“Hot” photo sessions in Cold weather-Engagement session pictures during the winter months
Many wedding clients who book engagement sessions with me think that they have to wait until spring before we can take romantic, fun, beautiful photos of them. If you have a sense of adventure, and are willing to be cold, but only for a little while, it can produce the most unique photos where you look cool…but not cold.
Some examples of two cold weather sessions, one at about 33 degrees and one at about 27 degrees and how we prepared for the sessions.
1. Location- If possible, choose a place where you have access to warmth at least temporarily.
Sean and Analiese made it look as if it was not a chilly 33 degrees outside and just had fun.
This session above was photographed in November in Shepherdstown, WVA, a small, eclectic college town with a super coffee shop/bakery, The Shepherdstown Sweet Shoppe Bakery (wvbakery.com). The temperature was about 33 degrees. We enjoyed the warmth of the busy bakery and had several hot teas before, during and after our session. Analiese even did a quick clothing change in their bathroom.
Notice Analiese’s jacket draped over the chair in the top photo. That jacket went right back on after the photos were taken and came off only after we had set up in our next location or pose. So you can remain warm while setting up, remove your jacket for the few minutes it takes to photograph and then put it back on when you become cold, or move on to the next area. Some people are comfortable in the cold.Sean chose to wear no jacket at all and managed to stay reasonably warm. Must have been all that cuddling!
As a photographer, you should also be familiar with the location so that you can go quickly, set up the shots and know that they will look fantastic. This is not the kind of weather to be experimenting in.
Amie and Chris take a break from the wind chilled day of 27 degrees inside an old barn.
My second example is from the engagement session of Amie and Chris in December farmland, with no commercial businesses. I did plan the session so that we walked only a short distance from the cars. Halfway in our round-trip trek, there was a barn. This was not only a rustic background, but it blocked us all from the wind, providing temporary relief.
2. Wear a Winter wardrobe and look super cute!
Remember lots of layers. It makes you warmer and after a few shots with everything on, you can start removing outer clothing, like jackets and have a completely different look.
Each couple dressed for the weather in different ways. Analiese and Sean wanted a more urban look to their images and Analiese looked gorgeous in her wool skirt, tights, scarf and hat. Sean’s sweater complimented her outfit perfectly. Cold weather clothes can be very fashionable and fun.
Also, keep the winter wind in mind when choosing your hair style and hair accessories. While there can be wind any time of year, winter seems to have more windy days. I always tell clients, after a rainy day, a windy day is one of the tougher elements to photograph in. It can have your hair flying every which way. So, use those cute hats, scarves, or accessories. Put it up in a pony tail or bun. If all that fails, I try to pose my clients so that the wind is working with your hair, blowing it back away from the face.
How cute is Analiese in her winter hat, scarf and tights?
Winter clothes can be used as props to add an element of playfulness to the photos.
Amie and Chris, who love the snow, decided on a more rural look. It was also much colder with a brisk wind. So they chose clothes that fit the weather but still looked stylish. Given the fact that I had them sitting in snow, I think it was the best choice!
Other benefits to cold weather is that your face has a rosy glow and looks smoother. Makeup will not run or smear in winter temperatures. Clothing can become props for interactive images and props can be brought in, like blankets, sleds, snowmen or steaming cups of hot chocolate, to incorporate some story-telling elements that give depth to the session.
So, don’t let the weather hold you back. Great photos can be made under most any weather condition with a little planning.