Planning A Winter Family Photo Session in the Upper Peninsula: 6 Tips
Some people shy away from winter family sessions because, well, it’s cold. However, winter makes for prime memory making moments (especially living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where snow is what we are known for!), so don’t write off the brr months!
1. Keep tracking the weather.
Those white winter days after a lot of snowfall can result in some seriously gorgeous photographs, especially when it hangs heavy on the pines!
I recommend booking your winter family pictures approximately two weeks before you want to have your session. In addition, I will mark down two dates for you right off the bat (2-3 days apart) in case of extra-inclement weather on the first planned day. If the weather prediction has a wind chill of much below zero we will definitely reschedule so we don’t freeze!
In my experience, the two best websites to track the weather in the Keweenaw Peninsula are Accuweather.com and JohnDee.com. John Dee is a meteorologist who lives here in the Copper Country, so he really knows the area!
2. Dress For the Weather
This is the time to really play up the winter accessories when planning outfits. Think cozy knit scarves, colorful coats, adorable boots, mittens and more! The tips I have for coordinating outfits for family pictures still apply, but this will be the time your outerwear and accessories will be on display!
3. Give Some Thought To The Plan For The Day
Plan the day out so that nobody gets fussy or too cold. Make sure that everyone is dressed warmly from the start. I work pretty quickly to get all the shots we need before the chill sets in, but it’s a big help when no one is cold to start! A bribe of hot chocolate after the session also goes a long way!
One downside to a winter family photo session in the Upper Peninsula (or anywhere in the winter) is the weather “side effects.” Noses tend to run in the cold, and glasses may fog up. Bring tissues, hand-warming packs, clean clothes and hot beverages to keep everyone perky throughout the shoot. My favorite way to beat the winter cold is HotHands foot insoles!
4. Don’t be afraid to have fun in that snow!
Snowball fights? Snowman building? Angels? The possibilities are endless and this should be all about having fun.
I always blend a mix of poses and prompts into your portrait session, but even more in the winter we focus on PLAY! The more we can keep moving, the less you will think about the cold.
5. Choose colors and prints that pop.
An all-white background is absolutely beautiful. Take full advantage of this by adding some color to your outfits! Pops of red and blue or a flash of gingham can really make for a gorgeous photograph.
6. Upper Peninsula winter family photo sessions are shorter.
Finally, I find the ideal time frame for a winter family session is 30 minutes. We will maximize the images you receive by using every single second to the max, especially at the beginning of the session when everyone’s still warm and spirits are particularly high. (This is a great way to bribe family members who aren’t as excited about the session as you, too!)