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How to Prepare for a Cold Weather Portrait Session

Whether we're meeting for an engagement, family, or pet portrait session, here's a quick list of things to think about or plan on bringing for a cold-weather session.


  • Water resistant bag/tote to hold your things.  If the ground is damp, your things will stay dry.  Shopping totes are great for this, or gym bags.  

  • Layers!  I'd rather you be warm between photos, and take breaks to put winter coats on to get warm, than look miserably cold in the photos.  If you don't want to wear the coats in the photos, we can throw them in the tote close by, but then wear the coats between shooting locations. 

  • Comfy/warm walking shoes.  If you want to wear heels for the photos, lovely, but bring some warm fluffy boots that you can slip on between shooting locations, especially if there's snow! 

  • A hat and gloves - again, depending on weather, it's better to look cute, snuggly, and warm, than show off skin and be miserable.  And, the added layers are great for between shooting locations. 

  • Warm drinks, like coffee or tea, in thermoses.  If it's really cold, it might help keep you warm.  

  • Chap stick and tissues. 

  • Over-layers to change up the outfit, or a completely new outfit (geared towards couples and engagement sessions). Bringing a different colored blazer, jacket, sweater, coat, scarf, or button up can create a different look without taking too much time to change completely. Clients who choose to bring two separate outfits typically wear their formal outfit to start, and change into their casual one for the second half of the session.

  • Any special props or items that are significant to you and your loved ones. If you want to bring a sign, ring box, sonogram photo, portrait - that's beautiful, and we'd love to include that in some of your photos.

  • A blanket for sitting shots. In case the ground is cold or wet, I recommend bringing a blanket that matches the look you're going for, so you can sit on steps or the ground comfortably without worrying about your attire getting dirty.


  • Something you feel comfortable and confident in. If you're worried about your skirt being too short your your button up being too tight, you'll feel self-conscious for the photo session, and that's no fun! Wear items you love and feel comfortable in.

  • Light or bold colors without small patterns. Large patterns a fun and beautiful, but very small patterns may be difficult to discern in the photos.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Leave phones and extra keys either in your tote bag, or in the car (if it's safe to do so). It's heartbreaking when the photo is perfect except for a bulging phone in a pocket.

  • If you're bringing another outfit to change into, scope out spots you'd be comfortable changing in (cafes, public restrooms in hotels, etc.) before the session.

  • Research parking close to the locations, especially if there is snow on the ground - the parking spots may be limited due to snow emergencies or spots used as snow storage.

Let us know if you'd like to book a winter wonderland session this season!


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