The ending of summer is sure to leave many of use with mixed feelings. For those who endured the record breaking temperatures throughout much of the world this summer, the arrival of fall and its milder climate couldn’t be more welcomed. For those who associate fall with the dreaded return to lockers, school books, and cafeteria lunches, the ending of summer is approaching much too quickly. For any graphic designer, however, a change in seasons can often mean a much needed change in image themes. If you’re planning to shoot your own fall-themed photography portfolio to supply all of your graphic design needs, be sure to remember the theme ideas listed below.

1)      Crayons, Pencils, Paper: Easily arranged into fun still life displays, school supplies can be your new best friend when working on fall-themed photos. Stack them into miniature forts, draw doodles all over the notebooks, and sharpen the pencils so that they look all ready for a new year at school. Affordable, practical, and (best of all) without the need for models’ permission releases, these simple supplies can be used to create great subjects for fall photography portfolios.

2)      Books, Backpacks: For any of your work that requires a more “mature” aura to it, think about using college textbooks and stylish bags to create photo ops with a more collegiate twist to them. Use lighter palettes for vintage themed photographs or enhance the colors to give the photos a more modern appearance. If you use people to hold your props (books, backpacks, notebooks, etc.), then consider still focusing on the items they are holding, instead of the people themselves; completely leaving faces/heads out of the photographs is one way to do this.

3)      Smoke: Smoke pouring out a chimney on a gray fall day is a perfect symbol of this cooler season. However, since it will probably still be too hot wherever you live to shoot smoke photos of this nature in preparation for your autumn photo needs, you will need to improvise a bit on this theme. Consider using indoor candles, dark rooms, and long exposure times to create photographs that can still give off the feeling of autumn fires without creating the same level of indoor heat.

4)      Leaves: Beautiful enough to be included in fall photography themes year after year without seeming cliché, brightly colored fall leaves provide the perfect, natural backdrop for some stellar autumn shots. Work to create images with focus ranges of various depths to keep these photos interesting and include pictures of leaves against both the sky and ground.