A wintery photograph of a city at night, covered in snow.

There’s something about a crisp wintery walk or heading out onto the piste that makes you want to reach for your camera. Winter presents so many beautiful photo opportunities, like action shots on the slopes, glistening ice and snow days with the kids. So, to make sure you capture the best of the chilliest season, we’ve put together seven photography tips to help you take pictures like a pro. You’ll have enough to create a bonusprint photo book in no time.

Look after your camera equipment

An image of a woman wearing a parka taking a photo with a DSLR camera.

Whether you’re heading out into the cold with your DSLR or a smartphone, it’s important to look after your camera equipment. Low temperatures can reduce the efficiency of your batteries, so bring some spares for your camera or keep your phone warm and dry.

To be extra safe, take a waterproof bag to keep your gear away from any moisture and pack a cloth just in case.

Be aware of your light

Image of a young boy playing out in the snow, ready to throw a snowball towards the camera, with a woman in the background, also ready to throw a snowball.

You can take a variety of shots in different wintery light conditions, especially during sunset and sunrise, which will add gorgeous colour to your images. When the sun is low on the horizon but still bright, this is an ideal time to take landscape shots. In this golden hour, you can make use of long shadows and warm light to get some very effective snaps. To avoid missing that early morning or evening glow, check the sunset and sunrise times before you head out with your camera.

When the sun is high, this is perfect for taking your ski or snowboarding holiday snaps. And if you’re out walking on a grey day, you can take advantage of these light conditions too. The grey will make bright colours stand out, so you could get some beautiful photos of the kids in their colourful winter coats.

Experiment with action shots

Image of a young boy playing out in the snow, ready to throw a snowball towards the camera, with a woman in the background, also ready to throw a snowball.

Whether you’re hitting the slopes on your skis or having a snowball fight with the kids, you can get some great wintery action photos with a few camera techniques.

To freeze a snowball mid-flight or a skier or snowboarder in action on your holiday photos, you need to alter your shutter speed. This is best to do on a DSLR because not all smartphones let you alter your shutter speed. Try a shutter speed above 1/500th of a second, but be sure you don’t underexpose your shots, which will make them too dark. If your photos are too dark, you can increase the ISO value on certain cameras.

Give different settings a go until you find the effect you like. If you need a few extra pointers on working with shutter speed, here are some practical tips to help you out.

Take some cosy close-ups

A close-up of a brown, white and black puppy playing out in the snow.

To capture cute wintery close-ups, get as close as you can to your subject. You can explore your pet photography skills or take some adorable photos of the kids in the snow, and then you can create a photo book full of all the cosy shots you take.

Just keep in mind, if you’re using a wide-angle lens to take the shot, they can distort your subject when you get too close, so try shooting at different distances to get the perfect close-up.

Capture winter in the city

Consider elements that can make your photo more interesting. Backgrounds, shadows, people. But also consider simplicity. It’s sometimes those images that come out the best.

A red metal rail covered in icicles.

A winter break is an ideal time to practice your city photography. You could capture a snow-covered street, twinkly winter lights at night or a frozen fountain to add to your next photo book. If you’re into street photography, take advantage of some high contrast light conditions to add great new shots to your portfolio. And on a trip away with the family, you can snap some super cute photos of the kids warming up with a hot chocolate after a long day of exploring.

Play around with exposure

A photo of snowfall over London at night, with Big Ben in the background, slightly out of focus, and the London Eye in the left-hand corner.

With such diverse light conditions, winter is perfect for experimenting with exposure. Exposure regulates how dark or light your image is, and with a DSLR, you can adjust this manually to adapt to the changing light.

Overexposure means there’s too much light in your image, whereas underexposure creates a very dark image. On your camera, you can alter the amount of light entering the lens by adjusting the shutter speed or aperture. If you have a very bright scene, like a snowy mountain in the sunshine, go for a shorter exposure time, as this will let less light into your image. And if you’re shooting a darker scene, go for a longer exposure time to allow more light in.

To find out more about image exposure, check out our introduction to photography basics, or read our guide on shutter speed to get practising new techniques.

Relive your favourite family moments

Relive your favourite family moments

Winter is full of special moments with the family, like sledging with the little ones or taking the kids on their very first ski trip. And with so many fun activities on the cards, it’s a great time to capture photos you’ll love to look at again and again. So, why not try snapping some candid photos of everyone together?

Next time you’re out and about as a group, try taking spontaneous shots of everyone. You might need to experiment with shutter speed as you go because shooting in low light can make it trickier to get those little glances or un-posed moments with a fast shutter speed.

We hope these tips will help you capture some stunning wintery scenes. So, wrap up warm, keep your camera kit dry and get ready to take some amazing images that you’ll want to look back on time after time. And when you’ve collected all your best ski shots and snowball fight snaps, create a bonusprint photo book to add to your bookcase.

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