How to Take Wedding Images in the Snow

A snow wedding is magical. Especially in places like Tasmania.

The air is crisp. The landscapes are capped with a layer of snow sheets. The ground may be a little wet with rain.

If you’re a wedding photographer, consider yourself lucky.

Because you are perfectly able to take high-quality wedding photos in the snow.

Capturing these moments does come with unique challenges.

But they’re all able to be conquered.


Here’s 8 ways to take wedding images in the snow, ensuring you get stunning photos that reflect the beauty and emotion of the occasion.


1. Safety first

Before anything, safety first. Safety is paramount during a snowy photo shoot.

Scout locations
Visit your locations in advance to identify safe, accessible areas free of hazards like icy patches or deep snow.

Communicate with the couple
Keep the couple informed about the plan and any safety considerations.

Ensure they have appropriate footwear and are aware of any slippery areas.


2. Embrace the natural light

Winter days are shorter, and the light can be dim, so making the most of natural light is crucial. Here’s how:

The “golden hour magic”
The golden hour, shortly after sunrise and before sunset, provides soft, flattering light that can enhance the snowy landscape’s beauty. Plan your key shots during this time.

Cloudy days
Overcast skies act like a giant softbox, diffusing the light evenly and preventing harsh shadows.

Don’t be disheartened by a cloudy day. It can work to your advantage.

Reflective snow
Snow acts as a natural reflector, bouncing light onto your subjects’ faces and reducing shadows.

Position the couple to take advantage of this reflective quality.


3. Dress appropriately

This doesn’t technically have anything to do with your photos.
But it’s important, nonetheless. Your comfort as a photographer is essential for a successful shoot, especially in freezing temperatures.

Ensure you:

Layer up
Wear thermal layers, waterproof outerwear, and insulated boots to stay warm and mobile.

Fingerless gloves
These keep your hands warm while allowing you the dexterity to operate your camera.

Hot packs
Keep hot packs in your pockets to warm your hands during breaks.

Encourage your wedding party to have warm layers and blankets on hand between shots to keep them comfortable.


4. Protect your camera essentials

Cold weather can be tough on your equipment. Here’s how to protect and prepare your gear:

Extra batteries
Cold temperatures drain batteries faster. Bring extras and keep them in an inner pocket close to your body to keep them warm.

Lens hoods and covers
Use lens hoods to prevent snowflakes from landing on the lens.

Lens covers or rain sleeves can protect your camera from moisture.

Condensation management
Transitioning between cold outdoors and warm indoors can cause condensation on your gear. Seal your camera in a plastic bag before moving inside to allow it to acclimate gradually.


5. Tweak your camera settings especially for the snow

Snow can trick your camera’s metering system, often resulting in underexposed images. Adjust your settings accordingly:

Exposure compensation
Increase your exposure compensation by +1 to +2 stops to prevent the snow from appearing gray and ensure it looks bright and white.

White balance
Set your white balance to the “shade” or “cloudy” setting to counteract the blue tint that snow can sometimes have.

Alternatively, use a custom white balance setting.

RAW Format
Shoot in RAW format to have greater flexibility in post- processing, allowing you to adjust exposure, white balance, and other settings without losing quality.


6. Keep your composition in mind

Snow provides a clean, minimalist background, which can enhance your composition:

Contrast and colour
Look for opportunities to contrast the couple’s attire with the snow. Bright colours, especially reds and greens, pop beautifully against a white backdrop.

Textures and layers
Incorporate the textures of snow-covered trees, frosty branches and footprints to add depth and interest to your images.

Framing and leading lines
Use natural elements like pathways, fences or tree lines to frame your subjects and guide the viewer’s eye through the scene.


7. Pose for the cold

Posing in cold weather requires creativity to keep the couple comfortable and relaxed:

Your movement
Capture the couple walking, twirling, or having a snowball fight to keep them warm and create dynamic, joyful images.

Stay close and cosy
Encourage the couple to snuggle under a blanket, share a warm drink, or embrace closely.

These intimate poses not only keep them warm but also convey emotion.

Shoot quickly
Plan your poses in advance and shoot quickly to minimise the time the couple spends in the cold.


8. Process your photos correctly

Post-processing is essential to enhance your snowy wedding photos:

Adjust your exposure and contrast
Brighten your images and increase contrast to make the snow sparkle. This way you can get the most out of the beauty the snow brings.

Enhance the colours
Boost the saturation of the couple’s attire and any other colourful elements to make them stand out against the white background.

Reduce noise
Shooting in low light can introduce noise. Use noise reduction tools to maintain image quality.

Ready to take some amazing wedding photos in the snow?

Taking wedding photos in the snow isn’t just about braving the cold – it’s about embracing the extraordinary.

As a wedding photographer, you have the unique opportunity to create images that are truly one-of-a-kind, capturing the essence of a winter wonderland. The snow provides a pristine, magical backdrop that enhances the romance and beauty of the occasion.

So embrace the challenge and let your creativity shine through in every shot!

With each click of the shutter, you’ll be creating timeless, enchanting photos that tell a story of love in the most magical setting imaginable.