Though it might not seem like a good idea on the surface, scheduling a winter engagement photoshoot outside can be one of the best wedding-related decisions you will ever make. Yes, that is a bold statement. But we have been helping couples document their love for the better part of a decade. And we can tell you that outdoor winter engagement photos are some of the most magical imaginable. They are absolutely worth braving the cold, snow and ice for. Images of you and your future spouse cuddling in a wintry wonderland will be as unique as your love story. And they will definitely stand out from the crowd!
Intrigued but still unsure if a winter engagement session is right for you? Read on to learn some of the more specific reasons why it can be a great idea. Already sold on having your pictures taken in the winter? Then head over to our blog, where we offer some great tips on how to get the most out of your photoshoot and some handy recommendations for what you should wear.
Let’s start with what we mentioned above, because it bears repeating. Outdoor winter engagement pictures are just plain stunning. Images of you and your future spouse embracing against a snowy white backdrop are the kind no one can take your eyes off of. And not only because a winter wonderland setting is so gorgeous. One of the secret reasons why outdoor engagement photos in winter are so striking is the relatively plain backdrop draws your eye to the most important part of an image. With stark white scenery occupying most of the frame, any visual incongruity stands out. In this case, you and your future spouse!
We would be lying if we told you that the cold is not an issue during outdoor winter engagement shoots. But what is the best way to stay warm on a frigid day? By snuggling up with the one you love, of course! You will naturally want to hug your spouse-to-be inside their coat and get your face near theirs. And that closeness is perfect for creating an intimate and romantic vibe that is going to look beautiful in your engagement portraits.
A winter engagement session outdoors makes sense for another reason: scheduling. Ok, this is definitely less exciting than the chance to get beautiful, romantic portraits. But let’s be honest here. Your dream wedding is not just going to materialize out of thin air. As you are no doubt discovering, it takes a lot of work to get everything right. And any little thing that makes that easier is always welcome. With that in mind, how can a winter engagement photoshoot make your wedding planning smoother? By ensuring that you get gorgeous images for your save-the-date with plenty of time to send them out before your summer nuptials. As beautiful as spring engagement photos are, a session during that time of year can force you to use other images for your cards.
Many people do not know this, but winter is the best season for jaw-dropping sunrises and sunsets. Why? Because the low angle of the sun at that time of year scatters the light more, resulting in more dazzling colors. So if your dream is to have engagement photos with a gorgeously lit sky behind you, winter is the time to do it! (Wondering how we know so much about sunrises and sunsets? It is definitely NOT because we are science whizzes. No, it is because we got our start as photographers taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets in the Washington DC metro area. Pro tip: The best spot for them near the Nation’s Capital is the Netherlands Carillon in Arlington.)
We actually did not take this particular winter engagement portrait anywhere near the DC metro area. We created this image during a destination engagement shoot at the traditional Christmas market in Hannover Germany. The couple were natives of that Northern German city and wanted betrothal pictures that were typically “Hannover.” Fortunately for them, they got a photographer (Anji) who grew up in that part of the world and who knew the Christmas market tradition very well.
Because those customs have changed very little since her childhood, Anji knew the layout of the market without having to even see it again. That meant that she had an instinctive feel for the best places for couples portraits. For instance, she knew that the Christmas market’s main thoroughfares were not ideal. The crowds would be too dense to get the kind of shots this couple was expecting. After getting a few pictures with the lights of the market in the background, she brought them to a quiet side street. That gave us more freedom to set up lights behind them that illuminated the transparent umbrella that we had given them. Thanks to Anji’s inside knowledge, we were able to get this stunning shot, which turned out to be their favorite from the shoot.
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