Why there's nothing bleak about midwinter photos - Three tips to improve your winter photography

Happy New Year! For my first post of 2018 I want to convince you why winter is an amazing time for photos and share a few tips for winter photos too. 

In the UK we're not only obsessed with the weather, we're also eternally disappointed with it.

During winter we bemoan the sprinkling of snow that soon turns to slush, wishing we could properly experience the Danish comforts of Hygge while truly snowed in. We hold out all summer for those fabled two weeks at the end of July when it'll be 30 degrees in the shade and Eastbourne beach rivals the French Riviera, only to find ourselves eating our ice creams inside. 

If winter's starting to get you down, here's why you don't need to wait for warmer days to enjoy outdoor photography:

1: Think about the colours

At the start of winter I photographed a woodland event for pre-schoolers. The day of the event was wet, windy and a little cold, but the children loved it anyway. When I sent the photos to my client she asked 'How did you not make it look as wet as it really was? Also, no one looks soaked!'

 Bright colours in the woods

Bright colours in the woods

The wet weather and grey skies made everyone's colourful waterproofs and woolly hats stand out against the neutral colours of the background. 

 Approaching the woods

Approaching the woods

TIP 1: Before you take a photo, think about how you can simplify the colours you include to make them really stand out against winter scenery.

 

2: Look at the light

Yes we complain about the darker evenings in the winter time, but it means the sun is lower in the sky earlier in the day giving some amazing chances to play with light and create atmosphere in photos.

 Rupert and his Daddy

Rupert and his Daddy

Even in the early afternoon, the sun's rays can add atmosphere to photos at a time which would be way past little ones' bedtime in midsummer.

If it's cloudy that's no problem either because a cloudy sky creates a very even light which is very flattering for portraits.

TIP 2: Experiment with where your subject is placed in relation to the sun. When the sun is low in the sky, it can create some interesting effects.

 

3: Incorporate winter treats

There's something else really beautiful which happens when many of the colours in nature become more muted, the little treats like berries and seed pods which we celebrate as part of our seasonal traditions also stand out. 

 Reaching for cherries

Reaching for cherries

There are other delights to include in your photos too - if the cold weather gets a little too much, a lovely warm hug and a hot chocolate is always the ultimate treat after enjoying the best of the seasons!

TIP 3: Make a feature of seasonal treats in your photos.

What's your favourite thing about winter? Do you enjoy the great outdoors or do you prefer to stay snug and warm inside? Share your ideas in the comments below.