12 Winter Engagement Session Photo Shoot Ideas

The winter season brings with it majestic photo opportunities. But, to capture those frost-tinged winter engagement photos, you’ll need to come prepared.

By Ruksana Hussain

Winter Engagement Photo Shoot Ideas
Photo by Zola

The First Look ✨

This marvelous season offers a little something extra to every setting, whether you’re in front of a dazzling mountain range or relishing in the intimacy of your own home. Let the magic of the winter frost act as your personal filter and give your photoshoot the complete storybook treatment. We’re here to help break down everything you need to know about winter engagement pictures:

Winter Engagement Themes

Winter engagements come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and the amount of choices that you must make planning them can be overwhelming. Whether you started planning yesterday or you’ve been dreaming of it since you were 12, identifying the theme for your engagement can help you organize all the different details for the photos. Start with broad categories, such as:

  • Formal and classic – A more traditional approach is an excellent excuse for you both to get fancy and dressed up. But, if you're willing to brave the cold (or you live somewhere mild), outdoor settings can provide a nice contrast for all your finery.

  • Casual and modern – Showcase your personalities with casual clothes that make you look and feel good. Let your individuality and fashion sense shine through as you walk around the city or give the camera a glimpse of your everyday life together at home.

  • Sporty and adventurous – For athletic couples, the outdoors is an excellent opportunity to showcase your prowess. Hit the ice or snowy hiking trails for more active and informal pictures.

  • Bohemian and creative – Soft pastels, mixed fabrics, and winter florals make up the vision board for this style category. Artsy couples can let their creativity shine through in their fashion choices both indoors and out.

Whatever theme you choose for your engagement photos, Zola will help you find the perfect match for them in our wedding paper collections via eye-catching wedding invitations and more.

Tips for Troubleshooting Winter Engagement Photos

That classy picture of your intertwined hands with the sparkly new ring on it looks great on your phone, but nothing shouts, “We’re engaged!” like a professional engagement photoshoot. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your winter engagement photos:

  • Don’t get caught off guard by the chill – If you want to frolic outdoors in the snow for your photos, try to dress warmly. For those brave souls who want to bare some skin in their engagement photo outfits, have a friend or sibling on standby with a blanket or coat ready to bundle you up in between shots.

  • Check the weather forecast frequently – If snow is involved, you want the fresh, unspoiled stuff, not the grey slush that’s already been trekked over. Keep an eye on your weather app so that you can be the first one out in the winter wonderland. Working with a local engagement photographer who can be on the ground when you are there could also make the process easier.

  • Take advantage of winter daylight – Many couples prefer the flattering light of golden hour, but for photoshoots set in the wintertime, make sure that you start well before sunset. Since days in the winter are shorter, it gets dark earlier, and you don’t want to lose the light before you’ve finished capturing the perfect pictures.

  • Have a backup plan – Sometimes plans fall through, or the weather doesn’t hold up. Don’t let your session go to waste by making sure that you have a Plan B in place. Backup plans include having a second location if the snow's already been disturbed in your first or having somewhere cozy and romantic indoors ready if a sudden storm hits.

  • Get a variety of different photos – Snap a few extra shots that switch up the tone so that you have a variety to pick from for other wedding paper purposes. That way, you're not stuck with the same type of pictures and poses for everything.

Need help finding someone who can bring your vision to life? Zola makes it easy to search for top wedding photographers by style so that you can find the perfect match.

12 Winter Engagement Photo Ideas to Kickstart Your Own

For those who need a helping hand with brainstorming, we’ll go over 12 detailed ideas for winter engagements that you can use for your own.

1. Hit the Ice

You don’t need to have fully planned choreography to be magic on ice. Grab your skates and hit the rink together for some movement-packed shots. Photo credit: Unsplash

2. Take Advantage of Outdoor Winter Festivities

For those who prefer their feet firmly on solid ground, look around your community for winter fairs and outdoor markets where you can take a romantic stroll. Photo credit: Unsplash

3. Drive to a Place with a View

Couples who love to see the sights together on road trips can show off their adventurous and romantic lifestyle. Puffer jackets, wool caps, and big smiles are welcome. Photo credit: Unsplash

4. Use Empty Streets and Cityscapes as Your Backdrop

Try scheduling during the off hours to avoid busy times of the day where there’s sure to be lots of heavy foot traffic. Be patient and flexible as snow in the city is more likely to get trampled to mush, so the key to getting the perfect shots is speed. Get to your location soon as it stops snowing. Find locations with great shots of the architecture as part of your backdrop. This could also be your wedding venue!

Photo credit: Unsplash

5. Get Playful with Snow

  • Build a miniature snow couple together. Or cuddle up on a sled with your partner, and then brace yourselves for the rush of adrenaline as you go down the hill.

  • Photo credit: Unsplash

  • If there’s a beloved furry member of your family, include them in the shoot with you. They’ll love being included in the fun, and extra points if the presence of a beloved canine friend helps you two relax in front of the camera.

Photo credit: Unsplash

  • Unleash your inner child and make snow angels beside one another. Make sure that you save this shot for last after you’ve taken all the other photos that you want, so that you don’t have to worry about wet clothes or hair.

Photo credit: Unsplash

6. Use Your Own Backyard

If you have a photogenic backyard, why not eliminate the risk of public locations, and stage a winter photoshoot on your own property?

Photo credit: Unsplash

7. Stand Out with Colorful Accessories or Coordinated Outfits

Make use of the cool winter palette, avoid distracting prints and stick with classic looks. Use these elements to inspire your winter engagement look:

  • Red is a tried-and-true crowd favorite when it comes to winter colors. Crimson dresses or burgundy suits make for show-stopping outfits that evoke a festive air.

  • An umbrella makes an excellent prop that’ll keep you dry, while adding an element of whimsy to your shoot. Lean in with a bold color (red is again an iconic option).

Photo credit: Unsplash

8. Take Your Engagement Photos While the City Is in Its Holiday Best

Part of the seasonal cheer comes from cities getting dressed up in their winter best for the most wonderful time of the year. Why not take advantage of all the lights and holiday wreaths?

Photo credit: Unsplash

9. Go Tree Shopping

Why go to nature when nature can come to you? If you’d like to evoke a winter forest without leaving city limits, go shopping for Christmas trees in an open market or with a local seller.

Photo credit: Unsplash

10. Use Seasonal Locations

Popular winter getaway spots, such as ski slopes and cabins, make excellent backdrops for authentic looking engagement photos.

Photo credit: Unsplash

11. Staying Indoors

For those love birds who prefer to winter away somewhere toasty and warm, windows with snow piling up the sill or painting the scenery outside the glass white will do plenty. Settle in for the night by the fire with mugs of hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Photo credit: Unsplash

#12 Recreate the New Year Magic

A new year means new beginnings, and your engagement is a new beginning to the next chapter of your lives together. Capture the midnight kiss on camera as fireworks light up your faces.

Photo credit: Unsplash

Chill Out After Your Engagement Photo Shoot with Zola

So, you've figured out all the details for a dazzling set of winter engagement photos—now what?

Turn your attention to the many ways that you can repurpose engagement pics for your wedding planning needs. From your wedding invitations to the FAQ page on your wedding website, Zola can help you enhance your engagement photos onto hundreds of different designs.

Do you have the perfect engagement photo that you’d like to turn into a keepsake for all your guests? Zola can help make your Save the Dates magnets so that they can go on the fridge of your invited guests. For all the different ways that you can deck out the wedding paper with your gorgeous winter engagement photos, check out our Invites + Papersection at Zola. Plus, if you're interested in booking other seasonal photoshoots, we have a list of spring, summer and fall engagement photo ideas, too!

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