There’s no bad season for photography. Spring is great for lifestyle and love story series. In the summer and autumn, you can spend a lot of time outside and experiment with urban photography. Meanwhile, winter is when you should challenge your photography skills by taking night time shots, capturing falling snow and doing unconventional family photoshoots.

Although you may think the biggest obstacle is the weather, it’s far from it. Winter brings many picture-perfect moments, so don’t miss out on including seasonal shots in your portfolio. The season is the best time for authentic outdoor photos and for many other winter photography ideas we’ve rounded up in this article.

Winter photography ideas that you should try this season

1. Sunrise and sunset photography

The most magical winter images you can get are with sunrise and sunset photography. During the golden hour, the first hour after the sun rises and the last hour before the sun sets, the light is softer. The biggest challenge for you as a photographer will be to catch this time.

Sunrise and sunset photography paves the road to experimental photography during every season. Particularly in winter, you can climb up the roof of a high-rise building and document how the sun rises and sets. What makes these hours special is that the light will never be the same, so you can shoot the same landscapes, but always capture unique lighting.

winter background of beautiful sunrise

2. Winter landscape photography

Capturing nature during winter is a surefire way to get breathtaking photos. Everything looks mysterious and charming in the winter – forests, fields, water, and mountains are completely transformed. It should come as no surprise that many photographers enjoy taking landscape pictures.

To make your photography stand out, you should be ready to experiment. For instance, you can try astrophotography. With clear and starry sky, your winter landscape photography will definitely be admired by both professionals and enthusiasts.

Don’t forget to check the forecast, dress warm, and protect your camera gear with covers. In the winter, the weather conditions might be unexpected.

Star sky scene

3. Snow photography

The details of winter photography make the genre unique. Snow sparkles and adds charm to any image, so a lot of novice photographers rush outside once it starts to snow. However, not every snow close-up looks good. There are a lot of nuances to consider – from gear to camera settings – before going on a hunt for amazing pictures.

Here are some useful snow photography tips:

  • keep the battery warm
  • use fast shutter speed to capture the snowflakes
  • shoot in RAW for better image quality and ease with post-production
  • don’t use flash

Taking these tips into consideration and being open for experiments will allow you to get a better result and master your snow photography skills in a shorter period of time.

snow falling in the city

4. Winter night photography

Although there are few daylight hours in the winter, it’s not a reason to get upset. You can find advantages on this phenomenon and use it as an opportunity to master night photography skills.

Being far not the easiest photography genre to practice, night time shots require a lot of preparation. Explore the location in advance and think over the composition, get a tripod for sharp and beautiful photos, and experiment with exposure settings (ISO, shutter speed, and aperture). Also, don’t forget to shoot RAW, so at the stage of post-production, you can enhance the image without losing quality.

mountain village at sunset

5. Festive studio photography

Speaking about festive studio photography, perhaps the first thoughts that came to your mind are images of people posing in ugly Christmas sweaters and a Christmas tree in the background. However, not all studio photography has to be so corny.

You can play around with Christmas decor and think of unconventional but compositions while working with symbols and thematic elements. The portfolio of our contributor Ivan Zamurovic is a great example. The photographer took some festive props and made the most of them on pastel backgrounds. These images perfectly transmit the cheerful atmosphere of winter holidays in a more unexpected way because of the color palette.

Cloud with Christmas tree

However, if you specialize in portrait photography or would like to add some images of people to your creative portfolio, you can still find non-stocky themes. For instance, you can take pictures in tinsel or even try black and white Christmas photography.

6. Family outdoor photography

Following the theme of family photoshoot ideas, winter is the best time for outdoor photos. From capturing parents and children making a snowman together to decorating the facade of the house. You can make an entire series of authentic photos based on this idea.

Another idea is to invite your friends and relatives to pose as models. The fact that they don’t know how to pose will only be beneficial, especially if you aim to get truly authentic images.

Our contributor, Tanya Yatsenko, a portrait and family photographer, calls this approach a mix of lifestyle and documentary. What this means is that you don’t have to urge your models do something. Just allow them to be themselves and you’ll notice that the photos you get are as good as you imagined them to be.

Grandfather and a small girl

7. Winter travel photography

Searching for travel photography on the Depositphotos website, you’ll notice that most of the images were shot during warm seasons. Most photos feature sunny seascapes, green forests, tourists in sneakers and shorts. Having analyzed our library with millions of visuals, we came to the conclusion that winter travel photography is an unexplored theme on stock photography platforms.

If you’re not a contributor to Depositphotos yet, you can easily become one,  fill the niche with winter travel photography, and start making money. The images in demand include authentic shots of tourists exploring snow-covered streets, driving frosty roads or marvelling glaciers in Iceland. Small businesses are busy preparing their holiday marketing campaigns, driving more demand to these topics.

You can also use drones for winter landscape photography. Aerials of forests, mountains, and cities constitute perfect backgrounds, website hero images, and visual content for social media.

glacier man

Winter is coming and you’ll have three months at your disposal to try out a couple or all of these photography ideas. Don’t consider weather as an obstacle. When it’s snowing, rush outside and do some shots of a snow-covered city. On your day off, wake up earlier to master the winter landscape photography during the golden hour.

If you’ve always dreamed of seeing the northern lights, book your trip in advance and get on with winter travel photography. All in all, winter is an amazing season for experiments so try to make the most of it with these photography ideas.

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