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Dressing for Outdoor Portrait Sessions: Feeling Good Means Looking Good!

Outdoor portrait sessions, whether romantic or family style, are a great opportunity to leave your own camera or smartphone behind, keep beautiful memories of your trip, and to simply enjoy the time with your loved ones and the city around you! Unlike studio portraits, outdoor sessions are subject to various weather conditions. While you may easily pose indoors in a fancy dress or a smart shirt, the same outfit may not be the most suitable one for a windy December day in Paris or a foggy morning in London. The key ingredient for feeling comfortable is therefore dressing according to the temperature, whether it's a hot summer day or a cool autumn afternoon, because feeling good means looking good!

Paris and London, the two cities where we currently conduct our portrait sessions, have a somewhat similar climate, the French capital being a little sunnier and less foggy than the British one.

Dressing for weather 2

In Paris, the average daytime temperature in winter is only 7°C/44°F, spring warms up to 16°C/60°F, summer is usually nice and pleasant at around 24°C/75°F with July being the hottest month, and in fall the air cools down to spring average of 16°C/60°F. May in Paris is usually the wettest month, and February, albeit chilly, is the driest. Although a good shower or a light drizzle happen from time to time, it rarely snows in Paris. You can check this website for more information on climate in Paris.

Paris weather chart

In London, the summer warms up to 21°C/72°F on average, spring and fall boast a pleasant 14°C/58°F, and winter temperatures are the same as in Paris, 7°C/44°F. October is known as the wettest month of the year, while March is generally the driest. See more about London climate in detail.

London weather chart

This being said, there are always exceptions to the rule! While you may expect April in Paris to be warm and inviting, this is not always the case, and even a sunny day may surprise you with an ice cold wind. Therefore, it is important to dress appropriately for an outdoor portrait session according to the real temperature, and not the one you are dreaming to have on that special day. 

Dressing for weather 1

What is the proper outfit then? Posing in that favourite elegant dress against a romantic Parisian background may work perfectly well during warmer months from mid-April to mid-October. However, if you plan for an outdoor portrait session in late fall, winter or early spring season, think of your comfort first: a warm jacket and a pair of gloves will make the session much more enjoyable. Add a touch of colour with a special scarf and a pretty hat. And of course there is always a way to make warm clothes look elegant!

Dressing for weather 3

Tips on getting dressed for a portrait session during the winter season:

  • Be sure to check the weather forecast twice: while packing for your trip and the day before your portrait session for the latest updates.
  • Things usually slow down during a portrait session: an hour or two outdoors, stopping here or there for a picture is not exactly the same as running quickly from the hotel to the metro and from the metro to the museum. It therefore makes sense to dress warmer than you usually would for the given temperature.
  • You will definitely look and feel better in a warm coat with matching scarf and gloves than shivering in your favourite lace dress or cotton shirt.
  • If you absolutely want to wear that fancy dress, think of combining it with a matching coat or a big shawl, as well as warmer stockings and shoes.
  • Remember that coats, jackets, scarfs, hats and gloves can be colourful and fun, or just as elegant as your evening gown.
  • What really matters is you being cozy and warm enjoying the city around you, as this will definitely show in the photos!

Finally, remember that a properly dressed person is a happy person, and we love to see happy people in front of our cameras!

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About the Author

Nadia Gric

Nadia Gric

Nadia is passionate about the visual aspect of life and the personalities she meets along the way. Living in the heart of Paris, Nadia never stops exploring the City of Light through her camera and readily shares her knowledge and love for photography.