Portrait Sessions in Winter

What do we do when autumn ends and winter sets in?  Is that the time to forget about portraits and snuggle in front of the fire?  Or do we wait for that perfect blanket of snow?

No way!  Winter is just as beautiful as fall with or without snowflakes!  You just need a photographer that sees and catches that beauty!  After the holidays, I did just that for a special family who happened to also have a gorgeous backyard and I wanted to share a few winter session tips as well as show some of these beautiful winter portraits.

What to wear for winter portraits?

I hear this question a lot from families who are concerned about scheduling portraits during the winter months.

  • No Coats Needed
    “We don’t want photos in our winter coats.”  Of course, most people don’t want portraits in their coats (but if you have a really nice, stylish coat, that can totally allow for some gorgeous winter portraits). That makes sense and even in winter, you don’t have to.  First off, unless we’re specifically planning for a snow session, I try to schedule when the weather is around 45°.  You’ll still want a coat or jacket to walk around for your portraits but you’ll be ok taking it off for shorts bits of time to take a few shots.  Then the coat goes back on and you warm up while we set up for the next set of shots.
  • Layer Up
    For any session where the temp is in the 40s or 50s, you’re going to want to dress in layers.  No sleeveless shirts or flimsy dresses.  Layers will help add variety to your look as well as keep you warm.
  • Accessorize
    Hats, gloves, scarves, earmuffs, even blankets or wraps!  This is my favorite part of winter portraits! Fun accessories can add color or texture as well as show your personality!  Who doesn’t love a little girl with pink unicorn earmuffs!

What about color?

Color can be challenging for some when it’s time to plan winter portraits.  With so many directions, it can be hard to decide.  Ultimately, it’s all about what you like to see but here are some ideas to consider.

  • Snow Sessions
    Anything goes!  Seriously, bright colors or neutrals, it’s entirely up to you and the look you want to create.  For fun and natural, real-life portraits, bright colors are the way to go! For more formal, classic images, neutrals- whites, beige, grays -are what I recommend.  I would also suggest staying away from a lot of blacks.
  • No Snow Winter Sessions
    Consider the background- in winter, most plant life is dead, leaving lots of browns and golds and oranges and grays.  You’ll want outfits that will stand out from the background and not blend in.  Blues are always a good clothing color choice.  Whites and grays also look beautiful in the southwestern Pennsylvania winter woods.

It can be hard to plan but I’m here to help!  I always encourage clients to text me photos of their outfits if they have questions and I’m happy to share links to outfit suggestions on Pinterest.  We can work together to make sure you and your family feel comfortable and look amazing for your winter portraits!

Image of a teen boy wearing a navy sweater vest and bow tie. He's standing in a winter woods with bare trees and tall grasses.

tween boy in sweater vest, winter portraits in the woods

winter portrait for boy in navy blue sweater vest outside

winter portrait of mother hugging son in the woodsmother, father, son, family winter portraits in woodswinter portraits with mother, father and son outside

winter portrait in backyard of tween boy with French bull dog

Winter portraits don’t have to mean snow, freezing temps, and red noses.  There are plenty of ways to create gorgeous family portraits even in the winter months.  Contact me and let’s start planning!

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Hi there, it's Jodi!

I hope you enjoy my work and please let me know if you have any questions about photography, art, or anything at all.

When it comes to portrait photography, there are a lot of options. It's important to me that I help my clients create the session and have the products that are the best fit for their family!

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family, senior, headshot, and creative

portrait photographer for the Pittsburgh area including:

Cranberry, Fox Chapel, Mt Lebanon, Sewickley, Upper St Clair, and Wexford