Turning the conventional wisdom on its head, the trend toward scheduling weddings in the bleak mid-winter shows no signs of stopping. For the couples who aren’t addicted to the conventional idea of a warm-weather wedding, the winter pricing is better, and venues and vendors tend to be more flexible during this “off-season.” Winter weddings may be the next big thing! And with them, of course, a more target-rich environment for winter wedding photography.
Jun Moore’s got the skinny for you on how to maximize your opportunities in circumstances (dim natural light, cold weather…brrr!) that might seem less than optimal. She’d like to see you firing on all four cylinders, so be sure you’re paying attention in at least these four areas:
Lighting and Shadows
There’s not as much winter sunlight as there is summer sunlight. (You may have already known that.) What sun there is may cast harsh shadows, particularly if you’re shooting into it or positioning your subjects unwisely. Try to schedule as much outdoor shooting as you can during the morning hours—the light is better then—and use a reflector. Feel like you need to use a flash? Keep it off-camera, and a light-softening diffuser is your friend.
It can get cold in the wintertime. Perhaps you already know that. The regrettable result of this is that you, the wedding photog, may develop unsteady hands, and may be tempted (perhaps subconsciously) to rush through the day’s outdoor shooting. Don’t let it happen! Dress warm. Layer up.
If you’re shooting in polar conditions and there’s snow all around, man, don’t waste the photographic possibilities! The snow can be used in myriad ways, as backdrop, as mood-setter, and…drum roll, please…as a stunning amplifier for your color palette. Bridal dresses, flowers, ring shots, anything that is even remotely colorful: plaster it against that snow and let the magic happen!
Black and White
For some of the shots in which color is not a leading character, try shooting B&W. Winter landscapes can be stark and stunning in black and white.
Winter wedding photography. Hmm. It falls sort of hesitatingly from the lips, doesn’t it. Admittedly, many people don’t think “winter!” when someone says, “wedding,” but if you play your cards right, you can turn the wintry conditions to aesthetic advantage and create a photographic record that will stand against the best June wedding photography.