Winter Wedding Photography Tips

When I saw the headlights of a wedding car shining through the thick winter fog the other day, I knew the appointed photographer for that wedding would need some seriously good luck to produce a satisfactory wedding album.

More and more couples opt for winter weddings because of discounts in prices and greater availability in this less popular season. So what should a photographer do to make sure the elements will not lessen the quality of his or her wedding photos? Here are some useful tips:

1. Lighting

Natural light in the winter is hard to get and limited to only a few hours. If you have to take photos outdoors, schedule the session for the morning when light is the best. It is best to take outdoor wedding photos in natural light with a reflector and a tripod. If you use a flashgun, make sure to use a diffuser to soften the light. Off-camera flash is better than on-camera flash.

outdoor wedding photo shoot

Photo by Zoe Barrie.

2. Layers

Dress warmly. Do I need to say why? Many brides may be happy to endure the freezing temperature and pose in only a wedding dress for that perfect shot of a lifetime. However, if the photographer is feeling cold, s/he will naturally rush through everything to get back to the warm venue. So make sure to wrap yourself in many layers against the elements and stay calm through the shooting session. Advise the bride and groom to bring a coat to keep themselves warm in between shots.

3. Shadows

Be aware of the winter sun–if there is one. If you shoot toward the sun or position your subject in the sun it can cast harsh, long shadows that may distract the viewer from the subject.

4. Colours

If it’s snowy, take advantage of the clean, white backdrop that you will not get in other times of the year. Pop out any brightly coloured objects, such as the bride’s bouquet or the bridesmaids’ dresses.

long exposure wedding photo

Photo by Elyse Booth.

5. Black & White

If you want to include winter landscapes in your photos, the stark and bleak view usually looks better in black and white than in colour. Positioning your subject against an endless, cloudless sky and clean white backdrop can create atmospheric, high-key shots.

I hope these tips help you get through a freezing wedding photo shoot and achieve great results. Good luck!

This article was written by Jun Moore.

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2 Comments

  1. Tosh says:

    Nice article Jun, thanks. Being a primarily a Hawaii and Texas based Photography group we do not get the chance or “opportunity” to shoot in the snow. Your comments about natural light are so true; we use as much natural light as possible during our sessions with a combination of diffusers and reflectors. Thanks again, Aloha Tosh.

  2. Photofilm says:

    Great tips and superb photos Jun. Just unfortunate that we never get snow in our part of the world. This would have come in handy.

    Thanks for sharing

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