Winter portraits are one of our favourite things to do: the starkness of the landscape really brings your focus to the subjects. Despite the cold, winter portraits can produce some of the warmest photos: people naturally get in closer to warm up, or they rediscover their inner child as they toss a few snowballs. The thing is, winter portraits require more planning than the other seasons. Here are a few tips to getting the most out of your winter shoot.
DO: Dress Appropriately No matter how much you enjoy the cold, it takes its toll. When it comes to footwear, sacrifice fashion for the sake of function. So far as coats go, try to avoid bulky ones; they can be unflattering in photos.
DON’T: Plan to be out long Unless you’re traveling to multiple locations, winter portraits err on the shorter side. Depending on everyone’s tolerance for the cold, bank on fifteen to twenty minutes at the most.
DO: Be Bold Winter settings tend to be full of muted colours. While earth tones look fantastic, don’t be shy about busting out some vibrant reds, purples or greens. They really jump out and provide a huge burst of color.
DON’T: Push Past Limits Portraits are meant to be fun. Don’t push yourselves or any little ones past their limits. The aim is for beautiful photos, not catching a cold. If you’re planning a longer portrait, pick a location where people can go inside and warm up, even if it’s simply tucking into the car for a few minutes.
DO: Consider Indoors If you’re doing a mix of indoor and outdoor photos, do the indoor ones first. If you do the opposite, then people are cold, flushed and disheveled. Doing the first set of photos indoors allows people to get comfortable with the photographer and used to posing closer together than they might do normally.
DON’T: Wing It
With the limited time you have available, it’s not ideal to try and figure out what you’re willing to do while you’re already outside. Discuss your ideas with your photographer before the shoot: Are you willing to throw snowballs? Make snow angels? Bring up what you are and aren’t willing to do before the shoot so you can get what you want in the limited time frame.
In conclusion, winter portraits take more planning the other three seasons, but the results can be absolutely breathtaking.