How do you make your engagement pictures really stand out? Make sure you have a location totally different than normal! That’s why international Michigan Tech students Andrew and Samantha decided to have their engagement pictures in the snow during their last year in the Keweenaw.
Planning Winter Engagement Pictures in the Snow
Samantha and Andrew reached out back in August to plan their engagement photos for the winter. They wanted to make their last Keweenaw winter special by planning engagement pictures that would be completely unique from the rest of their friends in South Africa.
Rob and I love getting out and enjoying the Keweenaw with people who love the area as much as we do, especially in the winter! We don’t have as many portrait sessions in the winter as we do during the warmer months, so winter engagement sessions are always a little extra special.
During their consult call we talked through different location options and decided on a date at the end of November when, based on past years, we have had plenty of snow for a “winter wonderland” background. However, a few weeks out we were still having abnormally warm temperatures for the area and we ended up pushing their session back a week into December, with plans for a backup date later in the month if needed.
Rob’s gran has a saying, “Whether weather is cold, or weather is hot – weather is weather, whether you like it or not!” And boy has it been fickle this fall! During November we went from 60 degrees to over two feet of snow accumulation. Yet, by Thanksgiving weekend it had warmed up and all melted away. Thankfully, the week of Andrew and Samantha’s engagement pictures, the temperature had settled back to “normal” and we had a week of snow and accumulation.
Winter Engagement Session at Boston Pond
One of my tricks for finding great snow for pictures in the early winter is to change the elevation. While it wasn’t quite as snowy in town, a drive up US-41 led us to great snow on the way to Calumet. Boston Pond is one of my favorite early winter locations for portraits. It’s not maintained and plowed during the winter, so we love to take advantage of it while we can still get in!
Boston Pond is a perfect place for engagement pictures in the snow. I love the deep green evergreens with their frosted branches right after a heavy snow!
As I mention in my tips for winter photos post, I make sure that we include lots of movement during winter portraits. Samantha & Andrew had the perfect amount of snow on the ground to still make it easy to run and play in.
Snowy Engagement Pictures in December
Samantha’s red coat was a gift from her mom, and it was really important to her to include it in their engagement pictures. While I tend to encourage more neutral tones for portraits, it depends on the type of material as well as the time of year.
Neutral tones (grays, creams, whites) are more flattering for skin tones because color casting can result in reflections on your neck and under your eyes, especially with neon colors and shiny polyester fabrics. This can also happen to your face if your partner is wearing a bright shirt!
However, when the ground is covered in snow, it works as a giant reflector to help bring more natural, white light back onto your skin. Additionally, a wool/cotton material like Samantha’s coat is not as reflective as a windbreaker or silky blouse.
I absolutely loved how Samantha and Andrew coordinated with their navy and red coats. It was such a fun pop of color against the snowy background!
Winter Engagement Session in the Keweenaw Peninsula
During winter engagement pictures, we plan for breaks to sit in the vehicle and warm up. There’s nothing worse than not being able to feel your hands or toes! Andrew and Samantha took a warmup break while I got some fun snowy pictures of her ring. They opted for a quick coat change to add some variety to their images. I loved Samantha’s gray coat, too! Faux fur is the perfect winter texture for portraits.
Samantha & Andrew, thank you for letting us be a part of your Keweenaw memories! We’ll be talking about your engagement pictures in the snow for the rest of the season – they were truly stunning!
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