How to Stay Warm During Your Outdoor Winter Photo Session | Park Rapids Family Photographer


Living in Northern Minnesota, winter is a harsh reality at times. Very few days will be above freezing during this season and, even when they are, the “feels-like" temp may not be. There are many reasons to embrace the outdoors for your next photo session: Maybe you really love winter, are due with a baby soon, just got engaged, or maybe you want to record a milestone like baby’s first birthday. But how do you stay warm during an outdoor winter photo shoot?

I run my sessions as quickly as possible, especially when children are involved or the temperatures are not ideal. Many of my clients are surprised I am able to work so quickly with such stunning results. If you are considering an outdoor winter session, here are some tips to make the most of it and stay warm.


First and foremost, dress in layers! Thermal tops and bottoms provide added warmth to keep your body heat in. Ideas for layering: thermal tops, long sleeve shirts, cardigans or sweaters, thermal bottoms or leggings underneath pants, and extra socks (if you are wearing boots). You can always take layers off if you get too hot.

Accessorize with purpose, and embrace the season. You can add extra warmth with scarves, shawls, hats, mittens, vests, leg warmers, and boots. Scarves and shawls add interest and serve a purpose by keeping you a little warmer; wearing a hat will prevent heat loss and keep your head warm; and mittens or gloves will keep your fingers from freezing.


Warm up with a blanket and coat. These two things will help keep you warm in between shots. While you don’t need to wear your coat in the photos, a blanket may add an element of interest to your photo shoot.

Snuggle up. If you are taking photos with your loved ones, get close. Snuggling up will add closeness and connection in your photos as well as keep your body heat together. A shawl or blanket can be used for this purpose as well.


Take breaks to warm up. Sometimes you really just need to warm up inside. Select a location that will allow you to do so, such as your home or a field where you can keep a vehicle running and warm. Doing so will allow the flexibility to take short breaks indoors, offering another way to warm up between shots.

Bring hand-warmers. Having hand-warmers can aid in warming up fingers, which tend to get cold first.


Have a thermos with a warm beverage. Hot cocoa, warm tea, coffee, and hot apple cider are delicious ways to warm you from the inside out. Sharing a cup of hot cocoa can also add a unique element to your photos.

Reschedule. If the temperature or the wind chill is just too cold, it is best to reschedule your session, particularly if there are children involved. Leading up to your session, we will check the forecast. Together, we can make a decision on whether conditions are favorable or not. You don’t want to freeze outside, and neither do I!

Ready for your adventure?