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How to Plan for a Successful Winter Family Portrait Session.

It is no secret that Fall is the time of year when most people look to have family portraits done. There are beautiful colors, it is still warm and portraits make great Christmas presents.  But, if you are like most families and have done this over and over, it may be time to try another beautiful time of year for family portraits – Winter!

Snow Family Photos

Winter has a lot of challenges when it comes to family photos: it is cold and wet and sometimes looks dreary.  You may be thinking “I can’t even get my family to be happy about family pictures in the summer, so how can I get them to smile in the winter?”  Here are 4 things to consider when planning your Winter Family Portrait Session for the most success.

snow portrait family

Consider the Ages of the Children

Winter family photos with a baby can be very difficult.  It is almost impossible for young children to just deal with it.  Anything that makes them uncomfortable (ie. cold, hunger, fatigue) will make them ornery.  

Children of any age will do better if they have just had a good meal.  Your body will stay warmer if it has the fuel to keep it going. Plan on doing shorter photo sessions.  This is where a skilled photographer will be your friend. A photographer that needs to take a ton of pictures to get a few good ones will make for a miserable experience (this is more common than you think).  Planning on going for hot chocolate or another treat after the session may help the family endure just a little longer.

Winter Photoshoot Outfits

What you wear will be a big factor in the success of your session.  Remember, it is not summer. The last thing a young child (or adult for that matter) wants to do is take off their coat when it’s cold.  Wearing good boots, gloves, hats, and warm coats or sweaters can make all the difference in the world.

Time of day

It takes longer in the winter for the temperatures to rise.  Most families would consider it too cold for pictures before eleven in the morning.  It also gets dark much earlier in the evening. It is best to plan on starting your portrait session at least 2 hours before the sun sets.  

Location, Location, Location

There are several places that will look beautiful in the winter.  You can also find places that just look dead. A good photographer will be able to give you advice on where to go.  Locations that have evergreens or hard structure (rocks, brick, etc.) will look good. After a fresh snow, almost anything looks beautiful.  

It is Worth the Effort

Don’t let the challenges of a winter family portrait scare you from getting unique and beautiful family pictures.  With a little preparation and planning these portraits will be a great addition to your family portrait collection.

At Masterpiece Images we have a few winter photo safaris where we waive the session fee.  We have chosen some of the best locations so you don’t have to worry about them. These sessions are limited.  With the colder temperatures and the limited daylight, we are usually only able to do about 3 sessions per day.  You can see more details and availability Here.

We look forward to working with your family.