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Stay Cozy and Chic: How to Build Your Winter Photoshoot Outfit

I'm from the Midwest. And for myself and all people native to Ohio, it's pretty much common knowledge that winter is not the cutest season in the state.

However, with the right settings and style, the Buckeye state can still show off a bit and make for a cozy winter backdrop for your engagement photos. The snowy small towns, crisp breeze near the skylines, and romantic home settings can all provide the warmth to bring your memories to life.

Whether you're getting your photos done here or another winter wonderland, here are my tips to creating a winter look that's camera-ready this season.

1. Consider the locations first

When it comes to building a timeless winter look, I suggest starting with consideration of your location. What are the colors you'll be surrounded by? The neutral city streets? A snow covered field? A frozen waterfall? Will you be indoors in a studio or out and about downtown?

Once you know your where, it's easier to decide on your what.

For example, you might think a winter session is impossible because you'll be covered by a coat the whole time. However, if you have a few stops in the session (like to a coffee house, hotel lobby, or cocktail bar) you can create a layered look with both outfits in mind.

2. Consider neutrals and a pop of color

You know by now I love neutrals. What photographer doesn't? But when the lifeless streets of downtown mix with the grey wintery sky, it's reassuring to see some bright color again.

Maybe start with a neutral base—think black, mocha, camel, creams, beige, etc.—then build on a color accent or two. Maybe a mauve heel, classic red lip or scarf, pine green overcoat or a dusty pink nail accent. The gentleman's look can also encoporate a pop or two of a complimenting or matching color. Consider a matching tie, argyle sock, or even a cap with some light color pattern.

3. Textures (knit sweaters, denim, leather, suede, velour)

I say this for every season: you’ll feel more comfortable in front of the camera with the fabrics you already love on your body.

You know you best and what makes you feel like curling up on the couch for some shows and cider, so why not just pair it all together for a stylish fit your partner can't get enough of?

The best part is you can wear your coziest fit for a full day of errands before and for date night after your photo session.

4. Layer it up and down

Jackets, scarves, hats, quarter zips, you name it. Nothing screams coziness than layering up a storm. Here me out, even if you live in a warmer state where winter doesn't quite chill you to the bone as it does here, no one will know in your photos if you pull a jacket over and toss a hat on.

When my husband lived in LA he said that layering is a year round art, but especially in the fall and winter. And again, you can always lose the layers as you move in and outside of buildings.

Start with an outfit you love sans-coat, then add a classy pea coat or full body jacket. Adding a scarf, leather gloves, and maybe even swapping the shoes for boots or mules will take your look variety to a whole new place throughout the session.

5. Warmth is all around you

The number one thing that I hear from couple's during a winter photo session is that they'll do it for the shot and warm up later.

Because by the time you're out and about in front of a camera, you will sacrifice being a little chilly for the photos of your dreams.

And good news to you, I tend to carry hand warmers with my during these sessions that I can easily slip your way ;) Plus, what a great incentive to grab a latte afterwards to celebrate?


The truth is, winter is just as wonderful a time as any to get your photos done as any other.

There's sparkling Christmas decor up everywhere you go, the crowds tend to be fewer, and if you're lucky, you could catch a fresh dusting of snow that brings your relationship to life. Yes, you may get a bit chilly, but the memories you will make and the images you'll walk away with, will help melt away your cold thoughts, and warm your heart right back up.

Worth it.

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