How to Prepare for a Winter Portrait Session – Virginia Professional Photographer

How to Prepare for a Winter Portrait Session – Virginia Professional Photographer

How to Prepare for a Winter Portrait Session - Virginia Professional Photographer

Winter portraits can be great and there is a special kind of magic that comes with outdoor, winter portrait sessions.  The snow falling and icicles hanging from the trees can create a lovely look to your portraits that will be unique to you and your family.  Here are a few tips to make your winter portrait an experience that will be enjoyable for everyone.

1.  This might go without saying but dress warmly.  Choosing what everyone wears for their portraits causes more anxiety than anything else after picking the photographer.  Make sure that the outfits you choose are appropriate for the setting.  Especially if this is a family session involving young children.  No one likes to be cold.  Young kids won’t fake it.  They will not cooperate if they are cold.  Make sure to wear lots of layers and incorporate hats, scarves and other winter looks into the session.

2.  Prepare yourself for being outside.   Little things like putting on lotion (everywhere, not just the exposed areas) and chapstick go a very long way in making everyone a little more comfortable. Bring some hot chocolate for the kids and some hot tea or coffee along for the grown ups.  They can be used as fun props for the session and go a long way in keeping hands and tummies warm.
3.  Keep your eye on the weather and work closely with your photographer if you need to make adjustments in timing or location.  There is a big difference in the look of portraits when it comes to melting snow or light snow flurries.  In our area, keeping your eye on the weather is key.  A great app for that is called Dark Sky.  I have been able to wait out the weather and continue with a session knowing that the rain will pass in 5 minutes vs. rescheduling using that app.

4.  Be flexible.  If the weather isn’t exactly what you are looking for, discuss your options with your photographer.  They should have a back up plan or let you know what your options are.

5.  Use color.  Yes, yes, yes!  The backdrop in winter portraits can be very bleak.  Using a pop of color can really brighten up them up.

6.  Plan your day.  Work with your photographer on the timing and location.  There are some places that are gorgeous at sunrise, other locations are better at sunset.  Your photographer should know these things and be able to let you know what will work best for the look you are wanting in your portraits.

7.  Communication.  The best sessions are those that have been planned in advance with your photographer where you aren’t rushed, have a clear idea of what is going to happen, when it is going to happen and in the case of winter sessions, you need a good back up plan just in case things don’t happen as planned.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you have a great winter portrait session.


How to Prepare for a Winter Portrait Session – Virginia Professional Photographer


Do you know of anyone who expecting?  I would love to speak with them regarding their portrait needs at this time.

Contact me online here:  Dorie Howell Photography Contact Page

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