With the weather cooling down and the air drying out (and depending on the part of the country you’re in, the precipitation building up), photographing outdoors in the winter poses its own unique challenges. If you’re primarily a natural light photographer, you’re going to want to continue photographing outdoors despite the change in season. In fact, winter has its own beauty that should be captured! Here are three tips for photographing an engagement (or wedding) session outdoors in the winter.
Watch out for cold noses
The cold brings out the red ruddiness in some complexions. If your subjects are fair, watch out for this. You can avoid this by taking breaks to warm up between locations (for example, sitting in the heated car for a few minutes while driving to the next location). You can also offer for your subjects to cover their faces in a scarf or other warm fabric while you’re not photographing them.
Stay warm between takes!
If you’re having your subjects remove their jackets for photos, be sure you remind them that it’s okay (and actually encouraged) to wear their jackets whenever you’re not actively shooting. During the activity of a shoot we often forget to cue our subjects to take care of themselves—it’s easy to get caught up in chasing the light or searching for the next great location. However, you will provide better customer service if you remind your subjects to stay warm between takes. Maybe even take them out for hot chocolate or coffee afterwards. Or, take them before, and use the coffee cups in your shoot! Two birds with one stone—props and warmth.
Feature Winter Gear
Opposed to #2, you can also have your subjects wear their jackets in shots. It’s stylish, seasonal, and fits the background (especially if there is snow on the ground!). You can also bring other cold weather props, such as scarfs, hats, vests, and mittens, which make for super cute photos! This couple brought along a warm fleece blanket that we used for some romantic shots.
The bride also had a puffy vest which she wore for most shots- it’s super cute and seasonal!
Use Body Heat
What’s a better excuse to cuddle? Have your couple get nice and close and get up close to them to get some adorable intimate shots. Forehead to forehead is a favorite pose of mine, especially in the cold!
Stay warm yourself
Fingers get cold very quickly when they’re exposed to the elements while shooting. I recommend getting some warm yet grippy gloves or gloves that have removable fingers if you like to have your fingers bare while shooting. Wear a hat, scarf, and warm jacket. I always wear layers so I can adjust need be.
Have fun! Happy Shooting (and Holidays!)