as leaf painting and making hanging decorations with the conkers. You can even get the younger kids to decorate their own pumpkin or squash, so they can join in the fun at being creative.

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6. Go splashing in puddles

When the rain does hit and we start going stir crazy indoors, I'd get the kids to don their wellies and we'll go hunting for puddles. It's amazing how quickly we all get absorbed in this activity and splashing in puddles immediately produces fits of giggles. I get some wonderful candid moments and expressions from them enjoying the puddles, and this adds to their childhood experience as well as to their story.

Fammily photography | Cambridge | Rainy day

So there you have it. Some recommendations for family storytelling sessions that will be fun and meaningful for you.

Does your family love to go on adventures? What are your favourite autumn activities? Perhaps now is the time to have those memories captured forever in a family documentary session, so you can have them to look back on.

Diana Hagues is a family documentary photographer in Cambridgeshire who specialise in storytelling through pictures and capturing real moments in an emotive and honest way. Get in touch to find out more here.