Fall and Spring–step aside!
It may be cold outside, but these fun tips for engagement photos in winter are sure to get you fired up for your engagement photo session. If you’re on a timeline and need to do your engagement photos in the wintertime but lack inspiration, we’ve got all of the tips and tricks to help you create the winter-wonderland photo session of your dreams.
How To Take Winter Engagement Photos
Why take engagement photos in the wintertime? Why NOT?
Though fall and spring are filled with stunning scenery as the leaves are changing and flowers are blooming, winter is a popular time that holds all kinds of cozy, heartfelt vibes that work perfectly with the intimacy of engagement photos. Likewise, wintertime is one of the most festive times of the year, allowing you to have engagement photos with a slight holiday charm added to them.
So if you’re looking for something special and sweet, a winter engagement shoot would work perfectly to capture all of the vibes you’re looking for. However, putting it all together is a challenge and isn’t easily done alone.
That’s why we’re here to give you all of our tips and tricks to help you plan outfits and locations, spark your inspiration, and bring your dream winter engagement to life.
Pick a Sweet Spot
There are several staple winter-themed locations that will make your winter photoshoot like a dream. Here are some fool-proof location ideas for you, no matter where you live.
In The Snow
Obviously, the best location for perfect winter engagement photos would be on a fresh blanket of snow. Not only is the new snow beautiful, but the dazzling backdrop also provides superior lighting for your photographer, especially when photographed at golden hour, the perfect time to shoot a winter session.
Hit The Downtown
While the bustling streets within your city limits are covered with white snow during the winter months, you can capture super intimate and authentic shots of you and your partner cozied up together amid the hustle and bustle.
A Local Coffee Shop
Whether it’s your first date place or where you love to grab your morning cup of joe, swing by your local coffee house to grab a hot cocoa or coffee to sip on with your boo to make for some casual, effortless, everyday shots.
If you’re looking to get as authentic as possible, the perfect backdrop for your engagement photoshoot can be within the comfort of your own space; your kitchen, living room, backyard, etc. All of these places will best reflect you and your partner’s personalities/hobbies/etc., giving your photos an additional layer of authenticity.
A Christmas Tree Farm
Christmas tree farms have been used as a classic location for countless engagement sessions, and will never let you down if you’re searching for a setting that’s quaint and charming with minimal location planning.
If you’re a bookworm at heart and love spending your winter evenings curled up with your favorite book, then we recommend spending an afternoon in a cozy bookstore filled with natural light.
An Ice Skating Rink
Ice rinks make for the perfect location if you want to fill your winter engagement photoshoot with activity. Make your engagement photos adventurous and interesting with shots of you and your partner laughing, holding on to each other, and having a blast.
Do Your Favorite Activity Together
The best way to get the most out of your winter engagement sessions? Doing a winter activity.
As a professional portrait and wedding photographer, I always advise my couples that the best way to make natural, candid, and authentic photos is to focus on activities that both partners like to do together. This can include anything from cooking, playing video games, and shopping, to playing music, sports, and more.
Usually, these activities help get you and your partner into a familiar and comfortable space. They will also help your photographer capture the intimate, precious sides of your relationship that not many may get to witness but you still wish to portray through your images.
Another tip for finding activities to photograph is to listen for local events happening in your area that provide something for you and your partner to be photographed doing.
1. Make hot chocolate/coffee.
2. Play board games by the fireplace.
3. Celebrate a family tradition: the perfect unique tradition? Photograph your family traditions during the holiday season.
4. Play in the snow–have a snowball fight, build a snowman, or make snow angels!
5. Skating, sledding, snowboarding, snowshoeing/hiking, etc.
6. Roasting marshmallows over a bonfire.
You can also search for local events happening in your area if you need more detailed inspiration!
The Perfect Winter Props
Along with activity, props provide another angle of interest within your pictures, as well as another layer of authenticity. For example, instead of just taking a picture of you holding hot chocolate, bonus props like brewing equipment, marshmallows, and cute coffee mugs can help create more shots of you and your fiancé doing an activity together.
Some items on a list of general props may include fuzzy socks, twinkle lights, candles, a warm blanket, hand mitts, a snow sled, and more. Any of these items will create more potential shots for jaw-dropping engagement pics.
Another thing that makes for flawless winter engagement photos is posing. Because of the cold weather outside, you and your partner will have to bundle up and get close to each other to stay warm, resulting in heartfelt photographs that really reveal the genuine love and romance between you and your partner.
Besides, nothing feels better than giving or receiving a hug when you’re freezing and trying to cozy up next to your fiance for warmth. Or, if you’re going a more playful route, you can pick up your partner and spin them around, give them a piggyback ride, or (if you’re particularly adventurous) roll around in the snow.
Dress To Impress
For starters, you’ll probably choose between two different styles of attire: cozy or classy.
If you’re outside, engagement photo outfits that include sweaters, scarves, jeans, hats, and boots will make for sweeter, more playful tones that beautifully match the season and environment. We recommend sticking to a neutral color palette consisting of warm rustic tones like yellows, oranges, and cream colors, tans/browns, forest greens, and blacks.
Another way to make your look more stylish? Layers, layers, layers! Not only will you need to layer up for the cold engagement session, but layered outfits with jackets and sweaters make for an outfit that’s visually aesthetic and appealing.
However, if you’re outside and you want to sport more of a classy and elegant vibe, we suggest having a pop of color to help make a bold statement. For example, if you’re in a snowy setting, the light will reflect off of the fresh snow and will create sharp, clear lighting for your engagement photographer to utilize. A bold color will THRIVE in this kind of setting, particularly for dresses, heels, and elegant, sparkling jewelry.
And if you’re doing your photos in the coziness of your own home, matching pajamas also add to the fun, lighthearted tone of the setting.
Holiday Themed Possibilities
Now, since winter consists of treasured holidays like Christmas, New Year’s, and even Valentine’s Day, you need to decide if you’d like your engagement photos to be themed/centered around a holiday. We find that this will make your photos easier to mold into the winter-y vibes you’re trying to achieve.
For Christmas shots, get some beautiful pictures of you and your partner shopping for a Christmas tree at a Christmas tree farm, decorating the Christmas tree at home, wrapping/unwrapping presents, kissing under the mistletoe, and more.
Likewise, New Year’s Eve can allow you to get a bit more creative as far as location and activities. With a holiday that’s focused on thankfulness, new beginnings, and fun–there’s PLENTY of ideas that could work for you and your partner. Start off by tossing some confetti and popping a bottle of champagne, followed by an evening hanging out at a local casino, dancing under a disco ball, lighting and playing with sparklers/small fireworks, and more.
There are so many options to choose from when it comes to putting together your ideal winter engagement session. Our best advice is to pick out what best suits you and your partner’s personality and comfort level and make sure to communicate those ideas with your photographer.
Chances are, your photographer can ease your nerves and make you look flawless, but knowing what themes/styles/settings you want for your winter engagements will help them create images that you’ll cherish forever.
The benefits to a winter engagement are endless, but the best tip we can give is to really lean into the season and make your engagement photos your own. Add your personality, likes/dislikes, and whatever else you want into them to make your session not just fun, but genuine and personable to your relationship.