March 20, 2019

10 Cold Weather Shoot Ideas to Stay Cozy

Living in Minnesota all my life, you’d think I’d be used to the cold by now. But that frigid air still makes my lips turn blue every single time. I’m all about a good outdoor winter adventure and won’t ever shy away from trudging through some snow for a shoot. Buuuut I can bundle up and put on 50 layers if I need to (and stuff everything with hand warmers). If you’re in front of the camera— you can’t necessarily do that, so I totally understand when people tell me that they don’t want to put up with the cold weather. I like to be cozy, too! 🙂 Being that it’s the dead of winter right now (and the high for Wednesday is below zero…..), I thought it would be kind of fun to put together a short list of cozy shoot ideas for you. So grab your coffee, a blankey and your coziest slippers and dive on in. Bonus points for burning a candle or starting a fire (the Netflix fireplace totally works!).

*note : some of these photos were sourced from the interwebs. i will note if that’s the case.

1. Your own home

In-home shoots are some of my favorites. It’s a space you share with your favorite human(s) — and pets — every single day. It holds a lot of meaning for you. Let’s put on your favorite playlist, grab a cup of coffee (or glass of wine), light some candles and cozy on up. I wrote a post about in-home shoots last year— check it out here.

*all photo below are mine taken in client’s homes

2. Airbnb

What would we do without the beloved Airbnb? Some hosts are cool with renting out their space for a couple hours. Some don’t. But you could rent the place out for a night or two and make it into a cozy little getaway. Maybe you’ll even luck out and find a place with a hot tub or sauna. A cozy shoot & a lil vacay— sounds like a win-win to me.

*all photos below sourced from Airbnb

3. Whitetail Woods Cabins

You betcha this is only 20-ish miles from Minneapolis. The beauty of the structure itself and the view of the gorgeous MN woods make this an awesome option for a cozy shoot.

*all photos below sourced from google

4. A yurt

Feel like doing something totally different. Rent out a yurt for a night. Afton has a couple and I stumbled upon a few in the Duluth area as well. Most have wood burning stoves that make them extra snuggly & warm.

*all photos below sourced from google

5. The family cabin

Does your family own a cabin? Maybe your aunt & uncle or a friend would let you use theirs. Cabins are perfect for those comfy winter vibes. Toss on your wool socks and start the fire— I’m coming over!

*all photos below sourced from the interwebs

6. A local studio

The Minneapolis area has a ton of really really beautiful studio options to rent out. And of course they have lovely natural light and are specifically made for shoots, so obviously they’re wonderful options!  

*my photo below. taken in matt lien’s studio

below photo on left : lady vamp artistry studio / photo on right : kate becker studio

below photo on left : matt lien studio / photo on right : maven styling studio

7. Breweries, distilleries, coffee shops

Minneapolis has some gorgeous spaces that are open to the public. A lot of them being breweries, distilleries or coffee shops. The vibe is always spot on and an added bonus is having a drink post-session (or before!). Not all of these spaces allow photography, but it’s always worth asking. 🙂

*blackstack brewing in st. paul. photo from google

*my images below. taken at tattersall distillery in minneapolis.

8. A greenhouse

This might not give you cozy winter feels, but you’ll be nice and warm and get your daily dose of greenery in. A couple places that allow shoots are Tonkadale Greenhouse and Como Conservatory. Both do require a fee, but I think it’s worth it.

*my image below. taken at como conservatory in st. paul

*images below sourced from pinterest

9. Outside (with a bonfire)

Okay so you don’t haaaate the cold, but you are a little bit of a freeze baby. Let’s shoot outside in the snow and then end by cozying up by a bonfire. Extra points if you bring s’mores.

*my image below taken at hansen tree farm

photo below on left : my image taken at hansen tree farm / photo below on right sourced from pinterest

10. Hop on a plane

Last, but certainly not least— let’s beat the cold weather by finding a cheap flight to somewhere warmer and shooting there. Some people just aren’t made for MN winters. And that’s ok. The warm, sunshiney weather is just a quick plane ride away. 🙂

*my image below overlooking new zealand (wanna go?) 😉

*all images below sourced from pinterest



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I am a Minneapolis, Minnesota wedding, family & portrait photographer, kindness spreader and storyteller for laid-back, free-spirited souls who are looking for an adventure— no matter how big or small. Browse my site to learn more. I can’t wait to meet you!