I cannot believe Christmas is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is in just a couple days away and fall starts to come to an end. As sad as I am seeing the trees loosing their gorgeous colored leaves, I cannot wait for a nice cold winter. I love playing in the snow with our pup and drink hot chocolate every night. :) And I cannot wait for all my winter sessions AND fully booked Christmas minis.
I know how difficult it can be to pick an outfit for such a cold time of the year and it even harder if you are planning outfits for an entire family. So today, I would like to help you plan your session. There are a few things I always consider when it comes to a session in the winter.
First: What look do you want to achieve?
After seeing all these pretty fall colors, winter seems more neutral and 'naked'. The nice things in the wintertime are evergreens with include Christmas trees! :) Winter colors can range from green and red to neutral tones. Combining these combinations looks great with greens and brown tones in the background. I will go into more detail later when we talk about outfits, but keep this in mind when you think about the overall look of your photos. My photography style is light and airy but a lot of dark tones will add more contrast to the images which darkens them as well.
Second: Time of the day
As daylight saving time hits in November, it gets dark pretty early. I still love sunrise and sunset hours because it just makes you glow. The nice thing about the sun in winter is that it doesn't get as strong and bright as the midday sun in July. One thing I always try to avoid is direct sunlight in your faces, because the last thing we need is your eye tearing up or closing, so this time of the day just leaves us with the perfect amount of soft sunlight. I totally understand if those are the times of day you feel uncomfortable or just can't make it work. In that case we should find a place with lots of trees to give us natural shade (more to that topic in the next section).
For winter sessions, I always love places that provide evergreens or open fields for some color and contrast in the background but I also look for details like fences, brick stairs or houses/barns. It allows us to definitely get the this gorgeous winter green on the background, but also have an option to keep some the photos more neutral.
Oh man, let's be honest... It is so hard to choose an outfit and not to mention outfits for the entire family. As I mentioned above, winter colors are not just green and red, but also neutral like beige, cream, a blush or even a light charcoal. My tip: try to choose your primary colors (2-3) and build around them. That gives you the option of matching the outfits, but still having differences between them. AND YES, please wear different patterns. Plaid, stripes, shapes, flowers and solid work all great together. Dresses and skirts add a flow between the outfits as well and please don't be afraid to wear boots (YES even rain boots) with them. Scarfs are my go to in the winter as well as a pretty hat and will look great on photos. They also make nice little blankets to snuggle in with your love. Accessories always leave a statement as well.
And at last: props
Cozy blankets, wreath, signs, little tree set ups, ornaments and anything else you can think of that relates to winter and christmas make great props and can be included in the session.