How to Take Amazing Winter Photos of Your Kids

Crisp, white-covered landscapes, begging for a child to burst onto the scene — freshly fallen snow is the perfect backdrop for a Winter photo session with your kids. But how to capture your children and the light and fluffy snow accurately? We turned to Minneapolis/St. Paul-based photographer Amy Lucy Lockheart, founder of Amy Lucy Photography and a Clickin Moms mentor who teaches the “First Steps with a DSLR” class, to get some pointers for photographing this season.

She shared, “We take hundreds or even thousands of pictures of our kids outside during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. When it gets to be Winter, our kids go out to play, but our cameras tend to stay inside. It’s time to change that! Bring your camera when you go play in the snow. You may just get some of your favorite photos of your kids!”

Read on for Amy’s 10 best tips for photographing kids throughout the Winter months.

1. Set the Mood

Source: Amy Lucy Photography

Using traditional photo ideas as inspiration is a great way to start. Amy says, “Nothing says ‘Winter’ more than a fresh coat of snow, evergreens, and a happy child in a red coat! Find the perfect location, the perfect outfit, and then just watch for the perfect shot as your child frolics in the snow.”

2. Let Them Explore

Source: Amy Lucy Photography

Giving kids time to get used to their surroundings can work to your advantage. Amy notes, “Kids love being kids. They love to explore, pretend, and let their imaginations run wild. Take photos of your kids immersed in their own little worlds as they pretend to be Arctic explorers on a mission or princesses jumping on puffy white clouds.”

3. Get In Close

Source: Amy Lucy Photography

"Have you ever noticed the way delicate snowflakes land in hair and on eyelashes?" Amy asks. "It’s incredibly beautiful and definitely worth capturing. Ask your child to stand still for a moment, so you can get in close and photograph those special details."

4. Back Up

Source: Amy Lucy Photography

Giving yourself multiple perspectives makes for a better selection when you’re done. Amy says, “Now that you’ve gotten your detail shots, remember to back up and capture the surroundings. Doesn’t your little girl or boy look tiny compared to the vast, snowy landscape? Show just how small they are and how beautiful the scenery is by using a wide-angle lens or backing up.”

5. Play With Light

Source: Amy Lucy Photography

Natural light is your best accessory, according to Amy. “You don’t have to just take pictures in the middle of the day. During the morning and evening, the sun is lower in the sky and the light is really beautiful. Bring your camera outside during those quiet times and see how magical the light can be.”

6. Safety First

Source: Amy Lucy Photography

Be sure to be aware of the weather conditions before setting out. Amy notes, “Being outdoors in wintertime can be dangerous. You’ve got to bundle the kids up and have access to a warm and safe location. Have them dress in layers, wear hats, and don’t forget superwarm mittens and boots. I often dress in less clothing than my kids so I know when I start to get chilly, we need to go inside.”

7. Group Them

Source: Amy Lucy Photography

Using the weather to your advantage can make a great photo op. Amy reminds us that, “When the temperatures are chilly, it’s a great time to ask your kids to huddle together and get those rare cuddling shots. Encourage your kids to get very close: they want to stay warm and you want to get that amazing shot of them together. Win win!”

8. Trick Them

Source: Amy Lucy Photography

Amy says you can bend the truth a bit to get your kids to coordinate. “When your kids are reluctant to go outside, sometimes a simple and fun idea can change their mind. A fun activity like pretending to be a snowflake fairy or Winter butterfly could get them outside long enough to grab a few fun shots.”

9. Create a Scene

Source: Amy Lucy Photography

It’s OK to position your kids in the perfect scene. According to Amy, “Sometimes it’s fun to get creative with your kids. Think up a fun scene and get your kids involved in creating it. Maybe you could reenact a scene from a favorite movie or children’s book. Inspiration is all around you — all you need is a good idea that is fun for the whole family. Then just go for it!”

10. Let Them Take It All in

Source: Amy Lucy Photography

The first snow of the season is the most magical time of all. Amy notes, “Remember when you were a kid and you woke up to the sight of softly falling snowflakes? It seemed like pure magic. Forget about shoveling your driveway and instead go outside so your child can take it all in. Take pictures of your happy child as she sees the Winter wonderland for the first time of the season.”

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