Y’all...there is no denying that this time of year is just downright COLD! Luckily, we’re experiencing a bit of a heatwave in DC at the moment, but for the last couple of weeks, our temps have been hovering waaay below freezing. I had so many sweet couples book their engagement sessions for the winter, and as a result, got to learn so much about sessions in the cold weather!
Most recently, I had an engagement session when it was 12 degrees and WINDY and an anniversary session where it couldn’t have been more than 17 degrees! It’s SO easy to book these dates on your calendar when it is warm, but then when it rolls around and you see the temperatures slowly creeping down, what on earth do you do? First, don’t panic! Second, read the tips below for some advice on how to successfully survive your winter session--I promise the cold isn't as bad as it seems (and it makes the snuggles so much better!)!
This sounds silly, but be honest with yourself! Are you a cold weather person?
I’ll be the first to admit that if I could live in a climate where it is a steady 85 degrees year round, I would be the happiest human! It is so important that you look at and understand how you interact with different temperatures and climates before booking a winter session. Even if it is not freezing in the literal sense, it is still going to be COLD! If your fingers and toes tend to go numb quickly or you tend to get irritated in lower temperatures (raising my hand over here, y’all!), I always recommend waiting to schedule your session until a warmer time of year! Snow is gorgeous, but your comfort is so much more important!
Dress for the weather.
This is probably the most important tip I can give you! There is nothing is worse than not having enough clothes to keep you warm! This is why I always, always, always recommend layering like crazy for a winter session. Wear your cute outfit underneath layers of coats, sweaters & blankets. That way, we can throw off the layers to shoot and bundle up in between locations! A cute peacoat with a scarf is a great (and WARM!) addition to any winter look and as a bonus? You get TWO looks for the price of one! Be sure to pack your gloves!
The right shoes are key!
Ladies...dig out those old dirty Uggs from your college days! Warm toes are absolutely key when it comes to winter sessions. I promise I won’t photograph you in your slippers—bring your pretty pair of shoes to pop on while we’re shooting! In between locations, slip on your warm shoes. Your toes will thank you later!
Pack your hand warmers!
I’m pretty sure my NYE weekend could have been sponsored by HotHands! With two sessions and second shooting a wedding, I’m pretty sure there was a point where I had about 6-10 pairs of hand warmers in my pockets for clients & a bridal party. I’ve noticed that most of my couples don’t love being photographed in gloves (after all, you’ve gotta be able to show off that pretty ring!), and so, your hands are literally just hanging out in the freezing air! You will be SO happy during your session when you reach into your pockets in between frames and find them twice as warm, thanks to your hand warmers! As a bonus: pop a set of toe warmers into your pretty pair of shoes! I’ve found that these don’t work as well as hand warmers, but they still do help keep your toes from going numb!
I have about three or four sub points on this note, so hang with me! It’s going to be COLD...there’s no way around that! First, I please remember: Weather is pretty unpredictable. But, winter weather is even more so! It is so important that you are able to stay flexible if you opt for a session during the colder months. Snow, ice and wind often make for dangerous conditions when traveling to and from locations. If the roads are going to be bad, rescheduling may need to happen! Safety first, y’all! Second, brainstorm a few wardrobe ideas that you absolutely love and be willing to swap the week before! Find a few outfits for different temperature ranges that you absolutely love. Keep an eye on the temperature and choose the one that you think you will be most comfortable in! Lastly, keep your vision flexible! Snow melts & leaves fall from trees! It is so important to keep your mind open to the possibility that the environment may look a little different than it does in your mind's eye! If you have a vision, communicate it to me, so we can work together to make it happen!
Bonus tip: plan a WARM date to follow your session--think a cafe with a big fireplace or a coffee house. Having the opportunity to warm up will feel SO good after being out in the elements!