What to Wear for Outdoor Winter Portraits

What to Wear for Outdoor Winter Portraits

Ottawa Portrait Photographer | Little Lamb Photography

So, it’s the fall and winter is around the corner. You’ve either just booked an outdoor winter portrait session or you’re thinking about booking one. However, you’re sure of what to wear for outdoor winter portraits. Today is your lucky day because this post is written just for you!

As a natural light photographer, I love, love, love shooting outdoor portraits. I actually shoot them all year round. Why not? Canada has four beautiful and distinct seasons. Today I’m going to be addressing the winter season and how to dress stylish, yet warm for your outdoor winter session. This advice can be used for any sort of outdoor winter portrait session. I’ve shot maternity, engagement, wedding and baby photos outside in the winter. The winter wonderland look is just so breathtaking. You just need to dress warm enough, while still looking stylish.



Since the winter landscape will mostly be white snow with evergreen trees, deep colours stand out very well against the white and dark green colours. I suggest blues, purple, red, burgundy, grey or brown tones. Black is fine as well as long as you’re not wearing too much of it. After all, you don’t want your black clothes to get lost amongst the dark green of the pine trees. And since there will most likely be snow in the background, avoid wearing too much white or cream or else you’ll blend right in with the snow.

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One thing I will mention is if you decide to wear darker tones, make sure that not everyone is wearing dark shirts, or else you’ll blend in together and it will be hard to see the outlines of each person’s shape (this is especially vital for maternity sessions because you want that bump to show clearly.)



Textured fabric photographs beautifully. Think regular or cable knit sweaters, wool and tweed. One thing I will say is that if you’re going to wear a sweater, don’t choose one that has been washed too many times. You know the kind I’m talking about–the sweater that is covered in lint balls. Lint balls photograph horribly in photos–especially close up shots.


Keep Warm:

If wearing a coat, keep it classy. Think: classic tailored wool coat, peacoat, tweed coat or leather jacket. I highly recommend that you don’t wear ski jackets, sports jackets, bomber jacket, parka, and old coats in general.


If you choose not to wear a winter coat, I suggest that you layer up to keep warm. You can wear a sweater with a vest. Leggings can be worn under a dress or a long sweater. Or wear long johns under your pants. Wool socks will help to keep your toes toasty warm, as well as the right footwear. Experimental farm winter maternity photos ottawa maternity photographers4


In winter, you can keep your feet warm, dry and stylish in a nice pair of winter boots. If you choose to wear shoes, make sure that they’ll keep your feet warm and dry. Please DO NOT wear running shoes. I loathe seeing running shoes worn in the snow. It’s completely impractical. The fabric isn’t meant for the cold or wet and the tread isn’t meant to walk on snow or ice. And it just looks like crap.


Make sure your shoes are clean and not scuffed up. Boots look AMAZING in winter and fall maternity photos.

Oh yes, before I forget, if your socks are going to be seen in the photos at all, then do not wear white socks! They are a total fashion faux pas. Just say no to white socks. End of story.


There’s plenty of winter accessory options to let you look stylish, while keeping warm. You can pair a cute pair of mittens or gloves with a toque. Scarves are also a nice touch.

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If you want to book an outdoor winter portrait session, I’d love to hear from you. I love shooting outdoors, creating a winter wonderland style session. Contact me to today.  🙂

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