Christmas Fashion Photoshoot + Winter Photoshoot Tips



I am so excited that the Christmas season has started! I’ve already posted a holiday gift guide, I’m already pretty much done with my Christmas shopping, and my apartment is all decked out with Christmas decorations (I’ll have a post with pictures soon!). Philadelphia looks absolutely magical this time of year, and I’ve been taking pictures like crazy. There are lots of places around Philadelphia that are decorated with trees and lights, and Rittenhouse Square is one of my favorites because the lights make it look like a winter wonderland at night (you can catch a glimpse on my Instagram account). It’s also beautiful with the giant tree and decor during the day, and it was the perfect spot for a Christmas fashion photoshoot. 

I got together with some fellow PHLbloggers to take photos of their holiday fashion, and I thought I would give you all a sneak peek at the photos with some tips for a Christmas fashion photoshoot! You can see more photos and check out the details of their outfits and accessories on their blogs below.

Sarah of Shades of Sarah
Kendall of Buttons and Blossoms
Melissa of Skinny Affair

tips for a winter photoshoot

1. Dress for the cold

A lot of cute holiday outfits might not be the warmest, so be prepared for how to handle it. My friends dressed in layers with big coats that they could put one while I was shooting someone else, and our shoot didn’t last too long so no one froze! If you live in a place colder than Philadelphia, consider doing a photoshoot with cute sweaters and winter accessories instead of a party dress so you won’t be too cold. 

2. Adjust your camera settings

If you’re doing a photoshoot with Christmas lights in the background, make sure you adjust your camera settings so they can be seen. You may need to adjust your ISO, f-stop, and shutter speed to make sure you can see the lights and your subject well, or it might be a typical dark and overcast winter day and you need to adjust your settings so your photos aren’t too dark and dull (a tripod can help if you need a slow shutter speed). And take some test shots before your subject removes their coat so they won’t be in the cold for too long!

3. Be aware of the shorter days

In Philadelphia, the sun is pretty much down by 5 p.m., which makes it hard to take photos if you work 9-5. We did our photoshoot on the weekend so we could make sure we had good natural light during the day. But if you want holiday lights to be the focus of your photos, then shooting in the evening is probably best! 

4. Scout out your location

Sometimes the most decorated places for Christmas are also the most crowded! The Christmas Village by City Hall is beautiful and definitely worth a visit if you’re in Philadelphia, but it’s also very crowded and hard to get even one picture without someone in the background. There were a few people getting pictures by the tree in Rittenhouse Square when we were there, but it was nothing compared to City Hall and we were able to spend a lot of time getting pictures by the tree without getting in anyone’s way. 

5. Move around

Having your subject move around will warm them up and make for more natural looking photos. My friends were laughing and moving into different poses and we even did some walking photos, which made for a great variety of photos and it helped make them look more relaxed. 

If you’re interested in a Christmas fashion photoshoot or need your family Christmas card photo taken or edited, contact me!

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Tips for winter photoshoots

Blog, North America, Philadelphia, Photography, Photography Tips

  1. Great portraits and tips! I have my first winter photoshoot next weekend and I’m really hoping the day would be blessed with sunshine and more warmth than the usual winter chill brings, haha.

  2. Amanda says:

    Those are super great tips! Now that I’m living in Italy, I want to make the best of the city backgrounds and props to shoot my outfits properly and featuring some of this dolce vita scenery, so your post’s advice is going to help me in a great way!!

    Thanks for sharing!


  3. Kate says:

    These tips were so useful! I’m always on the look out for photography tips so thank you for sharing this 🙂


  4. Alex Cote says:

    Great tips! I always feel like it’s harder to get photos in the winter, but actually on overcast days with the christmas lights in the back can make for some really great photos!

  5. I remember when I first started blogging – I had no idea how to take and edit my photos to get the best out of them! I learned a lot through experience, but these tips would have REALLY helped my progress along if I had seen this post back then! What an awesome and helpful post! 🙂

    Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.

  6. Sheena says:

    Great tips and awesome that you have a great blogging community with which to connect with!

  7. It’s pretty awesome that you connected with other bloggers in Philly – I should really see if there are bloggers where I live! Also, I knew right from the picture that popped up on my Bloglovin’ feed that you were in Rittenhouse Square. Nostalgia! Anyways, good job. I think everyone looks happy and festive!

    Alyse (J.X.L.) ▲ Lumière & Lens

    • Julia says:

      Thank you! I love the blogging group here, so you should definitely see if there’s one near you! And I’m loving Rittenhouse Square all decorated for Christmas 🙂 I shot some night photos there last night!

  8. Chrystina says:

    These came out great! Such good tips too!

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