• Robyn Davie

Tips & Tricks for Your Autumn/Winter Family Session

The thing I love most about autumn-winter sessions is the light - it is so perfectly crisp, so wonderfully soft, and more likely than not, as it's Johannesburg, it's not going to rain.

My idea for winter shoots is to keep them under an hour, and make them fun and warm!

But if it really is a horribly chilly overcast day and we have an outdoors session scheduled let's rather look at rescheduling if possible - it's hard to force a smile when you're shivering like crazy!

But if the weather isn't too ghastly, why not bundle up and head on out for some gorgeous pics? Like these below pics of three sweet sisters:

And this was one mama with a plan - a whole flask of hot chocolate and marshmallows as a good midway snack for the photo shoot.

The above pics really work because the girls are all wearing light fun colours, despite the cold temperatures - it's a great idea to avoid too many dull tones or dark brown and black coats during winter shoots - try and layer up with light colours and fun scarves instead.

Even the greyest of days can be brightened up by your wardrobe selections for the shoot!

The family below did a great job with bright blues and pinks:

And this below family did a great job of combining warm pinks and maroons with lovely blue tones, and used some great layers to complete the look - keeping the shoot warm and fun on a chilly Autumn evening:


At home sessions are also a lovely way to grab some good pics during the colder months - fire on, all cuddled up around it, and just quickly popping out into the garden for a few quick photos.

Beatrix's bright yellow dress was so eye-catching, and so perfectly fun and bright it was impossible to feel the chill on this shoot!

Little Quinn was just four weeks old when I popped round her parents' house one cold Autumn evening - so we stayed inside for most of the pics, with the heaters on and gorgeous afternoon light flooding the house. The grey-blue-cream tones worked perfectly for this little one's first ever shoot.

This at-session happened during the first cold snap of Joburg's winter, and we just plain and simply stayed inside the house! The family cuddled on the bed, blew bubbles, and hang out in the kids room. The thing to remember about at-home sessions is that your house fades away into the background, so don't worry about running around cleaning and polishing surfaces - as long as you have big windows and lots of natural light we can definitely shoot at your home.


Jeanie and her two besties made some gorgeous wardrobe choices for her wintry maternity shoot - nice light colours and beautiful layers!


This family had a great mix of patterns and styles all around a general colour theme of white-black-blue, which worked out really well in the final pics - and the sparkling red wine certainly helped warm everyone up!

A last few tips and tricks:

It is a good idea to have two or three outfits worked out ahead of time, as this speeds up the shooting on the day, and saves us from wasting precious time and light.

Please make sure that everyone is groomed and dressed in their first shoot outfit when I arrive.

Try and avoid the following:

- white tees and blue jeans!

- visible wording or branding

- patterns that are very bold or harsh

- clothing that is too tight, or too loose

- too many people wearing white as it will over-expose

- black or very dark colours

- too much red (as it brings out the red in your skin tone)

- lumo colours

Read over this blog post which includes a heap more wardrobe tips and tricks (and things to avoid!).

Please contact me if you have any other questions about your autumn/winter family photo shoot :)

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