Montana does this thing where it gets really cold. And snowy. It gets really cold and snowy and lasts for MONTHS. I’m talking 8 or 9 months. That’s the amount of time it takes to make a human!
Last year in March, I’m pretty sure a lot of us still had snow on the ground and another storm coming. So when Hunter messaged me in early January and wanted to do a session with her and Bailey in long dresses and cloaks in the snow, I thought “Perfect! We’ll have a couple of months to pick the perfect snowy day!”
We talked and made plans and the date that we tentatively planned on was coming up. Only there was a big problem. It was still cold, alright, but it was ugly. The snow that we had, had melted. It was soppy and muddy and brown. Not exactly winter wonderland material. So, we talked and planned some more. February was full up for both of us, but I mean, come on, it’s Montana- right? March always dumps a good snowfall on us and can be hit or miss with the temperature, so (confidently) I said,
“Let’s just wait until March, I’m sure there will be a big storm that will dump us in snow and make a winter wonderland for us, and we’ll just make it work whenever that happens.”
Ok, its a plan. Only… February slowly moves forward, it snowed, but it was -5. That wouldn’t work. The snow melted. February passed. I start panicking inside. I mean, let’s not kid anyone- I hate snow. Like I actively HATE winter and snow, but I was desperately wanting a big snowfall for this session… and… nothing.
Do you know that sinking feeling that you get in your stomach when something really big just isn’t working out? That’s how I felt. The first week of March came and went. No snow and warm weather. I looked at the weather forecast. Highs in the 40’s and no precipitation. Nothing. I was almost in tears, and Denton seriously thought I was losing my mind. He’s never seen me want it to snow so bad.
Finally, on March 10th, there was a forecast for snow on the weekend! Only… it came with 30mph wind gusts. Seriously, Montana? The silver lining was that Sunday was supposed to still be snowy with no wind.
It ended up being perfect. Even though we didn’t get as much snow as we would have like, it made the area look beautiful, and it was warm enough to be bearable. Little Bailey was literally such an angel the whole time. Even when she was cold and we were ready to take a warm-up break, she was so happy and ready to smile. With getting in and out and wrapped up in blankets and getting back out in the cold, she was cheerful the whole time and we were so impressed with her. Her bond with her mama is clear to see, and their love for each other is one of the most precious privileges to be able to freeze in time. Those sweet, innocent moments that will last a lifetime. Bailey’s adoration of daddy was the sweetest thing; to see her smile when Daddy came in for pictures and her openness and joy when he spun her or kissed her hand. Eeeek, why do little ones tug at the heart sooooo much!?! They are the most precious gift ever, and these images are some of my favorites from the day.
Even with our March snowstorm, we didn’t end up getting as much snow as we would have liked, but I was so happy to be able to have a day to capture these precious images. Now that we have these pictures, I think that Hunter and I are both ready for some sunshine and lake days, where we can look back and have the cold hands be a distant memory!
If you have never done a winter wonderland session and want to, enjoy these images and then read below the gallery for some tips on planning your winter wonderland session for 2021!
TIPS FOR PLANNING A WINTER SESSION WITH LITTLE ONES:
I am going to preface this with the disclaimer that I never suggest doing something that would put you or your little one in danger.
The danger of hypothermia, frostbite, and sickness is very real, so if you or your little one sicken easily or do not tolerate the cold well,
a springtime fairytale session with warmer weather and springtime flowers may be more appropriate.
This is for those who love the cold weather and want to do a session specifically in the winter.
-You can plan a cuddle session with boots, hats, scarves, etc to stay nice and toasty on your session.
– Start planning months in advance! For weather, dress shopping, dress arrival times, etc… Sometimes the
dress you are dreaming of can take a month or so to arrive. Then you need to allow time for alterations, etc.
-Plan your session for a month that the likelihood of snow is high, but not the coldest month of the year.
-Play with your little one outside in advance. Find out how well they tolerate the cold and for how long. This will help your photographer know how much time to build in for warm-up breaks.
-Dress yourself and your little one warm. Plain leggings or longjohns that can’t be seen, warm socks. Boots that you want to be photographed.
-Get all of the talking and planning with your photographer out of the way early, so that as soon as you step outside, you can start shooting.
-Have a warm vehicle running nearby to get in for warming up.
-It’s helpful to have some rare goodies and treats, bribery is always a win for little ones at picture time.
-Bring a blanket to wrap up in between shooting.
-If your little one is a little cranky when they are tired, try to plan your session for when they will be napped and refreshed.
I hope this helps! If you want to plan a winter wonderland or a springtime fairytale session for 2021, drop me an email and we can make some plans for after this craziness is all over!