Tips for Choosing a Winter Session Location

Tips and Tricks

When thinking about the perfect winter session, you’ll likely picture a dreamy photo taken among freshly fallen snow and tall evergreens in the background. I love these types of sessions (and you’ll see some featured here!) But they aren’t always a guarantee, and there are lots of wonderful winter options, even if you don’t love the cold!

While winter sessions certainly produce some of the most stunning photos, choosing a location can be difficult. For instance, some of my favorite locations in the warmer months go from green and luscious to bare and brown over the winter. The weather can also be unpredictable, particularly in Colorado.

But that doesn’t mean you should avoid scheduling; with some careful planning and some assistance from yours truly, you can still plan a memorable winter session.

Here I’m sharing my top tips for selecting a photography location in the winter–

Think outside the box.

In the winter, most of the trees are bare, so the local city park may not be your best bet. The manicured grass is also dead and brown, and the once beautiful flower beds now look untended and sparse. Therefore, it might be best to consider another location (based on the tips on this list), some of which might mean a little more of a drive or a bit more research, but a gorgeous photo is always worth it- at least in my book! Try finding a spot (or asking me) that offers more than just typical trees and fields. Locations that have features like barns, old farm equipment, bridges, lakes, or even more special and unique features like the old motel sign featured here at Heritage Lakewood here in Colorado or the unique carousel and historic signage at Glen Echo Park right outside of Washington DC, in Bethesda, Maryland.

winter session location with family of six posing in front of red barn

Take a scenic drive to find the evergreens.

For your next winter session, consider seeking out a more woodsy spot with evergreen trees. This may mean a longer drive, depending on where you live, but here in Colorado, spots with evergreen trees often come with mountain views. Seems like a win-win to me! If you’re unsure of exact locations to try, reach out for some of my favorites. Keep in mind many of these spaces are state and federal land, and will require photography permits in advance.

Always consider your loved ones first.

When choosing your location, keep the weather and who you are photographing in mind. If it’s just you and your special someone, you might be up for a longer hike and trekking a bit farther off the beaten path for that perfect shot. If you are a family with little ones, choosing a spot that has great backdrops close to a parking lot might be a better choice. I can always help with recommendations for either scenario. And if it’s going to be a cold and/or snowy day, be sure to check out my tips for staying warm and cozy during your session!

Try an urban session for a different vibe.

If nature isn’t a priority, downtown locations tend to look great year round! Urban spots with street art, murals, painted doorways, funky garage doors, arches, and interesting architectural details all make for great focal points in photos. And as a bonus, sessions in these locations don’t rely on nature or weather for beauty! I have favorite spots here in Denver, as well as DC, Delaware, and Florida, and love finding new spots in all the places I travel. Be sure to reach out for ideas or suggestions!

winter session location with father and son in front of urban mural

Just stay home!

If worrying about weather and potentially being cold just isn’t your thing, you might consider an in-home session. After all, our home is where the heart is, right!? I’d love to photograph you in your own light, amongst your things, in your comfort zone. In home sessions add an extra level of ease and personalization to your session, and plus, in-home sessions ensure your photos will match your home d├ęcor when you print your photos!

Rent a studio space.

A final option for a winter session is to rent a studio space. Once again, it saves the worry of weather and cold temperatures, but also alleviates any stress you might have over whether your home feels ‘photo ready’ or not. There are studios all over town offering beautiful sets that change with the season. These spaces can easily be rented by the hour to provide beautiful backdrops for your next session! And no matter what city you live in, I am happy to navigate the rental process with you and provide suggestions for which sets and studios will work best for what you have in mind. (*Studio rental fees are the responsibility of the client.)

winter session location at studio with family of five laughing on couch

To plan a winter session this year…

Let’s work together to choose a location! I have a lot of ideas up my sleeve and would love to work with you to choose a winter-friendly spot and capture some beautiful photographs. Reach out to get the conversation started, or jump straight to my schedule to snag a spot on my calendar!