In this post, I am going to share some tips on how to get the best out of your winter wedding photography. If you are getting married in winter then hopefully you will find my tips useful for you if you are trying to find the right photographer for your wedding day.
Winter weddings are very popular nowadays and it’s easy to understand why. Weddings are expensive and in the UK, even in the height of summer. You’re not guaranteed great weather. So why not pick a winter month where venues will often offer sizeable discounts and maybe now be able to get married at the venue of your dreams?
If you are getting married in December then a Christmas themed wedding is a popular choice. Setting a date between Christmas day and new year may also mean less inconvenience for your guests since they may be off work over the festive period anyway. At the same time you can take advantage of the winter discount and who knows? Maybe a midweek one too!
Choosing the right photographer
There are many advantages of getting married in winter. However, as a wedding photographer. winter weddings are harder to photograph than summer. The reason for this is because we have far less hours of light during the day. Guests get cold quicker so we need to move quickly and with purpose.
Whilst I have all the flash equipment needed as well as top of the range camera equipment that works in low light. Most brides do not want all their photos in the dark. So making the most of the daylight we have is essential.
A good winter wedding photographer will be mindful of the time we have available and (hopefully) be a ninja at flash photography. Flash will really help put some wow factor into those overcast, dull winter days. It’s a common misconception that all photographer’s will be good with flash. Sadly that’s not always the case. And many simply do not have the skills or the equipment needed.
I always advise couple’s to ask the photographer’s they are meeting to show them at least two full galleries of weddings they’ve taken in winter. This will give you a much better idea of how your final photos may look.
The vanishing winter light
As mentioned, it’s critical that your winter wedding photographer is able to move quickly. Not just because it will be cold but also because the light moves quickly. Here are two photographs I took ten minutes apart during a December wedding.
As you can see, one minute we have a beautiful golden hour sun. A few minutes later, it’s gone and replaced with a purple sky. Both are beautiful of course! But without flash, the second one would have been impossible.
Who’s scared of the dark?
Not me! In fact, in many ways, I love working in the dark. Because the darkness becomes a blank canvas which I then can light up to get the results I want.
For example, in this photo it was both dark and raining. Yet with a single flash we turned a dark, rainy winter evening into a stunning wedding photograph which you could hang on your wall.
Sometimes you gotta go with it!
If it does rain and/or is extremely cold then chances are your guests won’t want to be outside for a long period of time. So that’s something to factor in for group photographs. Is there anywhere that can be used inside should the weather be poor.
In this situation your photographer will need to probably bring extra lighting to get everyone looking the best they can be. Speak to your photographer about their winter wedding plan for your venue. This is one of those occasions where if they have shot at your venue before then their experience may help.
Sometimes though, it’s fine. Just a little cold and we can just go with it!
Sparklers! We love sparklers!
I love a good sparkler photo. It’s a lot of fun and I always get some great photographs of the newlyweds as well as the guests. Winter does make it easier because it goes darker earlier. In the summer it goes dark very late which can mean you end up either having to pay your wedding photographer more to stay later. Add to that, the later it gets. The more drunk your guests will be. The guests who will now be handed a white hot sparkler to wave around frantically!
Bride’s will often have spent a lot of money on their designer wedding shoes. A wedding is a perfect excuse to splash out on those Jimmy Choo’s you’ve always wanted! And why not? Treat yourself!
However, even if it doesn’t rain on your wedding day. In winter there’s a higher chance the ground will be soggy and muddy.
So for your wedding, consider having an alternate pair of shoes. Preferably with no heels on. I know some brides have even purchased wedding wellies!
That way, you can walk onto the grass without fear of damaging your expensive bridal shoes.
In short, a winter wedding does not mean you have to compromise on beautiful wedding photographs. In fact, the very opposite is true. Winter can actually mean you get some moody, unique photographs that simply can’t be done in the summer.
But it will mean hiring an experienced wedding photographer and I strongly recommend you make sure they can show you winter weddings they’ve shot previously. Do not assume all wedding photographer’s are the same. Put simply, the skill level required in winter is higher.
Proper planning is crucial and a good wet weather plan should be talked about before your wedding.