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Winter Outdoor Portrait Tips

Outdoor "Snow Shoot" At Roxborough Park
Outdoor "Snow Shoot" At Roxborough Park
Dominique Lucas of Fall Child Photography

For photographers who specialize in "on location" shoots, winter can be especially challenging. During the season of bad weather, it can be difficult to find ways to work in the "natural environment". Here are a few tips compiled from local photographers that can help anyone stay fresh and interesting during the hard winter months in Denver;

  1. Quaint Towns: Smaller towns can set the perfect ambiance for a family, portrait and engagement session during the cold. Many towns such as Parker, Estes Park, Golden and Old Town Arvada have been named as great places to go for variety. Not only do these areas provide a rustic feel, but they typically offer small coffee or soda fountain shops which can become the perfect setting for a more candid feel to a session.


  2. Urban Areas: Although more commonly thought of in the summer months, urban areas like the 16th Street Mall and Union Station can become the perfect setting for a portrait session. Utilizing a mix of old and new architecture, as well as a dichotomy of swanky lounges and hole in the wall shops can give great diversity for clients. Typically, there are many areas in downtown Denver that are lit up during the holidays which lends itself to a very different feel in lighting.

  3. Outdoor Snow Shoots: These sessions are not for the faint of heart! There is always a family or a client who is willing and ready to trudge into the snow and get cold in the name of beauty. It is always recommended that shoots done in the snow take place when it is above freezing and that you take numerous breaks in heated cars. It is also highly advised that you never attempt these types of shoots with small children!

It's easy to forget how much photography lends itself to creativity. So when in doubt, get creative! Try an indoor museum, mall, historical building, interesting bar or beautifully decorated restaurant. Why not photograph a family having fun at in indoor amusement center instead of putting them in front of a black sheet?

Above all, remember to use common sense. Dress appropriately, check the weather, communicate with clients and scout your location. Some indoor locations do not allow photography and it's always better to know what you're walking into ahead of time.

Happy Shooting in 2010!


  • Kaela 5 years ago

    Great tips, Dee! Thanks for this article!

  • Ryan -Denver Bar Restaurant Examiner 5 years ago

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