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Family Photography

Rock Your Cold Weather Winter Family Photography Session

How to Prepare for Cold Weather Winter Family Photography Sessions

First of all, I cannot believe I titled this blog post “Rock Your Cold Weather Winter Family Photography Session!” (Whenever I come across a blog post I wrote about rocking your maternity photography session, my eyes roll at least just a little bit.) But I did. Because you can successfully take outdoor family photos in winter if you prepare.

Maybe you want to send holiday cards, but didn’t get to booking a photography session while the weather was still warm. (And you can still have time to book a family photography session and receive cards in time to mail to loved ones.) Or maybe you want to be bundled up for holiday photos, secretly hoping for a dusting a white the stuff.

Keep reading, I can help! (And don’t forget, an in home family session is always a FABULOUS option and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Weather doesn’t matter for those. Kids and spouses can take breaks. Kids love showing off their toys and rooms. You can drink coffee while gazing at the magnificent life you have created for yourself that I am documenting.)

family of four poses on some snow


First, expect a faster photo session.

To have a fast photo session with young kids, try to be as relaxed as possible.

Layer it Up

Additionally, layers are your friend. Especially for younger children. Cold children are for the most part grumpy, whiny children.

I’m talking about long johns, tights, sweaters or fleeces or vests, hats, gloves.

Stylish coats (like pea coats) always look great in photos. If you/your kids only have ski jackets, consider purchasing/borrowing more subdued jackets for the session.

Check out this blog post for outdoor winter wardrobe inspiration.

family members pose on a snowy day in nederland, co

Warm it Up

Blankets! Hand Warmers! Toe Warmers! Think of additional items you can bring to add warmth on a cold weather day.

mom snuggles up to baby boy


While layers and coats are important, you can also choose a location with access to heat to help keep everyone happy.

We can start the session in your home, but then head to your yard or a nearby park for outside photos.

Or we can meet at a park but take mini breaks in heated cars.

We could head to an urban area and run into a coffee shop to get hot chocolates and coffee and let people thaw out.

Or we could choose a spot with access to an outdoor firepit for a bit of warmth–s’mores anyone?

adults hug in front of a brick wall

Plan to Play Hard

If it is cold out and you have young kids, we’ll move around a lot. Get them running, hopping, playing Simon Says and other games to keep their minds off the weather. Consider what shoes everyone has on so that they can maximize the fun!

If you are an older family, we may do some walking drills and have you stay close together for a little extra body warmth.

dad throws young sons in the air

a dad pulls his son in a sled while mom follows behind

Be Flexible

We’ll keep an eye on the weather as your session approaches. Severe wind or very, very cold weather may mean we should reschedule or consider coming up with a Plan B.

Of course, in Colorado you just never know if you will luck out and get a 70 degree day in November or December!

I hope you enjoyed these tips to help you plan for and enjoy a cold weather winter family photography session!

smiling girl with braids on a fall day

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I've been photographing families professionally since 2006. I am a wife, mama to 2 boys, companion to 2 cats who are named after members of the royal British family, a former preschool teacher. I love running, hiking 14ers, sparkly clothes, the band Phish, river float trips, St. John USVI, farm CSAs, and Colorado blue skies.