Shooting Winter Weddings

1. Make sure your camera and lenses are acclimated to the outdoor temperature.

What this means is that if you’re coming from a warm hotel and walk out into very cold or freezing weather, your equipment is going to fog up. If this happens you have a great chance messing up all the images. What we try to do is keep our equipment near an open window to keep it from getting too warm. Another thing that works is to get outside five or six minutes before the bride emerges so that your equipment can adjust to the temperature.

 

 

2. Plan before getting from point A to point B.

We try not to rely on the bride and groom to handle this for us. We explain that early on so it’s known that we are in charge of how we get around. The worst thing is when you are told there will be transportation and then none is there, and suddenly you must fend for yourself. You do not want to be separated from the bride and groom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Dress for the shoot.

This ceremony was outdoors in freezing temperatures, so we made sure to be dressed accordingly. Layers of clothing, and, most important, a pair of those gloves that let your fingertips emerge so you can work your camera controls. Mittens are not going to cut it for this sort of situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Always be aware and anticipate.

We were able to catch a touching moment with the bride and her son from a previous marriage. If you have been doing this as long as we have, you develop a sixth sense to know when something is about to happen. Be there, be aware, and be ready.

 

 

5. Exposure compensation.

Your camera is looking at this scene and saying, “Wow it’s bright here, let me close down my lens!!” Well, that is exactly the opposite of what you want the camera to do. You need to move that +/- dial on your camera to, say, +1 to start. Take a test photo, and then check it. You may even need to go to +1.5 /+2.0. Not doing so will give your images a gray, nasty look. Following the above procedure will make the snow look white and your photos pop out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Look for great light.

Snow offers you a natural reflector, so use it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Use the most reliable CF/SD cards out there.

You work so hard to capture your images, so you need memory cards that provide the performance you need and work reliably in freezing temperatures. I have found that Lexar memory does this, and as our images show, we made our couple very happy.