Wintertime comes with cozying up to a fireplace and being bundled up with lots of layers. When people think about spending time outdoors in winter, what usually comes to mind is winter sports, but did you know you can do FABULOUS portrait photography outside? You surely can!
The light is very special in the winter for at least two reasons: It can either be bright, reflective and and add lots of striking contrast OR it can be cloudy. For the former, it really makes a subject just POP in their portrait photography, and there will even be a glistening of light sparkles in the background. For the later, the cloudy conditions are like God’s big “soft box” in the sky. This celestial “soft box” is the PERFECT lighting situation as it makes the subject’s skin look soft and radiant, and there are no eye squints or harsh shadows casting over the subject or the background surfaces. As much as we LOVE the Sun, you really need special conditions to work with it for portrait photography, such as the right timing (morning light) or weather conditions like the ones mentioned above. Otherwise, the Sun can bleach everything out and make portrait photography look kind of “blah.”
Although it’s cold when taking portrait photography outside in the winter, this is NOT the time to wear THICK layers. Stick with thin layers that fit fairly tight to the body. A scarf for a BURST of color is fun. If you want to wear a jacket, make sure it emphasizes the natural waist. You don’t want to look like a snowman, after all! For the guys, it’s best to AVOID a jacket with a thick elastic band at the bottom, which creates a ‘bubble” above it. Rather, go with a straight one. Some material to work with that looks great is soft dark brown suede or black leather, especially since this adds some texture to portrait photography.
For the ladies, jackets with ties at the waist look very flattering. You can also consider wearing something that your audience wants to TOUCH, like fleece, knitted sweaters, fluffy scarves, suede, or leather. Texture adds a intrigue to portrait photography, and it will make you appear more approachable. For accessories besides a scarf, a “news boy” hat looks amazing. BOOTS are always a good bet. The more fun and creativity you use to create your outfit, the more powerful your portrait photography will be, and you want to go for the WOW factor!
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