Dressing for winter family photos can be tricky. Understandably, these seasonal images are often missing from family photo albums. Canada is a country that endures four months of winter with so much snow and perfect, white-covered places. I cannot say enough how beautiful these scenes can make your family photos look. When completing your winter family photos, you will first and foremost need some determination. If you already have your mindset on the photo session, this is really all that you need.
A perfect example of beautiful winter photos is Diana’s winter family session. For this, she managed to coordinate her two sisters with all their kids and spouses, in addition to their parents. Although the day came with a lot of snow and reduced visibility, the memories attached to those awesome photos are certainly one-of-a-kind.
While photographing Diana’s family, I noticed a few details to keep in mind when it comes to dressing for your winter family photos. Here are the top 5 most important suggestions I have learned along the way.
Multi-layers of clothes for winter family photos
My experience in dressing for winter activities with my kids (as well as myself) has taught me that is it is very important to dress in layers. Having many layers is the smartest way to plan for your session. This gives the versatility to remove, add, or experiment with various combinations. You’ll be prepared no matter the situation, the weather, or while coordinating with other family members.
Having extra layers also gives you options for if you get wet due to the snow, sweat, or slush. It’s always best to have them available in case anyone gets wet by accident (or on purpose!)
If you want to wear your favourite shirt or sweater, make sure you wear thin layers underneath. You will want to stay warm and coordinated while minimizing added bulk.
Bring Waterproof shoes
Your feet are often the first part of your body to get cold. And sessions can quickly go downhill when dealing with cold, wet feet. Your best footwear choice for winter family photo sessions is winter boots. These keep you dry and warm and full of smiles. However, if you would like to get fancy, make sure the shoes you wear are treated with a water repellent or sealer and you bring extra shoes along too. Trust me, this just might save the day!
Winter session accessories, props, and toys
Having a nice hat, shawl, gloves, or other accessories with you will certainly keep you warm. At the same time, you will have an opportunity for different looks and possibilities to enhance your winter family session images too!
Some other items to consider bringing with you to your session would be a few toys, hockey sticks or winter game accessories to keep the kids entertained and having fun. In addition to adding joy to your session, these items can help create a memorable experience for everyone. This may even add incentive for your kids to cooperate again at a future session after they had so much during this one.
However, it’s important to be mindful to not bring out too many accessories or toys at the same time. It’s best if they come out individually so that each can be used to its full advantage and the experience will not get too overwhelming.
Dogs at your winter family session
It’s a great idea to have your dogs join your winter family photo session. They complement the photos, add life to the session, and give the kids something to do. If you assign your child to look after the dog, it will keep them both busy and out of trouble. Just remember to keep in mind how long your dog is able to tolerate being outside. You wouldn’t want their paws to get cold or hurt.
Breaks and downtime:
Finally, I highly recommend taking breaks during family winter photo sessions. Snack breaks are essential when you are working with kids, dogs, as well as fathers too! No one feels cooperative when they are hangry!
Additionally, warm-up breaks are also essential. Depending on the temperature and how much it is snowing, taking a break can help you extend the amount of time everyone can be comfortable outside. During these breaks, you can warm up under an extra blanket, have a snack, swap out of some wet clothes, and perhaps have a thermos of a hot liquid ready to go. Keeping everything handy in your vehicle for these quick breaks will help to keep your stress levels down. Preparation goes a long way and can keep those smiles.
Diana’s winter family photos
Diana’s winter family photo session was so much fun to be a part of! You can see here how we were able to work with eight adults, four teenagers, a toddler, a baby, and one small and one big dog too! Additionally, it was snowing so much this day, that we needed to take turns using some of the sheltered areas. We had to do that so I could see them through the thick snow that was stacking up on the ground and everything else. However, through all this, there was so much happiness and excitement which helped everyone do their part to make this large family photo session so successful. A fun fact is that this location was the very one where I photographed Diana and Sebastian’s wedding photos years before. Five years later we visited the same spot but now with their new additions and enlarged family.
To make it even more special, this was a surprise for Diana’s parents. In the end, they received a large canvas as a gift from their three daughters. I had so much fun with this group and am pleased that I was able to create some magic for Diana and her “famiglia” with these winter family photos.
- Photos taken by Dragi Andovski, published ©2022 DA Photography
- Photo Location: Vellore Hall Park, Woodbridge, ON
- DA Photography Families on Instagram
- For more inspirations and choice of location check our photography locations tips page.
- Want to see some more photos of Diana and Sebastian? Check theirs engagement blog post.