Because winter is here for 6 months of the year whether we like it or not!
Hello, it’s me, your friendly neighbourhood photographer, reporting from the North Pole…I mean Canada. My whole life, I've lived in this beautiful frigid prairie land, where the air hurts my face. If you're reading this, I'm guessing you live here too! And even though the air hurts my face, I will argue that winter photos are some of the most beautiful photos! Think about it, not everybody is as "lucky" as us to have the amazing phenomenon of snow in their lives. I’m assuming you've come here because you are in need of some wisdom on how to survive winter photos. Otherwise, I advise you to move on, as this could be a boring read! First and foremost, good for you for prioritizing taking photos! Seriously. People don't really see the value of these photos, until many years later when they are looking back on moments in life. Winter is often overlooked when it comes to photos because it is literally FREEZING. But it is super pretty. And with that...
...let's prepare to get cold.
TIP ONE: WATCH THE WEATHER
While winter can be beautiful and provide magical settings for photos, certain weather-related scenarios can make taking winter pictures a nightmare. There are two types of weather I would recommend you avoid at all costs.
- Super windy weather (I know in SK, there is a degree of wind to be expected). Winter wind cuts deep and can make a -5 day feel like a -20 day. When it is "too windy" (30km+ winds) I will reschedule, but really we should consider it at 20km+ as well. If you have children at your photo session, they do not put up with the cold.
- Weather below -15 degrees. I generally don't shoot outside if it's colder than this, except under special circumstances. This is more for your benefit than mine. I will be dressed up and warm in my winter gear. You will most likely not.
TIP TWO: CHOOSE OUTFITS WISELY
The struggle and age-old question…what on Earth do you wear for photos in general, let alone for your winter family session? Consider what you plan on using them for. Are these for the annual family Christmas card? Are they for the walls in your home? Is there a specific theme you’re after? The answer to this should influence the direction your family picture outfits and colour schemes will go.
Pro tip: Don’t wear white if your location is predominantly white and covered in snow. Choosing colours that complement the environment will generally yield the nicest photos.
Pro tip: Make it make sense. You wouldn't wear open-toed shoes or t-shirts in the winter. So don't! Make sure your outfit is at least somewhat designed to keep you warm. This can easily be done by layering, bringing along scarfs, hats and mittens, or bringing a cozy blanket with you! Also, make sure to bring along those little heat pack buddies to stuff in your mitts and boots! These have saved a shoot from a cold toddler meltdown on multiple occasions!
TIP THREE: GET MOVING
Get busy with activities! I will 100% guide you in poses and help facilitate movement during the session. But I defiantly recommend some sort of activity - go skating, tobogganing, have a snowball fight, bring a thermos of hot chocolate... the list goes on. These activities make for fun authentic photo memories. You really will enjoy skating with your kids (or at least they will), or being a goof and riding down a hill on a toboggan. Not only will they make awesome photos, but moving will help keep you warm!
TIP FOUR: LET'S GO INSIDE
Sorry to burst your bubble - but staying indoors is the *easiest way to keep warm! The winter is beautiful to look at and has a magical element to it. But if you can, avoid going outside. Don't hate me! In-home lifestyle sessions are also beautiful and cozy! These are especially amazing for families with small children and couples. In the next year or so, there will also be a lifestyle option in my studio - stay tuned for more details throughout the coming year!
Whenever I do an indoor session, there is also the option to head outside for a few photos as well. We will just be in your backyard, nothing crazy! But it is a nice option if you still want to get some snowy photos!