5 Essential Tips for the Best Fall Photography

This is a guest post by professional wildlife photographer and filmmaker Chris McKillican. 

Hard to argue that there is a more beautiful time than the Fall season in British Columbia. It is definitely my favourite time to be out exploring in my Tacoma and one of the best times of the year to capture wildlife in all its glory! In this new episode of Toyota BC “Keep It Wild: Season 2 Episode 3 – Fall,” I show you how to make the most of nature’s grand finale.

Image - ChurnCreek-1Churn Creek, British Columbia 

After a long hot Summer, animals seem to shift into a new gear as they prepare for Winter. With this increased activity your odds of seeing and photographing wildlife greatly increases. The changing Fall colours also add a great backdrop that give your photos a much deeper sense of time and place.

Many of my pictures come from using the truck as a great wildlife blind. To an animal, there is no hiding that you’re driving a truck. But when in you’re in the truck, there is a greater sense of ease than when on foot so be sure to use this to your advantage.

Image - Moose4-1A moose camouflages in the Fall colours

Shifting into Fall Photography with the Toyota Tacoma

Here is a list of my go-to essentials while I am on the road:

  1. Patience – It takes time for nature to adjust to your presence. It is amazing to see how things come back to life around you after sitting in one location for over an hour.
  2. Timing – No surprise here. Very early in the day and again just before sunset are the best times to see wildlife. Set your alarm and get out there!
  3. Study Habits – Wait … No one told me I had to study! Knowing the behaviour of your favourite animals will help you identify good locations and will give you clues that you’re in the right spot.
  4. Be Prepared – You never know when a great opportunity will arise. I always have my camera turned on and ready to go with the proper settings dialled to the current conditions.
  5.  Stability – If you’re shooting from outside your truck window, you can use the window as an adjustable tripod; moving it up and down for different angles as needed. To make it even better, you can throw a jacket over the window to add more cushioning. Try getting as low as possible to raise the background behind your subject, capturing the fall colours.


Image - ChrisMckillicanBTSep3-4362The Tacoma comes with a built-in tripod.


Above all, don’t forget to soak all of nature in with your own eyes and enjoy the moment. So often, we never look up from the camera and can miss the great experience of our surroundings. Finally, be sure to respect all wildlife and never do anything that would cause undo stress onto an animal. No photo is worth putting wildlife into a panic.

Image - Fox 3

Happy Fall Photography! 


Make and Model – Truck: 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road 

Image - 5 Essential Tips for the Best Fall Photography Chris McKillican is a Canadian photographer and filmmaker who is passionate about wildlife, people and the outdoors. Follow Chris’ adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.