Expert Advice: Winter Wedding Photography Tips from Kat Stanley

One of our favourite photographers Kat Stanley from Kat Stanley Photography shares her top tips for capturing magical wedding photos during winter by answering our questions below.

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How can you still take photos outside even if it’s raining?

There are so many ways. I would never let the rain ‘dampen’ a couple’s day. By trying to keep my clients in good spirits I would get them to embrace the weather. There is nothing you can do to change it, so use it to your advantage. The nature around you will look fresh and soft in the rain, and your skin will have a beautiful glow.

You can find a huge tree and use it as your refuge. Or get out those umbrellas and give them a twirl. Stomp your feet in those gumboots. Make some amazing memories.

An in depth observation of local wet weather options is crucial for your wedding day.

In Sydney we find some of the following venues and destinations are sure to make you happy on the day. We suggest:

  • Queen Victoria Building (QVB) with its opulence and grand ceilings it offers a fantastic alternative to an outdoor photo shoot.
  • Sydney Uni offers some incredible archways and corridors under cover as a beautiful historic backdrop.
  • Martin Place, Sydney CBD offers a range of styled locations outdoors which will protect you from the elements as well.
  • Angel Place is a styled lane for foot traffic which is decorated with art and birdcages hanging from long rope, giving a vintage, artistic feel to your photos.
  • Intercontinental Hotel exudes elegance and simplicity with the most amazing skyline of Sydney Harbour as the view.
  • The Ivy Sunroom is a retro inspired conference area, filled with bright green and yellow accents for that perfect hint of flavour.
  • Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour sprinkled with restaurants and bars, entryways and architecture and with the harbour right in front of you for a contrast in images.
  • Dendy Cinema, Circular Quay features gorgeous patterns on the floor which are great for aerial style shooting options.
  • The Ivy Pool Club has a resort style setting with fun and cheeky furnishings.
  • Observatory Hill, The Rocks there is a few under cover options and also a Rotunda

Underneath the Harbour Bridge, The Rocks – if there is only light rain there are some fantastic undercover areas in and around The Rocks

I have actually just written an entire blog specifically on this subject if you’d like to refer to this link: http://blog.katstanleyphotography.com/2014/06/03/what-to-do-if-rain-is-forecast-for-your-wedding-day/

Do you suggest using props?

Yes, 100%. This can drastically change the look of a photo. It is such a great way to make your wedding photos unique and personal – which is what I’m all about! What sums you up as a couple? What best represents the two of you? Bring along anything sentimental or meaningful to you. And, think about what you will enjoy looking back on the most later in life, what will make you giggle at 70 years old?

winter wedding photo tips

Are there particular shots you recommend for a winter wedding?

Photo shoots in winter are the perfect opportunity to cuddle up and make each other warm and cosy. It’s all about the romance and your chemistry together.

Have you ever considered buying a fur or faux fur? There are so many great options out on the market today and these can photograph really well.  Why not rug up in one on your big day?

Another thing to think of especially if you’re having an outdoor wedding in winter is having an array of vintage blankets for your guests to warm up with. A couple I photographed at a country wedding recently in Camden had a beautiful wooden chest filled with warm unique blankets. I thought this was a great touch for a cooler wedding.

Does the time of day need to be taken into consideration?

Yes, have you ever heard of the magic hour? When the sun starts going down there is this perfect soft skies which makes the perfect setting for dreamy photos. I often pull out the external flash to lighten up the front of my subjects or even back light them to create a desirable effect.

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Is there a specific time that is better to take photos for a winter wedding? (For lighting purposes)

We are very lucky to get the most magical sunsets in winter. And with sun setting earlier then in summer you often get a better opportunity to have it in your photos.

I will be posting a list on my website that shows the sunrise and sunset for everyday in the year shortly. The best time for photos is generally 1 hour prior to the sun setting.

Are there any specific limitations couples should be aware of?

Ensure you allow enough time. Often time limitations can affect you on the day. In my experience I find that some couples don’t allow enough time to enjoy certain moments on the day. Especially if there is a lot of travel between the ceremony and venue etc, traffic is often a major delay on weekends. So if you can plan your day within a close proximity there will be more time for you to enjoy yourself.

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Are there particular locations that photograph better during the winter?

Yes, anywhere where you can see snow. In NSW the best spots would be Thredbo, Cooma, Jindabyne, or Perisher. Well the obvious one would be the snow! We have chosen to have our wedding in NZ.

Have you had or heard of any horror stories – that you have a solution for?

There are always horror stories going around but I try not to worry my clients with the negatives. Often when things don’t go to plan on your wedding day it doesn’t end up worrying you because you will be having too much of a good time anyway. You just have to deal with things and accept them and move on to your next glass of champagne! You can’t plan everything so just try to go with the flow.

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You can’t tell by the photos but this bridal couple along with Kat ‘braved the cold and stormy weather at this wedding last month’ to capture some truly beautiful shots.

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‘It was a really windy day on the harbour, with wind speeds up to 40km. So I chose the best location to avoid the weather (under the harbour bridge) instead of our original plan which was the opera house stairs – and we made the most of it,’ said Kat.

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These photos are proof that with a quality wedding photographer you can get exquisite wedding photos come rain, hail or shine!

For more examples of Kat’s unique photography check out Brad & Elyse’s Real Wedding

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