There’s nothing more beautiful than photos captured during a winter session. Just imagine holding hands with your other half while strolling through a fresh blanket of snow, or building a snowman with your little ones as the white flakes swirl all around you.
While living in the Mile High City, I’ve learned some tricks to help you stay toasty warm during a winter session and many of them involve just a touch of planning–
Check the forecast.
Anyone familiar with Colorado weather knows to expect the unexpected, particularly during the winter months. Depending on the day, it might be brisk and windy, cold and snowy, or even randomly warm. Start checking the forecast about a week in advance, so you know how to dress and prepare for the elements.
Get active or get close.
Playful action shots involving activities such as a snowball fight, making snow angels, or building a snowman can increase your level of warmth. Whether you’re being photographed as a couple, with your family, or with furry friends, snuggle up as much as possible. A big hug can serve two purposes- staying warm and capturing an extra special moment.
Select outfits carefully and dress appropriately.
Everyone loves to look fashionable and at their best for their winter session, but from a practical standpoint, you will need to be warm. If you choose to wear any winter accessories such as mittens, hats, scarves, and boots, select colors that compliment the location. If you choose to wear lighter outer layers, consider wearing thermals underneath. You can also remove layers as you go for a change in outfits. It’s possible to have aesthetically pleasing photos even while bundled up!
Wear a stylish coat.
Coats are a great way to show off everyone’s personalities. When selecting a coat, choose materials that bring warmth like wool, but also consider the colors and patterns and be sure to stay away from anything puffy or bulky like down and puffer coats. Stay within your chosen color palette and limit the number of patterns to just one.
Know your cold weather limitations.
If you have a newborn, small children, or another family member who is temperature sensitive, consider times of the day with the most sunlight or a location with more trees or buildings to help break up the wind. While it may create a whimsical effect to have snow blowing about, it could turn quite unfashionable and miserable with runny noses, watery eyes, and wind chapped skin. That same effect can still be achieved by planning accordingly and in advance: Parents can bring along some extra tissues, additional layers of clothing, or blankets for a bit of additional bundling during any breaks. After a few minutes and when everyone is feeling all toasty and warm again, we’ll get back to the photos!
Extra tip: If you’re planning on a golden hour winter session, be sure to dress accordingly as temperatures tend to drop at that time. Your photographer can also help you select the best time to achieve your vision, so be sure to ask when scheduling your session.
Incorporate warmth producing props.
Blankets are great for sitting and can also be wrapped around your loved ones for warmth. Or maybe choose to embrace all the typical winter accessories like hats, mittens, and scarves. Not only will these accessories provide texture to your photos, they’ll also keep everyone nice and warm.
Bring a warm beverage.
Before your winter session, fill up a thermos with something hot to drink, such as coffee, tea, or cocoa. Bring it to your session with your favorite mugs for a multipurpose photo accessory that can help minimize the chills. Taking small sips throughout your session will help keep everyone feeling toasty.
Bring hand and foot warmers.
Not only do these easy-to-hide packets keep your hands and feet warm, they can be tucked away in your mittens or boots for an instant burst of warmth in between shots and locations.
Most photographers naturally take breaks between shots or scenes. However, if you feel you will need more breaks to warm up, simply ask your photographer. While we may not be able to accommodate a ton of extra time, we will do our best, particularly when conditions aren’t as desirable.
Before you venture outside for your next winter session…
I hope you’ll revisit this list of tips and tricks! I also hope you’ll reach out to me to discuss your winter session vision, or if you feel like you already have the details sorted out, feel free to claim a spot on my schedule.