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Here at jmc-photography we love winter weddings. There is something so special about winter wedding photography. It can be the cosy fires, the Christmas decorations, candles, stunning sunsets and if you are lucky some fresh snow.
Here are some tips on how to get the best out of your winter wedding photographer. If you are getting married in winter, then hopefully you will find my top tips useful in finding the right photographer for you:
Sounds a no brainer, but try and visit your venue as near to your winter wedding date as you can. Your venues garden in full bloom during July will be very different to a frosty December day. A good photographer who knows the venue well will know where to get the best shots either outdoor, indoor, rain or shine. A window, a balcony or staircase could be a fantastic location for a couple’s portrait. Outside an entrance hallway, a gazebo in the garden or if all else fails lots of nicely coordinated umbrellas. Also talk to the wedding organiser at the venue and ask what can be done for photographs in bad weather.
It’s critical that your winter wedding photographer is able to move quickly. Not just because you could be freezing, but also because the light moves quickly in the winter. Make sure your photographer is competent with flash and off-camera lighting. It is really important that you have a photographer that understands how to light an image in the winter. Capturing a winter sunset takes skill especially when the light fades so fast. It is all about making the best of any natural light and complimenting it with additonal lighting if necessary. Ask your photographer what lighting they can offer as part of your package.
It’s not unusual for a bride to splash out on a fabulous pair of Jimmy Choo’s. In the winter it might be muddy and soggy, so why not bring a second pair shoes or make it fun with a designer pair of wellies too! That way, you can go for a stroll around the grounds without damaging the Jimmy’s.
No matter how sunny a day it may be, it is still going to be cold. A strapless dress in the middle of winter looks great but shivering and turning blue is not much fun. Instead embrace winter and think about furry boleros, shrugs and shawls. Don’t forget your umbrellas too – get a couple of pretty ones, they make a great addition to your photographs too!
As I said before, light is fundamental to winter wedding photography and that is why your timeline is quite important. In the winter months when the sun can be setting by 3 p.m. you need to think about your timing’s. Work with your venue and photographer to create a timeline which gives you enough time for photographs before the light starts to fade. This might mean holding your ceremony slightly earlier than you had first planned. As an alternative, you might want to do a First Look. A first look is where the couple meets before the ceremony, on their own, and spends a bit of time together having their portraits taken. The two of you seeing each other for the first time makes for a great photo opportunity and it’s a brilliant way of making sure you get portraits in natural light.
Leave yourself some extra time to travel to your venue or better still stay the night before and have the ceremony and reception at one venue. The roads can be perilous, especially if it snows. Extra time will make your day way less stressful. If you are lucky and you end up with perfect weather conditions, just think you’ll have more time to mingle with your guests.
And finally, the photographs. It might be the perfect winters day – crisp, blue skies and sunny or it might rain all day (to be fair this can happen in the summer too!). Treat your special day with realistic expectations of what images you can achieve. Speak to your photographer and discuss the images you would like in advance. Make sure they have lots of experience of winter wedding photgraphy and trust their skill and judgement to get you the best possible images. That means being flexible if the rain stops and there is a glimpse of sunshine . A good photographer will seize the moment and take you and your guests outside for some opportunistic pictures.
A winter wedding doesn’t mean big compromises on stunning wedding photographs. In fact, the very opposite is true. Winter weddings can actually mean you get some truly beautiful, unique photographs that you probably won’t get with a summer wedding.
It does however mean hiring an professional weinter wedding photographer that has lots of experience shooting winter weddings and understands good lighting. Don’t make the assumption that all wedding photographer’s are equal, the skills needed to do a winter wedding are much higher.
Proper planning is crucial, and a good wet weather plan should be talked about before your wedding.
Don’t be that bride who refuses to take a step outside in case her hair a little windswept or the underside of her dress gets a little dirty and damp. Honestly, by the end of the night no-one will care how clean or otherwise your dress is. However I promise, when you get your images back you’ll be so pleased you trusted your photographer and braved the elements.
For more information on Winter Wedding Photography from jmc-photography please call Jamie on 07768 905722 or email [email protected]
For more of our top tips take a look at our blogs