What to Wear for Outdoor Winter Family Sessions

Hey there, friends! As a family photographer here in Columbia, SC, I get a lot of questions about what to wear for outdoor winter photo sessions. The cold temps can make outfit planning a little trickier. But have no fear – I’m here to share some tips to help you and your family members look amazing while staying cozy!

winter family sessions

Location Matters

First off, let’s talk about the location. Whether we’re shooting in the city, at a park, or out in a field, the surroundings will help guide your clothing choices. If there will be lots of greenery and trees, you may want to avoid wearing bright greens so you don’t blend in too much. On the other hand, neutral tones like tans, grays, and blues could complement woodsy backdrops beautifully.

Layer Up

My number one tip? Layer up! Lightweight sweaters, vests, jackets, tall boots – the more layers, the better. Not only will this keep you comfortable, but it adds great visual interest with all those textures. Plus, you can easily remove an outer layer if needed during the session.

winter family sessions

I recommend starting with a fitted base layer like a long-sleeved tee or slim turtleneck. Then add chunkier knits, vests, scarves – the possibilities are endless! Coordinating color palettes across your layers creates a cohesive look. Maybe mix it up with different shades or tones within the same color family.

Don’t Forget the Little Ones

Of course, those little munchkins need to be warm too! Dress them in easy layers like leggings or joggers with an onesie or long-sleeved shirt underneath. Little jackets, vests, hats, and mittens are both adorable and practical.

winter family sessions

And let’s be real – chances are those accessories may end up flung across the photo scene at some point. That’s totally okay! I’m prepared to roll with whatever your kiddos throw my way (sometimes literally!). We’ll have fun with it and capture all those genuine kid moments.


Accessories can really make your outfits pop. Fun hats, scarves, boots, and even throws or blankets add great visual interest. If you have a statement coat or jacket, work it! Those pieces give you that extra “oomph” factor.

winter family sessions

Don’t be afraid to incorporate prints, patterns, and textures too. A plaid scarf, cable knit sweater, or faux fur vest? Yes, please! Just be sure to balance it out so one person doesn’t have too many competing patterns.

winter family sessions

At the end of the day, my biggest tip is to choose outfits you feel confident and comfortable in. We’ll be strolling around, playing games, and snuggling up – so you’ll want clothes you can actually move and groove in. As long as you’re warm and having fun together as a family, those genuine smiles and connections will shine through!

winter family sessions

So, there you have it, my winter wear wisdom for our outdoor family photo sessions! Layering is key, have fun with accessories, and don’t stress too much. Just focus on being present with your loved ones while I capture those special memories. Can’t wait to see you all and create some winter magic!