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It’s obvious why fall is one of the best seasons for photography—it’s one of the times of year that nature is at its most colorful, and you (typically) don’t have to worry about combating scorching heat or freezing temperatures.

But in order to make the most of your autumn photography session, you’ll need to keep these few tips in mind.

  • Leaves are gone almost as quickly as they change, so try to find and scout your location the day of, or, no more than one day in advance.
  • Unless you’re really into the classic feet in the leaves picture, try to mix it up your session with a few landscape shots, or consider capturing aspects of the season that people often forget, like contrasting blue sky or wildlife.
  • Use the sun to your advantage. Fall is a great time for back-lit shots, as the sun will be peeking through the breaks in the trees. Also keep in mind what time the sun is setting, since it will be earlier than it was during summer.
  • Instead of focusing just on the leaves, seek out other tiny details, like a bird nesting or a squirrel gathering nuts—this will keep your photos from looking too similar.
  • Shooting with a cell phone? Don’t worry if the colors aren’t popping as much as they do in-person. You can always fix coloring on your phone or computer afterward.