What to wear for your outdoor winter photo session – Calgary outdoor family photographer

This is a common question that I hear from almost every client….


Well, I think I can help with that. First of all, consider the time of year and where your photos will be taken. Let’s talk about outdoor winter photos since that is what we would be dealing with right now.

  1. Be yourself!!  You want to wear something that you feel comfortable in.  If you are feeling good and are wearing something that really is “you”, then you will feel comfortable during the shoot and not even be thinking about what you have put on.
  2. Consider the time of year and where your session will take place. Outdoors in the winter for example: wear layers that go together and not your warmest, bulkiest winter puff jacket. Yes, you want to be warm, but you want to be able to recognize who is under all of that clothing! Layering is the key, and if gloves and hats are needed (hats can really add to a photo as well), make sure they “go” with the overall look you are going for and look nice.  Again, do not pull out your thickest puffy ski gloves and toque that completely envelopes your face!
  3. No matchy matchy!  It is always great to “go” with the other people in your photo shoot, which means wearing items that have a similar feel (casual, relaxed) without being all the same color or pattern.  It looks best when there are a variety of colors (again, that “go” together) with a bit of added pattern thrown in. This can be done with layering by wearing shirts under sweaters, adding fashionable scarves and wearing warm, but thinner jackets if needed that do not hide the person underneath.  A variety of colors can mean choosing one or two colors and dressing everyone in different tones of those colors.
  4. Be aware of what is on your clothing. Avoid clothing that has any prominent logos, characters and writing showing. This can be a major distraction.  We want to see you, not the brand of clothing you are wearing.
  5. No bold, crazy patterns. When I say add a bit of pattern, do not go with wild, bold patterns that can cause a distraction.
  6. Many people forget about their feet!  Make sure you are wearing shoes/boots that look nice (no bulky boots) and are clean.  Awkward, muddy footwear can really stand out in an image. Stick with simple, black or brown.
  7. Hair and makeup – again, just be yourself.  I don’t suggest trying to do something completely different with your look as this can backfire.  Do what you normally do with a little more polish!
  8. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Usually for family photos, you want to keep it casual.  If one person didn’t get the memo and shows up in his best suit while everyone else is wearing nice jeans and casual tops, you can imagine how that would look!

Need some inspiration? Check out THIS family who pulled everything together for their outdoor winter family session.  I think you will agree that they look fantastic! 

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