How to Take Fall and Winter Pics Like a Pro!

Taking outdoor photos during the last few months of the year can provide some magical results!  Cooler weather means bundling up in flannels with cozy sweaters, or wearing the cutest hats and scarves.  Just thinking about the vibrant, colorful leaves of fall and stark white snow of winter makes everyone smile.  Before you get your camera ready, read these tips for a stress free and successful day behind the lens.

1.     Plan your day. Taking your photos just after the sun rises or just before it sets will provide you with the best light and color so try and plan your session around those times.  Two other quick tips:

a.      Shooting outdoors in the late afternoon, when your shadow is longer than you, provides some interesting shadow composition as well.

b.     Don’t worry about overcast days.  Shadows are softer and the sun isn’t so intense to drown out colors. 

2.     Dress warmly.   You’ll be outside for a bit so short sleeves, thin fabrics, and anything “summer” will not be comfortable for very long, even during fall.  Shivering makes it hard to look happy and pose properly.  Embrace the crisp weather and make sure clothing fits the scenery.

3.     Watch the weather and be flexible.  Warmer days may seem more pleasant but melting snow can change the entire look of your backdrop. If you are looking for light snow flurries, try and keep an eye on the weather forecast to make sure that you don’t end up with melting or heavy snow.

4.     Incorporate color. Even though fall and winter have some amazing colors to work with, why not wear a splash of color to really stand out in your photos? For example, vibrant shades of blues and greens look amazing amongst crunchy brown leaves.  In winter, just about any color contrasts to white but don’t be afraid to stay traditional with pops of red.  If you are wanting a softer look, choose pastels in any hue or color. 

5.     Leaves and snow are the ultimate props. Don’t forget the leaf fights, leaf forts, leaf heaps… who wouldn’t smile big during these fun activities?  When the flakes are falling, you have snowball fights, sledding and snow angels.  Again, who can resist a laugh when playing in the white stuff?

6.     Go on an adventure.  Visit a farmer’s market and snap some colors and shapes of fall fruits and veggies. Go apple picking or stop by the pumpkin patch.  If you aren’t a fan of crowds, locate a beautiful park and explore.  You’ll be making memories while searching for that perfect location, plus capturing some candid shots during the process.

7.     Stand in close.  Don’t miss the opportunity to focus in on the beautiful details of snowflakes landing on hair or eyelashes.  There is nothing more gorgeous or serene.

8.     Move back.  What better way to show the vast world we live in and how small we are in it than taking a step back to showcase the surroundings?

9.     Show the love.  When the weather puts a chill in the air, ask everyone to huddle together for warmth.  Even those who usually don’t want to cuddle can’t object to this.  It can make for a memorable photo!

10.  Let the magic happen.  Have fun!  Be spontaneous! Bring snacks and warm drinks.  Let the smiles come naturally and don’t stage too many photos.  Enjoy being in each other’s company and let your creativity flow.    And most importantly, document the love of family!

Dana Marquart

Photogenics on Location, 100 West Front Street, Washington, MO, 63090