How gloriously festive is this beautiful image from Sophie Alexandria? Shot at a recent wedding in The Highlands, Sophie talked us through how she achieved it. She concludes by saying that she ‘winged it’ but I disagree. It sounds to me like she put a lot of effort into planning to create this picture and was reactive to the situation.
She knew from doing a previous recce, the spot that she wanted to take them to, in order to make the best of the avenue and the trees. Heavy snowfall, is very much not the time that any of us want to be driving around without a plan.
She also recalled a discussion that we had back in our Clubhouse days where Neil Thomas Douglas talked about an image he shot in snow and how to do exposure compensation. In extreme weather, our skills are pushed and maybe we cannot rely on equipment as much but our instincts can take over and we do the best that can be done at the time.
You have to work fast in snow and yes maybe you cannot rely on EVF but if this pair were dreaming of a winter wonderland for their wedding and having photos out in it, Sophie has delivered it perfectly.
As she says, she is now adding some weatherproofing to her kit for the future. For more Cold Weather shooting tips, head over to our survival guide.
What Sophie Said…
“Due to the heavy amount of snow and full skies, we were losing daylight quicker than we planned, so we decided to take the couple out for their portraits straight after the ceremony and take them down the drive to the venue entrance.
We drove down a good bit, then we approached this specific spot in the photograph. I felt like I had entered a scene from Narnia and knew this was where we had to pull over. I had never experienced shooting in those conditions before and we definitely weren’t expecting it, so it was time to wing it 🙂
The snow was so heavy, my equipment was soaked and I could barely see what I was shooting but I knew exactly the image I wanted from the second I got Simon the Videographer to pull over.
We stayed in this spot for 5 minutes, probably even less, and gave the couple a few poses, click-click, back in the car and back to the venue we went. I had no idea what I captured and I had no idea if the photos were going to work in post. The snow was THAT heavy!
The bride and groom were the perfect couple for this scenario, they knew it was going to be worth it, trusted me and I can now say it was worth it although at the time I couldn’t help but think, one of these better be in focus!!!
I felt emotional when editing their previews, I knew this was a rare snowy wedding to have and just felt so grateful to experience it the way I did and to be able to give the bride and groom these magical photographs. I have never in my life experienced snowfall like that and on a wedding day too!
How to Shoot a Wedding Portrait in the Snow
“It was only 2pm when we took this photograph, we should have still had at least another hour of daylight but because of how heavy the skies were it was pretty much blue hour at 2pm.
I remembered the advice I had previously received from other Farmers and made sure when shooting in the snow to underexpose the image more than usual although it was already pretty grey looking I went ahead with it anyway and it worked a treat.
Although this was a very rare experience, I will definitely be looking into some sort of waterproof cover to have on standby just in case this happens again. My electronic viewfinder kept getting covered by massive snowflakes so I couldn’t see the image on my screen anymore which I heavily rely on as I always feel looking through my viewfinder doesn’t give me a full representation of what the image is going to look like. But overall, I feel I just got really lucky and did what anyone else would have done in this situation, winged it!”