Travel Photography

15 Creative Ideas for a Magical Snow Photoshoot

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Last Updated on March 30, 2021 by epapp

Are you looking to make lasting memories and beat the winter blues with a snow photoshoot?

Let’s face it. Whether you love it or hate it, snowy weather can make for some really beautiful photography.

Plus, you don’t necessarily need to travel far and wide to take amazing photos. Provided there’s snow to work with, you can create some winter magic right in your own backyard.

Here are some great ways to cash in on cold weather, get creative, and have a little fun in the process!

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snow photoshoot

15 Whimsical Ideas for a Snow Photoshoot

1. Embrace Sweater Weather

While you’re outside doing a snow photoshoot, chances are, you’re going to get cold pretty quickly. So why not take advantage of sweater weather?

In addition to layering up, bundle up in your favorite accessories to help create a cozy mood. Hats, earmuffs, scarves, mittens, and leg warmers are all fair game!

Not only will they keep you toasty, they’ll also look super cute on camera.

girl on snow day with a mug

2. Create a Snowy Portrait

Although I initially shied away from portrait shots, I recently began experimenting with them and have been pleasantly surprised.

portrait with snow covered trees

Portraits allow you to capture greater detail than full-body shots. They’re also ideal for any product photos you may want to do in the snow.

Plus, snow provides a nice neutral backdrop for portrait shots, as it won’t detract from your subject.

Here are my best portrait tips for your snow photoshoot:

Find a moderately simple backdrop – Avoid excessively busy backgrounds that may pull the focus from you.
Shoot with a 50mm prime lens (or thereabout) – Manually adjust the aperture to around F/2.5 or lower for a blurrier background. (The lower the number, the softer the background and the greater the depth.) Alternatively, if you’re looking to include a larger depth of field, you’ll want to use a wider lens. You can use anything from 20mm – 35mm, provided your subject is close enough.
Loosen up your body – Portraits can feel a bit awkward if you’re not used to showing your face on camera. Try incorporating some movement to get more comfortable in front of the camera. Play with your clothes, toss your hair, move side to side, and make it fun!

3. Channel Your Inner Elsa

Alternatively, if “the cold never bothered you anyway” (or you can “fake it till you make it”), try a glamorous shot.

girl in blue dress in snowy forest

Now, I’m not going to lie. This experience can be pretty miserable for a few minutes, but it can lead to some really stunning shots.

girl in dress dancing in snow from back
girl in dress dancing in snow

Here are my best tips for braving the cold in a dress:

Wear hidden layers – If you have a floor-length dress, you can usually conceal leggings and warm winter boots underneath. A little leg warmth makes a huge difference, trust me!
Keep your coat on as long as possible – This is key, especially while you frame the shot. Only remove it once you’ve selected your lens, set up the shot, and are confident in the composition.
Keep moving – This will keep the blood flowing to your extremities and help with circulation. Once your hands and feet feel frozen, it'll be much harder to pose (not to mention, stay focused)!
Focus on the outcome – A couple moments of discomfort will be worth it in the long run. Think about how your photo will help you achieve “x” goal and how proud you’ll feel once you nail it.
Reward yourself  – Whether it’s with a happy hour drink or that cute new outfit you’ve been eyeing, treat yourself after the shoot! You deserve it.

4. Admire Snow-Covered Trees

If you’re lucky enough to find a snowy forest landscape to shoot, seize the opportunity!

While visiting New Hampshire in winter, for example, we enjoyed some spectacular scenery in the White Mountain National Forest.

My go-to pose for a tree-heavy setting is to reach for a snow-covered tree branch.

girl admiring snow-covered tree branch

Additionally, if there’s a large enough clearing in the woods, you may want to center yourself in between rows of trees.

5. Play in the Snow

I typically suggest moving around as much as possible while shooting because it tends to yield more natural-looking poses. Fortunately, snow naturally lends itself to movement because it’s fun to play in!

kicking the snow

Don’t be afraid to let your inner child come out and play in the snow. Dance around, kick up the snow, throw it up in the air, and let loose a little!

It may feel a bit silly, but if you’re genuinely having fun, that joy will shine through and your photos will look more genuine.

6. Catch Snowflakes on Your Tongue

Speaking of letting your inner child out, remember how fun it was to catch snow on your tongue?

girl catching snowflakes on her tongue

This can also make for a cute, playful shot.

7. Blow Snow Out of Your Hands

This is a perfect one for those super powdery days where there’s plenty of fresh snow.

girl blowing snow in front of pink house

PRO TIP: Gather the snow in your hands, but avoid packing it too tightly, as this will make it harder to blow.

Next, spread the snow across the surface of your gloves and give it a shake to make sure it’s loose enough.

Then, have your photographer shoot in continuous mode to capture a great action shot.

8. Make a Snow Heart

Sure, snow hearts may be overdone on Instagram, but there’s a reason for that! In addition to being irresistibly cute, they’re also perfect for Valentine’s content.

making snow hearts in Woodstock, Vermont

PRO TIP: Since it’s going to take a few minutes to pack some snow into a heart, I highly recommend wearing gloves to keep warm!

9. Incorporate an Oversized Teddy Bear

Incorporating props into your content is a great way to make your photos more compelling. Plus, props can help resolve the issue of what to do with your hands, particularly if posing doesn’t come naturally.

I’ve actually created a guide of the best photoshoot props you can reference to help get the creative juices flowing.

My current favorite is my oversized teddy, Theo!

girl in snowy woods with oversized teddy bear

I recently fell in love with the teddy trend on Instagram and purchased him soon after.

An oversized bear is a great prop because it offers so much versatility. You can dress yours up as well as try out a bunch of different poses.

girl with oversized teddy bear on shoulders in snow
girl with oversized teddy bear in snowy woods

Here are some cute poses to try with your teddy:

  • Give him/her a hug
  • Spin in a circle holding hands
  • Put him/her on your shoulders
  • Dance together
  • Incorporate him/her in a fun picnic

10. Go Sledding

While we’re on the topic of fun props, why not incorporate a sled for your snow photoshoot?

girl sledding in snow

Although vintage-style wooden sleds can be tricky to come by, there’s fortunately a vast selection to choose from on Amazon:

I’d definitely recommend selecting one of the wooden styles from Amazon for the quality as well as the photogenic aspect.

girl on sled in snow

11. Play Peek-a-Boo

Mittens are incredibly cute for a snow photoshoot and the “peek-a-boo” pose is the perfect way to show them off!

girl with mittens playing peek-a-boo in snow

PRO TIP: I recommend getting a convertible pair with a flap that opens up for your fingers. This will make it much easier to operate your camera settings, fix your hair, etc. once you put them on!

12. Cozy Up to Your Snow Companion

Cold weather means it’s time to snuggle up for warmth and reap that good ol’ body heat!

Plus, snow creates a super romantic backdrop for a fun couple’s shot.

couple kissing in snowy woods

However, even if you’re flying solo, you can still create a fun photo with a friend, family member, or even a pet!

13. Wander Down a Scenic Road

Snow can easily transform an ordinary road into a spectacular winter scene, so if you can find one, take advantage!

girl walking snowy highway

Just watch out for cars if it’s a busy street.

Alternatively, if you can find a less popular road (such as a forest clearing), this is usually ideal.

PHOTO TIP: Outside of having to negotiate with traffic, roads are typically super simple to photograph. Since they naturally have leading lines, they’re usually easy to frame. I recommend centering your subject.

14. Scope Out a Snowy Cabin

I realize it’s not every day that you have access to a cabin in the woods. That said, it may be worth planning a winter trip to enjoy a more extensive snow photography session.

girl at snow covered cabin in the woods

Personally, I recommend escaping to New Hampshire or Vermont to satisfy your winter wanderlust. The snow-covered mountains and magical forest scenery really blew me away.

Additionally, if you can find a cabin to rent, even better!

15. Capture a Covered Bridge

Again, a covered bridge isn’t something you come across every day.

However, if you have the time to plan, I highly recommend a trip to New England in winter.

girl and red covered bridge with snow

So far, my favorite destinations for charming covered bridges have been northern New Hampshire and Woodstock, Vermont.

Shop my winter look here!

Believe it or not, shooting in winter can actually be easier than in other seasons, provided you can withstand cold. Since snow can instantly turn an ordinary scene into something extraordinary, half the work is already done for you!

I really hope this guide will jumpstart your creativity and inspire some fun ideas for your next snow photoshoot.

While we’re on the topic, be sure to check out my companion guide of 15 creative Christmas photoshoot ideas.

Have you ever experimented with snow photography before? What were some of your favorite winter photoshoot ideas? Let me know in the comments below!

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3 thoughts on “15 Creative Ideas for a Magical Snow Photoshoot

  1. I LOVED all of your snow photos from your New Hampshire trip! This is such a great guide and super helpful. (Even before you posted this article, I got a lot of ideas from your IG Reel!) Also, all of your outfits are so beautiful. 🙂

  2. Those earmuffs are adorable! I also really like that pastel sweater. My Dad has one of the old sleds like that at our garage at home- I’ll have to try and get it while there’s still snow on the ground here in Kentucky!

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