Let me tell you a secret.

Spring is awesome, and summer downright fantastic.

But… Winter light absolutely ROCKS!

I am, first and foremost, an on-location photographer. Whilst I do love my cosy studio for newborn photo sessions, my passion is working outside – as you may have noticed by the huge number of outdoorsy photos in my family and children galleries. However, being based in the UK means that, for about 4-5 months a year, the weather conditions often don’t lend themselves to the leisurely unfolding family photo sessions that are my speciality. It can be very cold, or windy, or drizzly – and who wants to be out in that! But that doesn’t mean that the winter is completely out for family photo sessions. In fact, winter light is a huge gift to us family photographers, and it is one of my favourite shooting conditions.  If it’s not storming out there, and we’re all well wrapped up, there are some wonderful rewards when choosing to go outside for our family portraits at this time of the year.

(Guess what? All the photos in this post were taken between November and March!)

1: Magic Hour All Day Long
Golden Hour light is the holy grail of portrait photography. The most flattering, magical light you can get. But in summer, it belongs exclusively to sunrise and sunsets, which happen only at very inconvenient times of day for most young children (child tiredness being the no.1 enemy of family photographers everywhere!).  On a crisp, sunny winter’s day, you can expect to have golden hour ALL. DAY. LONG. The sun never gets high enough in the sky to cause harsh shadows on the face. Long shadows, soft light, the gentle rays warming the skin. Instant favourite!


2: Dramatic Skies
A thunderous grey sky is a breathtaking backdrop – even more so than a clear blue one. A grey horizon with pale sunlight coming though is what sparkly dreams are made of. Look at those beautiful skin tones pop!


3: Many moods
As a rule, I tend to edit my photos warm. It fits well with the mood of my Spring and Summer portraits. Winter light, however, is generally a cooler temperature, even when it is sunny. This gives me a lot of choice in editing. Most of the time, I stick with the warm edits, to bring out as much colour as possible in the wintry foliage…


But in some cases, I like to remain faithful to the original, colder mood, and edit much closer to the natural colours of the image. I find that this makes the subject really pop!


4: Dreamy Haze
Every now and then, we all like a bit of haze to add a magic mood to an image. The low light of winter creates the perfect conditions for pointing my lens straight into the light whilst shooting my subject, and adding a gentle, light veil to the shot.

5: Children in super cute head gear
Last but not least! Not only essential when it is really cold, but super photogenic. Bring out those woollies!

Winter Outdoor Portraits in Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey

Are you loving the winter light too? Let’s make the most of this mild winter and go shooting outdoors! I am a specialist children and family photographer based in Basingstoke and covering Reading, Winchester, Southampton, Newbury, Richmond, Farnham, Guildford, London and all cities and towns in between. I’m all about creating beautiful images of family love and connections. Find out more about my outdoor location  portraits; read about all the stunning ways you could display your family portraits, or simply contact me now to book your own, unforgettable family portrait experience.