2018 marks the coldest start to spring I can remember. After barely snowy, but still wet winter, it snowed on the second day of spring. I’m not usually one to rush out into the snow–but if I can take photos, that changes my perspective about the cold stuff.
With the snow prediction looming the day before, there was time to arrange a quick maternity photo session for our snow day. It was cold, of course–but worth it!
Snow photos are among my favorite type of outdoor photos. It is SO cold out there, but the results are so pretty that it’s worth the temporary freeze. In addition to just plain being worth it, I have a few tips and tricks to share that may help keep you warmer than just tossing on a dress and running to play in the snow.
Last March, we happened to have a very late cold snap and late snow. It worked out well that I also had 2 friends who I knew wanted maternity photos taken in the snow. Jess and DJ made it out for couple maternity photos in the snow. One friend of mine, Justine, is also a photographer over at Fluttering Shutter Photography. She and I met up with our good friend Blaire with Second Ave Photography. I absolutely love the way both of these sessions turned out.
Planning your session:
Snow photos can be hard to plan if you live in an area like Northern Virginia. We get snow but it is often unpredictable as to when or how much we might get. If you want snowy family photos, or will be pregnant during the winter months of December to March (yes, even March) and have snow maternity photos on your wish list, email me well in advanced. We can get started on the booking process and I will put you on a list so that I know to call you when snow is in the forecast. Unlike most maternity sessions, snow sessions are taken when mother nature allows. Luckily work from home days, or days off usually go hand in hand with snow days. Maternity photos are suggested between 32-36 weeks, but there is wiggle room to that based on your own personal preference.
Excitement and fear of melting snow might make you think to run out at sight of first flakes, but good snow cover is suggested. It is best to wait until the snow stops falling, mostly for your own safety. If heavy weather is predicted, sit back and wait for the roads to clear. With good snow fall, photos can be taken the day, or even 2 days after it snows. This is typically how you get slightly warmer weather and also get snow. There is still sometimes wind the day after, which can be just as cold.
Aim for the warmer times of day. Solar noon is typically the warmest weather you can find in the winter. Typically snow comes with large clouds and very overcast days so it is safe to shoot at peek sun and get nice results. The snow will reflect nice diffuse light on your face, in addition to heavy cloud cover doing the same from above. You can absolutely take photos during golden hour, just before sunset but it will be colder.
Dress the part:
Snow maternity photos are best paired with a pretty gown and that can be done without freezing off a toe. Family photos are a bit easier to bundle for but most of these rules apply or can be adapted. Just like you would when going sledding, layer up. Dresses are long for a reason. I suggest wearing leggings, good socks and snow boots under your dress. I personally have a pair of Under Armor active cold gear leggings that I managed to shimmy into when I was pregnant. If you have something similar, dig them out of the closet for photos. If not, any leggings will do. It is important to make sure any under layers are not showing through your dress. This includes the waist band of leggings, or even your bra. A selection of my prop dresses are long sleeved, you can take your pick from what I have, or bring your own, but long sleeves make a world of difference out in the snow. If you have pretty fur or faux fur, bring it with you for an extra layer and extra fancy look. Bring your warmest coat and plan to put it on and take it off between photos and walking from location to location. You can also wear ear muffs and gloves in between as well. Just be mindful of hair and makeup when choosing something to cover your ears.
You will want to stay near a heated home, or at minimum a car with the heat on and plan to take breaks. My in-home studio is surrounded by a wooded lot and very close to a walking trail. It is perfect for popping in and out for snow day photos. Your photographer will be in layers and likely won’t get cold as fast as you do. If you are too cold and putting your coat on for a few isn’t cutting it, tell your photographer so that you can stop and warm up. Your comfort is worth 5 minutes if you need it!
Embrace the cold:
Aside from dressing the part and planning your best, there isn’t much you can do about the fact that snow is just cold. Sometimes it is fun to simply snuggle up too. Plan to cuddle in jackets, or a blanket with your significant other. It provides a different look and feel on top of an elegantly styled session.
Are snow family or maternity photos on your pregnancy bucket list? Email me! Contact me here!
Some of my closest friends are having their first babies this year. It has been really fun to watch them on this journey, and celebrate with them. As the resident “veteran mom” of this circle of friends (it makes me giggle a little to refer to myself that way), it is fun to watch them grow into motherhood in their own respective ways.
I met Millie 10 ish years ago when we both worked for USA TODAY and what was then Gannett (the company has since gone through some structural and name changes since.) She tells a story of this weird, chatty girl that appeared out of nowhere and would just come over, use their department’s DVD burner and talk to her. We worked in different departments but got to know each other well thanks to my need to copy demo reels and shows we had produced. Over the years, we changed jobs but our friendships grew. She has been there for me in some of my family’s hardest, and most importantly happiest times and is one of my closest friends.
I was so excited to take Millie’s maternity photos this past spring. She planned to wear a floral dress she found and loved. She also planned a wardrobe change into a dress a photographer friend of mine let us borrow. I have a small collection of gowns, but long sleeve and pink called to her and so we made it happen!
Take a look at her pretty photos! Her sweet new baby boy has since arrived and I can’t wait to share his newborn photos for you. Spoiler alert: He is the CUTEST baby.
If you are looking for a maternity and newborn photographer in the Northern Virginia area, I would love to work with you. Maternity photos are suggested between 32 and 36 weeks and should be booked 1-2 months in advanced. I am currently booking maternity sessions through December. Please contact me for specific availability.
I spent a good few weeks talking with my friends about how Punxsutawney Phil got his prediction for a late spring wrong this year. Turns out, the joke is on me! Our 2-3ish weeks of warm and confusing weather was just a cruel joke, though it was very nice while it was here.
Weeks leading up to their session, this couple and I thought they were set on the weather front for their maternity photos. Then the weather took a turn for cold. They made the decision to brave the temperatures, and the resulting photos were beautiful as winter maternity photos most often are.
This pair brought their fur babies, rescue dogs along to be included in a few photos. Mama also incorporated the beautiful coat that her own mother wore when she was pregnant with her for a super sentimental touch.
I hope you enjoy the photos from this pair’s cold weather maternity session.
If you are looking for a maternity and newborn photographer in the Northern Virginia area including Loudoun, Fairfax, Sterling, or Leesburg, I would love to work with you. It is important to book your session at least 6 weeks in advance to ensure the most availability. Please contact me for more details.
Oh how I loved taking these maternity photos! I photographed little Catie Jo when she was born and am so happy that her family is now expecting a baby brother. I look forward to meeting their baby boy for photos when he is born in just a few weeks.
Look at their outfits! I have a small collection of maternity gowns I offer for expecting mamas to wear. This mama went a step above though and found her very own through one of my favorite vendors. Catie girl is always sporting the very best monograms so of course she was wearing an adorable monogrammed dress. Papa was dressed in the most perfect complimentary plaid.
This family has a set of angel twins so it was important to incorporate them in a special way. Pink and purple signify Abby and Brooke, sisters born far too soon at 20 weeks gestation but forever in their family.
If you are looking for a maternity photographer in the Northern Virginia area, I would love to work with you. Maternity photos are best taken at 34-36 weeks gestation. It is important to book your session in your 2nd trimester, to ensure availability. I am currently booking maternity sessions for due dates through April 2017. Please contact me for specific availability.
The third baby is on the way for this family of soon-to-be-5. I can’t wait to meet him or her soon! Baby’s siblings have such great names that I also cannot wait to learn what we get to call this sweet babe.
We decided to take photos at Sully Plantation. The morning light was just hitting all the right places. Big sister is quite the little mama bird and was more than happy to dote on mama and her belly. Little man took some warming up but those big brown eyes right in the camera were my favorite. He’s quite the silent comedian! This family is full of so much fun and love. I am happy that I was able to photograph such a special time for them and cannot wait to meet baby number three!