7 Winter Photography Tips

There’s something magical about snow in the eyes of my children. When they wake to a blanket of white snow on the ground the first thing on their minds is to go outside immediately. My enthusiasm for the cold isn’t as high, but I can channel it into my photography, capturing the enthusiasm through their eyes. As you venture outside this winter, here are some things to think about while documenting the white winter wonderland.

1. Protect your gear

There’s something breathtaking about the snow falling. You can still bring your camera outside to document these moments, just protect it from the moisture. There are special rain covers you can buy to go over your camera or just do what I do and DIY. Take a plastic or Ziploc bag and poke a hole in the bag where the lens goes. Or, just wrap your scarf around the camera. If the snow is really falling, I’ll just take a few photos and then put the camera away. Also, if it is really cold your batteries will drain faster, so if you are out for the day make sure they are fully charged.

2. Add a pop of color

On a cloudy day there isn’t much color with the ground white and the trees bare so grab a colorful scarf or hat and thrown it on your child. Against a dreary backdrop, the color will really pop and draw in your viewer.

3. Remember that snow is a natural reflector

If you struggle with harsh shadows or green color casts on your kids’ skin in warmer weather, try taking a portrait in the snow. The sun will bounce off of the white snow and reflect up onto your subject filling in the shadows. Since the snow is white you won’t get the green color reflected up onto their skin as you would in the spring or summer.

4. Keep an eye on your exposure

Along with the snow being a natural reflector, make sure your photographs aren’t too bright. With so much white in the frame it’s easy to overexpose your images. In layman’s terms this means when you try to print your photographs there will be no detail or texture in the overexposed areas. If you edit your photographs, try underexposing the images and brightening it in post.

5. Capture the fun

Whether it’s snow angels, snow ball fights, or sledding. Grab a quick shot of the action and then jump into the action.

6. Document the details

I love looking back at photos from 2014 and 2015 when we had a large amount of snow accumulation. Seeing the big snow piles against the kids’ height is humorous and puts it into perspective.

7. Don’t forget the mundane

There is something about the ordinary that is worth photographing—looking outside, shoveling the snow, the long process of getting ready, or the pile of outdoor gear on the floor—that can be fun to look back at later on.