It’s January which means here in Michigan we are in the thick of winter. Whether you’re a fellow Michigander or you live in another area blessed with 3-4 months of snow and chilly temps, you know winter can often be long and dreary but it can also be an unbelievably beautiful time of year. The great north can also make a gorgeous and magical backdrop for a photography session if you are prepared. Every year, I have a handful of clients who are waiting on pins and needles for a lake effect snow warning that will create a stunning winter wonderland for their photo session.
I love winter sessions and I hope by the end of this post, you will too! Not only do I have some great tips to help you get ready for your winter session, I’ve compiled some of my favorite snowy images to inspire you to don those cozy scarves and mittens and get in front of the camera this winter. Just look at the beauty it has to offer!!
1. Opt for a mini or half session.
If your photographer offers them, opt for a mini or a half session over a full session. On a cold winter day, a 20-30 minute session is much more bearable than a 60-90 minute session, especially for little ones and pets. If you’re able to schedule your session on a winter day that is a bit warmer, go all in and book a full session! You’ll be surprised at how many amazing images can be captured in the snow!
2. Safety first.
If the road conditions become unsafe for travelling, work with your photographer to reschedule. Double check the weather the day of your session and make sure the temperatures, including wind chill, aren’t too cold. This is especially important to consider when bringing children and pets to an outdoor winter session because they can’t always tell us if their fingers, toes, or paws have gotten too cold. Your photographer’s priority should be keeping you safe and comfortable during your session and sometimes this means rescheduling.
3. Dress in layers.
Start with a thin base layer that won’t add bulk to your body. My family loves Cuddl Duds. They come in men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes. They are a thin, warm, super soft and cozy base layer that is easy to layer under your clothes without adding bulk. I recommend pairing them with warm ski socks! Then work your way out. Think long sleeves, button up flannel shirts, sweaters, vests, and cute jackets. Use layers that will make your look versatile.
In the two pictures below, my daughter is dress in the same outfit but with versatile layers. She wore Cuddl Duds and ski socks underneath for an extra layer of warmth. Then I added the vest for a mini session option on a warmer winter day. For a full session or a colder day, the vest can be swapped with a cute hooded jacket. Simple, easy, and cute!
Use cold weather accessories to stay comfortable and add style to your session. Hats, scarves, mittens, boots, and boot cuffs all photograph really well when they coordinate with your outfit. You can either choose neutral accessories or use accessories to add color or texture to your outfit. You’ll also want to wear a good pair of boots! You will more than likely have to wade through some snow for your session and wearing boots will help keep your feet warm and your pant legs dry.
In the image below, we just had our first really big snow of the year and it was pretty chilly out so I put two layers of Cuddl Duds under her thick tights and sweater. Her necklace, mittens, tights, boots, and the little rosette attached to her hat added the perfect pops of pink to her neutral outfit. It’s really easy to make those cold weather accessories look cute for photos and they’ll help you stay super warm and cozy!
5. Don’t forget the hot cocoa!
Bring a thermos full of hot cocoa to help you stay nice and warm. Better yet, bring some cute mugs with cocoa and marshmallows for a cute prop and a fun way for everyone to stay warm. If hot cocoa isn’t your thing, bring coffee or hot tea! This looks super cute for engagement sessions and is a fun way to capture a shot of that engagement ring. For families, there is nothing like hot cocoa and marshmallows to get those kiddos excited for an outdoor photo session in the snow!
6. Two words: Hand Warmers!
Use hand warmers like HotHands or Grabbers. Tuck them in gloves, boots, and pockets to keep warm. We keep packs of these handy for all of our outdoor winter adventures but they are also great for photo shoots! This is probably my favorite tip for winter photo sessions because cold hands will end a session before it even starts!
7. Bring a cozy blanket.
Bring a cute and cozy blanket to wrap up in. Whether you’re a couple or a family, being wrapped up in a blanket always looks cozy and completely adorable. Just look at these two lovebirds. They look so cozy you can’t even tell it was the coldest day of the year and we had to take breaks to warm up in our cars!
8. Have fun!
Seriously, it’s snowing and snow is almost always fun!! Last winter, as I wrapped up a very snowy engagement session with one of my wedding couples, an impromptu snowball fight developed and it made for some really fun, candid images to wrap up their session with. When they look at those images, they are going to remember how much fun their session was even though it was a blizzard. Make a snowman, have a snowball fight, or if you’re really adventurous, jump in and make a snow angel!
Thank you so much for checking out my 8 Tips for Your Winter Photo Session. If you want to join in the fun and schedule your winter photo session, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (or click the contact tab above) and we’ll start planning your session! If you want to receive more tips like these, sign up for my mailing list below!
Aislyn June Photography | email@example.com | Whitehall, MI | Muskegon, MI