Authentic Fall Family Photos: Apple Picking at Avila Valley Barn

October 23, 2023

Discovering that apple juice in fact comes from the apples that you just picked off an orchard tree in Avila Beach, Ca…priceless. These are the kinds of fall family photography moments I live for!

Welcome to a truly authentic photography approach that creates space for real life, celebrates the season you’re in authentically, and helps you spend time doing what you enjoy with the people you love.

The look you give when your dad tells you, “Hey bud, did you know that apple juice comes from the apple you just picked?” Light bulb moment for this 6 year old. And such a chuckle for all us big kids.
This moment begged for a photo for so many reasons: those beach shovels in my little guy’s pockets while he walks with his hands behind his back like an old soul melts my heart! And getting to see my husband bro-out with my family sure fills my cup up.

Visitor Tips for Avila Family Barn

These family photos are actually mine! My dear cousin and his family came to visit us in Pismo a couple weeks back. Avila Valley Barn was such a great spot to take our kiddos. They have so many activities!

There’s an eclectic variety of animals to feed and a giant head of lettuce is only $3. It’s so fresh we all wondered if we grab an extra head of lettuce for home…some of us sampled the freshness and it’s verifiable 🙂

There’s a short-stack version of a hay maze for the littles to go through. Plus, a giant pyramid of hay bales for climbing, too! I love the variety of free activities and ticketed options like the full size hay maze (purchase a wristband) and a hay ride through the orchards and sunflower fields.

The food.

Y’all can we talk about the food. I got the fried chicken sandwich in mild in case my toddler wanted to sneak a bite (he didn’t) so I wish I got the medium…I’ll save the “hot” for my jalapeño-snacking husband’s taste buds. If nothing else come for the food. Here’s their menu. Between all of us, we had the Nashville Chicken Sandwich, artichoke, mac & chese, and trip tip sandwich. I’ve been to Nashville and this was spot on. You’re welcome ;).

The sweets are amazing too. We got the chocolate mint fudge and snacked on it for days. Too many options to list, but parents beware (and maybe stop there first so your kiddos crash in the car).

The apple orchard was huge as far as apple picking goes and the Barn provides plastic bags for collecting your pickin’s. Do be aware, there’s a ton of yellow jackets feasting on fallen apples…at first i was super concerned for my two year old but if you leave them bee they’ll leave you alone, too. Just watch your step and don’t pick up fallen apples and you’ll be alright.

Right next to the orchard is a field of flowers and I got about a dozen for around $7. There’s also heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes to pick. Keep in mind the u-pick options are absolutely seasonal – makes sense, right. So check online before you go if you’ve got your heart set on a certain item.

Documentary-Style, Experience-Based Family Photography

My hybrid approach to family photography combines photojournalism – which prides itself on staying out of the moment to capture life completely undisturbed, and documentary photography – which focuses on telling real stories. As you can see above, I clearly don’t do just that…otherwise you’d see unflattering angles “because that’s the way it happened.” Don’t you fret, I’ve combined this authentic approach to photography with the wonderfully captivating aesthetic of modern lifestyle portrait photography.

What do you get when you combine all these elements?

Real memories captured beautifully. Pretty is what pretty does, I truly believe that. So here’s to creating space for you and yours to be real, and I do the work to capture it beautifully. My goal? For you to have too many print-worthy moments you don’t ever want to forget.

Curious about what a documentary family session could be like for you? Schedule a quick Inquiry call here and I’ll lay it all out including my planning-to-printing-process and session pricing.

Cheers-ing to your real life moments & memories! Get them photographed, and then get them printed.