Does it seem odd to be talking about Autumn photos now in early-January, in the middle of the long, summer holidays? Maybe it is but I'm doing it because Autumn is the busy season for outdoor photographers.

If you'd like to book I don't want you to leave it too late and to miss out and be disappointed. Would you believe I booked my first session for this coming Autumn five months ago, way back in August?

Autumn is my favourite time of the year (I don't do summer well) so if you are interested in coming exploring in the Dandenongs with me then do read on.

Portrait of girl in a beanie with Autumn leaves by Kate Cashin Photography.


1. The colours

Summer might be warm but I think Autumn colours are warmer. As a bold and vibrant photographer the rich reds, oranges and yellows of Autumn totally excite me in a way that the muted colours of Winter, cool colours of Spring and green shades of Summer just don't.

2. The leaves

Nothing inspires nature play quite like a big pile of colourful, fallen Autumn leaves. Who can resist detouring off their path to walk through them, making that satisfying crunch? And of course we just want to grab a handful and throw them in the air.

3. The light

The light in Autumn is less high in the sky and therefore softer and more flattering than the harsh light of Summer. The sun also rises later and sets earlier meaning sessions can be held at more child-friendly hours.

4. The temperature

You never quite know what you will get in Melbourne but chances are an Autumn session will deliver more moderate temps than a session held in Summer or in Winter. This therefore suits those who despise the heat of February or those who can't stand the cold of mid-Winter.

5. The timing

Autumn sessions come at just the right time after the post Christmas and back to school rush but before the Winter when it is time to head off for a holiday in a warmer location and then before we know it it's Spring and little kids are starting to get tired and cranky as the school year wears on.

Kids running around parents in front of Autumn tree by Kate Cashin Photography.
Extended family Autumn photos by Kate Cashin Photography.
Toddler girl sitting amongst the Autumn leaves by Kate Cashin Photography.


Again it is Melbourne so there is never a guarantee. In saying that as an Autumn lover I almost stalk the best leaves from week to week so as long as you are willing to be flexible on location I am confident there will be options available. In 2021, Autumn began super early with leaves at Olinda, at the top of the hills, beginning to turn in February. In March they peaked lower down the mountain in Emerald and in April they were at their most vibrant in Narre Warren East. Some pockets in the valleys, that are protected from the winds, were at their best into May. Even after Autumn was officially over the fallen leaves made great backdrops for portaits and were fun to kick around, right through in August.

Family of four walking amongst the Autumn leaves by Kate Cashin Photography.
Portrait of little girl looking up from the Autumn leaves by Kate Cashin Photography.
Family of four throwing Autumn leaves in Emerald by Kate Cashin Photography.


Honestly? Right now. If you are after a weekend session, and especially one held in the morning in April, the time is absolutely now as the majority of these slots have already been snapped up.

Family of four throwing Autumn leaves by Kate Cashin Photography.
Teenage boy peeking through the Autumn foliage by Kate Cashin Photography.
Toddler boy stomping in Autumn leaves by Kate Cashin Photography.

Kate Cashin is a family photographer based in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

She specialises in nature sessions and forest adventures with the motto "Play. Move. Explore.".