Tips For Cold Weather Family Photos | Boise Photographer

If you live in Idaho, you know that the weather can be totally extreme from one minute to another. Last year in November we had some days up in the 60’s and this year we had 8 inches of snow with temps below 20 degrees. Yet, it’s December 5th and we are back to normal again. 

This unpredictable weather can make planning for a family session pretty difficult so I wanted to put a little list together to help prepare for a session on a cold-weather day. 

tips for cold weather family photos

1. Dress Appropriately

  • Dressing warm on a cold day will not only keep the family happy, it will match the setting as well. You don’t want to be showing up in short-sleeved shirts when it is clearly snowing or 20 degrees outside. It just doesn’t look right.
  • Although wearing a coat may not be what you had in mind, you will be happy you have it. Kids are much happier when they are warm and we can get a lot better results/participation/smiles this way.  One way to deal with the coat situation a little better would be to find something a little dressier such as a peacoat. 
  • Hats can also be adorable for family photos. I would recommend this for boys, as their ears are more exposed and tend to turn red pretty quickly. 


  • I cannot emphasize gloves enough! In my years of shooting, I’ve noticed the quickest way to get a grumpy child is for them to have cold hands. 

3. Shoes

  • In the winter, chances are there will either be snow on the ground or the ground will be wet. Having appropriate shoes for the outdoors in Boise is essential. It’s most important when there is snow on the ground. Cold feet = grumpy kids.

4. Expect Rosy Noses

  • Noses tend to be a little more on the rosy side for family photos in the winter. You know what, that’s okay. I try to edit them out a little but there is no way of completely hiding those rosy noses. But hey, it’s winter! 

5. Expect a Faster Session

  • On cold days we will shoot fast. I’ve found that most of my favorite images on these days tend to be the ones taken within the first 15 minutes. 
  • Sometimes we will head back to the car to warm everyone up for about 10 minutes. That will usually buy us some more time. 

6. Consider Shooting in Your Home

  • I’m an on-location shooter, which means I don’t have a studio for bad weather days (nor do I want one!). On days where it is really cold we may consider shooting in the home. It can be a fun lifestyle session where we jump on the bed and snuggle on the couch and drink hot cocoa.  

That is all I can think of at the moment. Winter family sessions can be so pretty when prepared for them, so consider some of these when heading out on a cold day! 

Do you have any other suggestions for winter photo planning? I’d love to hear your ideas!



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