What to Wear for Winter Family Photos


The number one question I am asked is “what should we wear?” 

Whether its an engagement session or family session, many people arent quite sure, especially in colder climates; so I have complied a list of tips that can help answer the question of what to wear for winter family photos.

Winter Clothing Choices

  • When thinking about your wardrobe selection, keep in mind the season, the temperatures and the location
  • I don’t recommend the use of props, but sometimes a meaningful item, or blanket can make a great addition, especially in colder temps – check out this really old post on how one couple used a blanket to stay cozy.
  • A change of clothes is a good idea, just in case someone gets wet or dirty.
  • In colder temperatures, choose jackets with texture like leather bombers, sherpa lined denim or wool trench coats. If you dont own jackets like this, and instead have puffy ski jackets, plan to wear them open. Check out the black leather coats and gloves this couple wore. 
  • Layer up.  If you aren’t planning on wearing a coat as described above, make your top layer is something  with texture, like a knit sweater, or thicker flannel plaid shirt. Vests are great too!
  • Scarves & mittens are a great addition in cooler temps.
  • Hats are cute too – just decide if you want/need them for the whole shoot. If you DON’T want a hat on in every shot, sometimes its best to do the shots without first. This avoids major hat head and messy hair later on.
  • Boots – Coordinated with your outfit – I love tall brown boots, hunters with boot socks, sorels, blundstones etc.
  • Colours – Avoid neon colours, or vibrant pinks and blues, or lime greens etc. Red can look awesome as a pop of colour, in small doses.  Jewel tones look great at this time of year, but also you can’t go wrong with neutrals such as greys, browns and creams.
  • Patterns – Avoid skinny stripes, and small checks. I like them, but digital cameras do not. Like plaid? Go for it, just make it a bigger pattern.
  • You want to be somewhat coordinated but not so matchy-matchy. When reading the tips above, try to envision everyone in something a little different (for example, not everyone would wear vests)
  • Lay out your outfits all together on a bed to see how it looks, and even take the time to try everything on as a whole, including boots and accessories to see if anything looks for feels off to you.
  • Still unsure? Send me a message for a personal style consultation via online video!

For Style inspo head to this Pinterest Board

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Hair & Makeup for Winter Family Photos (and really anytime)

Most common piece of feedback I hear from ladies, is the felt their makeup was too heavy. You want to feel like you, so dont feel like you need to try anything out of the ordinary.  Again, the tips below are my professional opinion.

  • There is a misconception that makeup has to be heavier to photograph well. Because of my slightly moodier style, makeup tends to pop more.
  • If any feature should get a little more attention, go with the eyes.
  • Lashes tend to really help make eyes pop.
  • I usually recommend keeping manicures simple, and clean.
  • Do wear some kind of lip product. If your eyes are the focus, keep your lips in a subtle shade. A moisturizing lip product is better in the dry winter air,
  • I work with amazing makeup and hair ladies, if you would like their names, just ask!great hair and makeup looks

Posing & What to Expect at The Session

At a photoshoot with me, there will be some lightly directed posing, a few camera aware shots, and lots of play based shots too.

In colder temps I like to make sure our cars are relatively near by so that we can warm up, or duck into a coffee shop for a quick break is an option too.

Scheduling sessions near meal times, nap times and bed times is risky business for parents of small children. You know your kids best times, but luckily golden hour in the winter is much earlier; long before bedtime!

With children of any age, I cant guarantee their full participation, and I also dont want that to be a burden for you either.  Come with an open mind, and in general, lowered expectations of what you expect your kids to do, and also bring snacks. Snacks can be a game changer (just avoid super messy ones that will stain their clothes, hands or face.

Family Photos Owen Sound ON

Expect a stink face or two and you’ll have a better time yourself 🙂 Try too hard to change it, and you’ll wind up stressed and have a less awesome experience.

tree farm photos owen sound area

let them be little.

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let them explore.


Pets at Sessions 

I love when families or couples bring pets to sessions! Pets put people at ease by giving us something natural to engage with, and even take the focus off of us for a bit 😉

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  • Pets are like kids – you cant expect much from them at a photo shoot, so take the pressure off him or her (and yourself).
  • Also like kids, snacks are a good plan!
  • If you want some photos without your furbaby; bring along a friend or relative to keep him busy, or bring them to shelter if it is super cold.  Dont worry about me when it comes to pets – I have a ton of animals, and I have an Alaskan Malamute myself, so Im very pet friendly!
  • Lastly, consider pet hair. If you have a dog that sheds like Kira, its just good to note how it might transfer to your clothing.

Bottom line – This is a great opportunity to have fun with you family. Photo sessions are fun (or at least I like to think so!) and are a great time to bond and create memories.  When your kids see these photos on your walls or in albums, they will feel so special.

Stay tuned for shares of my “late fall family sessions”, which are now snowy, winter sessions lol! Still a space or 2 available, click here to see what its about!