How to do an engagement session in the winter

A lot of couples get engaged around Christmas. It's almost engagement season from December until February. While you can certainly wait until the spring brings back green leaves on the trees, there are a lot of reasons why you would want an engagement session in winter weather. Sara and Mike, the couple in the photos below, are getting married a year from now. So it makes sense to show the beautiful snow in the photos since there is a high chance it will look similar on their wedding day. 

If you are into snow, why not show it in your photos? There are few things to consider, when you decide to go with a winter engagement shoot:

Will I be warm enough?

You don't want to be freezing the entire time. If it is very cold, just bring a jacket for in between spots. Multiple layers can go a long way to keep you warm instead of a huge winter jacket. Also, shooting at a location where we can go inside somewhere in between helps to keep you warm as well. 

Will it even look pretty in the snow?

Of course fresh snow will look the best, instead of grey and dirty snow in the background. What could be even prettier would be light snowfall during the shoot. I know, both hard to predict and plan for. At my last three shoots with snow I never had an issue finding enough fresh or still white snow to use in the background. Just go to any square downtown and you should be able to find beautiful white snow. 

Where should we go?

I would generally recommend shooting in an urban area to have some cover if there is a cold breeze. Going into nature might give you better chance for lots of barely touched snow, but it will be way colder. Also, trees without leaves are not always an ideal background. Of course there are ways to still find greener backgrounds in the winter. But to give you an example, the shoot below was only very, very cold at one spot - Canalside. As soon as we left the area with all the tall buildings and got closer to the water, our hands and feet were frozen in record time. Even though I had gloves of course, it was hard to even press the shutter button. 

Engagement Photography in Downtown Buffalo, NY

Stefan Ludwig

Journalist. Photographer. Videographer.