How to Prepare for Your Winter Photo Session in New England
February 2, 2022
If you are from New England, you know that the winters can be unpredictable. From 2 feet of snow one day, to 40 degrees and raining a couple days later. These unpredictable conditions can make it hard to prepare for your winter photo session. While I understand the frustration of the weather, I also love the beauty that the colder months have. From freshly fallen snow, to less crowds at popular tourist locations etc. You can still rock your winter photo session!
Because the weather can be so harsh and unpredictable, I like to prepare my clients to keep them safe and warm in these harsh conditions. One of the ways I do this in my business is I intentionally take on less sessions in the winter. This gives me flexibility on the dates I am shooting so I have plenty of open dates to reschedule shoots if need be.
Here are some tips for helping you prepare for your winter photo session, while staying warm and enjoying the entire process.
What to Wear for Your Winter Photo Session
Dress for the season. This means sweaters, scarfs, legging etc. If you are comfortable with taking your jacket off for some photos, perfect! Otherwise, I don’t mind if you need to wear your jacket the entire time. Jackets that photograph well include: neutral peacoats, sherpas, wool trench coats etc.
Layer up! Layers look really good in photos. From sweaters, to scarves, vests, etc. They add more texture which photographs really well. Plus, you can easily take layers off for a whole different look. I’d even recommend wearing some warm base layers to keep you extra cozy. A synthetic or wool base layer, like something you’d wear skiing, is perfect because it dries quickly and moves heat from your body. Long Johns or leggings are great too for extra layers on your lower body.
Shoes. If you want to wear your favorite pair of heals or flats but they aren’t the most weather appropriate, depending on where we are shooting, consider wearing snow boots or something you can easily change out of for the photos. Depending on your style and location, boots are perfectly acceptable to wear in photos.
Hats and gloves. Make sure you bring hats and gloves. We can always take them off for the photos if they don’t match your outfit, but I want to make sure you are comfortable and warm in between the photos too. Solid colored hats look really nice in photos. I love the kind with the pompom on top. Hand crocheted ear warmers are also super cute in photos.
What to Bring for Your Winter Photo Session
Blankets. I love a cozy blanket shot of you and your partner wrapped under a blanket. I have a couple that I keep in my car specifically for these occasions, but if you have a specific one you’d like to use – maybe your grandma hand crocheted it for you two, or it was a gift for your first anniversary. Feel free to bring it along for the photos! The more personal we can make your photos, the happier you will be with them. Plus extra blankets just means we can wrap up and stay warm as we walk from each location.
Chapstick. The wind can be brutal sometimes, so having chapstick on hand is killer. If you are bringing a purse or a small bag, put it in there so we can’t see the outline through your pockets.
Tissues. Its always inevitable when shooting outside in the cold your nose will start running. Or if you are like me, your eyes will start watering too. I always try and bring some travel tissues in my camera bag for just these occasions, but feel free to bring your own in case I forget.
Hot Hands or Hand Warmers. I always try & bring extra hot hands for my couples. That way your hands stay WARM throughout the entire photoshoot. You can put these inside your gloves or even your jacket pocket!
Hot Beverages. If we are meeting at a park or going on a hike or something, I love to prepare a thermos of hot water for my couples. That way we have something warm waiting for us when we get back to the car. If you’d like, we can even turn the beverages a little picnic! If we are shooting in the city we can always stop at your favorite coffee shop to warm up with a beverage. Coffee shop photos can be super cute too. 😉
Some final words of advice:
Although it may seem counter intuitive sometimes when you take a break from the cold it feels twice as bad when we get back out there for the second half of your shoot. I always check in with my couples throughout the shoot, and if you really need a break from the cold, we can certainly do that. I want the entire process to be fun and enjoyable for you both, so if you need a break from the cold, let me know. Depending on the length of your session, we can split it up by going to a second location too.
Another thing to consider, we can also shoot at an indoor location in the winter months. Some couples choose to split their shoot up that way by doing the first half outside and the second half indoors. If we do shoot indoors, I love to choose locations that have meaning to the two of you. Maybe your first date location, favorite coffee shop, brewery, etc. It could even be as simple as your apartment! Please note, if it is in a public business we will need to contact them before hand to ask permission. I’ve never had an issue with this, but I always find its better to ask permission for using a public space like this.
Finally, some of my favorite photo session are when you and your partner are doing your favorite actives together. Everything from ice skating, snow-showing, cross country skiing, hiking, or even just having a cozy winter picnic. Whatever your vision is, we can make it happen!
SUCH good tips. I’m a fellow new Englander myself and these are so valuable!!!
Such important information! Best to be as prepared as possible for winter sessions!
these are such great tips for a winter session!! I think hot beverages also make for super fun, cute photos! As a photographer, I can’t go without hand warmers either! haha
All of these recommendations are spot on! Staying warm enough is so important! I love it when my brides are able to wear leggings under their dress too! Definitely helps them stay warm!
As someone who grew up in Florida and still lives in a very mild climate, these are incredibly helpful tips! I wouldn’t have thought of some of these things (the chapstick..duh. Such a good one!). Such great info for clients!
New England has a very special place in my heart…my hubby and I eloped in Maine! And yes…you need to plan ahead to get ready for this incredible day…the weather can be tricky!
Great info for couples wanting to stay warm during their photo session in the winter! Also beautiful images!!
Great idea and cute photos to go along with it. This is so helpful. People keep coming back to this over and over. It’ll always stay helpful.
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