Winter Photo Shoots

Why are we talking about winter photo shoots?! In our dreams, we’d rather just disappear to southern Italy for the entire winter season. Alas, we have dogs and people we love here, in this cold snow globe of a place. And yeah, if you push us, we’ll admit that we, too, love Erie. It’s beautiful so how could we not?

The weather! That’s how not! (Okay… we apologize. Some of you, for some strange reason, love winter. That’s clearly not us. But we’re trying, and we’re here to help you capture some of that love. Onward…)

A winter photo shoot for the family, for yourself by yourself, for a group of friends, for an engagement session… these could all be not just fun but unique. And the photos could be used in so many different ways, from Christmas and holiday cards to (obviously) all the usual suspects like framed prints on the wall and then even for your social media*.

(*This is your reminder that if you have social media associated with your business or work in this world, personal photos are a great way to build relationships. People love, you know, real people.)

Besides a wide variety of ideas for what you winter photo shoot could look like, we’ll also share some tips for winter photo shoots to make the whole thing more pleasant and even tolerable for those who aren’t so crazy about being outside in the snow and cold.

Winter photo shoots

Holiday specific ideas

Some of these are extra great because they take place… inside. ((laughing)) And then your photographer will be more comfortable and that’s what matters. ((humor)) Here’s a tip: If you want a really happy photographer, all it takes is a tiny bit of whisky … but not in front of the kids, of course.

  • To start, decorating. This is a no-brainer, right? And this works great especially if you do not have a control freak in the family who will lose their mind if the ornaments, lights, and decorations are not placed at even intervals on the tree and mantle.
  • Visiting Santa. Have you tested Santa on the kids? Because if not, some of these photos will only be good for the humorous memories you can later share with their to-be spouses.
  • Going to pick out a tree. (Now we’re approaching the outdoors ideas. Sigh.) And again, think about this event clearly before you decide on this one. Is there usually some sort of kerfuffle about the size of the tree and the types of needles?
  • Or going to cut down a tree. We all know how this can end up going very badly, but if you’ve got a true woodsman in your family, go for it.

Those are all basic, let’s get more creative

  • Baking cookies. This one is GREAT! (Mostly because then your photographer can test said cookies.) But really, activity based photo shoots take away a lot of the self consciousness that can crop up during straight up portrait sorts of sessions.
  • Incorporate your animals. And if you have the sort that will tolerate this, please make sure to dress them up!
  • Wrap yourselves up! Whether in wrapping paper and bows or lights! Have fun! And babies (or animals) in boxes? Classic!
  • Head somewhere that has a Christmas event. Like the zoo or a neighborhood that really does up the lights or a park that has a special nighttime walk (we have plenty of those).
  • Have a snowball fight! And build a snowman or snow fort. To make it holiday, everyone could wear Santa hats.
  • Embrace ugly sweaters. Do it. ((ha))
  • If you are really a planner, take some Santa hats with you when you go on vacation over the summer.

Winter photo shoots

Winter photo shoots based on fun movies

This might take a bit more on the planning side but it could be really worth it. If you have a favorite that we’ve not listed, we’d love to hear about it!

  • There are so many classic scenes in A Christmas Story that it would be hard to pick, but we’ve seen a leg lamp or two around town that you could probably borrow!
  • Another classic, Christmas Vacation could be extra fun if you’re putting up outdoor lights.
  • ELF! We mean, come on!
  • We’d love to see what people could do to pay homage to Home Alone.
  • And finally, here’s a top 20 Christmas movies video that you could scour for ideas.

General winter photo shoot ideas

Warning: we will need warm clothes and boots. (Do you hear how much that excites us?)

  • Draw something in the snow. A heart. Your name. Anything that speaks to you and creates a fun backdrop.
  • Go skiing… we couldn’t actually follow you down the mountain but we could get some cool shots at the bottom of the mountain. Or in the lodge… yeah… the lodge.
  • Play a game in the snow. Aren’t there those families that play flag football in all weather?
  • Make snow angels.
  • Go sledding! Even just somewhere like Frontier Park would be a blast.
  • Lake’s Edge. There is never a season that the peninsula is not a great shoot location. Even in the winter. Or maybe especially. The scenery is so dramatic and can be almost… alien.
  • Do you ice skate? Is it time to teach the kids or another adult? We promise those photos will be amazing. (And probably funny.)
  • And remember to incorporate your dogs! In sweaters!

What do you love to do in the winter? That’s really the question. Some of you will say, “Stay inside,” and that’s legit, but maybe there’s a way to embrace this time of year and become more playful with it. (Since there’s so much of it… grumble grumble…)

Winter photo shoots

Tips for winter photo shoots

  • Above all, stay warm. Duh. We are smart alecks. But really. Make sure you wear lots of layers and socks and good boots and hats.
  • Have warm beverages on hand.
  • And have snacks at the ready. Being outside in the cold can make anyone hungry. (There’s a positive of being outside in the cold: you burn more calories.)
  • Bring blankets. Whether for the shoot or for after.
  • Be flexible with scheduling. We certainly won’t proceed if there’s a big storm.
  • Really consider how long you can be outside if you’re not participating in an activity.
  • Finally, consider an activity versus traditional posing because everyone will stay more comfortable for a longer time.

Top Tip: Do something that you will ENJOY! Always! We should never feel like we’re forcing ourselves to look like we’re having fun.

And remember, as they say in Northern Europe: there is no bad weather, just bad clothing. ((grrrr)) or rather ((brrrrr))