Kate Farrell Photography

Family and Dog photographer
Burlington and Northern Vermont

Three Tips for Winter Photography in Vermont

In the middle of this cold and snowy Vermont winter, I thought some tips for winter photography in Vermont might be fun.

A little girl has just thrown some fluffy snow up in the air. Her Dad and two dogs look on. A fun example of winter photography in Vermont.

Embrace Golden Hour

This is always good photography advice. In the hour before the sun sets, the sunlight is low and angled. This light filters through the trees and creates interesting shadows.

My favorite trick at golden hour is to have the sun behind my subject. Light filtering through trees (especially evergreens at this time of year) is beautiful. The longer shadows that result give a feeling of being out on a cold day.

A big brown and white dog stands on a pond dock at sunset on a cold winter day. The ground is snow-covered and the pond is frozen.

Be sure to expose for your subject, not the sky, or your subject will be dark.

One of the funny things about winter photography in Vermont is that golden hour is so early in December and January. You’ll also notice that golden “hour” is not a full hour at that time of year. Conversely, it’s also much longer in the summer.

Use sunny days to capture action

When it’s sunny in the winter, its SUNNY! All that light reflects off the snow and lights up the world.

This is the perfect chance to capture action. You can set your shutter speed to 1/800 s or faster while still keeping your ISO under 500. This means you can freeze action in crisp images.

A family does the "boiling water freezes before it hits the ground" experiment on a sub-zero winter day.
Boiling water really does freeze before it hits the ground when the air temp is below 0F!

At my house, sledding is the sunny day activity of choice. I love capturing the kids and dogs at play with snow flying up in the air. And what says winter photography in Vermont like photos of kids playing in the snow??

A view from behind of a boy sledding with his young dog. Snow flies up. A fun example of Winter photography in Vermont.
Dry snow flies everywhere and I love the way the light shines through it.

Dogs are extra-fun to photograph in the winter. Many of them love to play in the snow and the photos can be stunning.

Wear an extra layer on your core, so you can take off your right glove

This is a tip I learned from winter sports: wear an extra layer on your core. I’ve tried lots of different winter gloves but never feel like I have very good control of my camera unless I’ve got my bare right hand on the controls. So, I do lots of putting a glove on to warm up a bit, then taking it off to shoot again when I’m doing winter photography in Vermont.

Me doing some winter photography in Vermont -- all bundled up in a hat and snow gear, except for my right hand!
Me, in my element, photographing my girls on a winter hike.

However, if I wear an extra fleece under my down jacket, it does help my core stay warm and I can tolerate longer periods with my right hand exposed. Snow pants and warm boots help too! And, it makes sundress season all the more special when you get to shed all those many layers!! Winter photography in Vermont does take a bit of extra effort and I assure you, it is well worth the effort!

Winter Photography in Vermont

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Kate Farrell is a professional lifestyle family and dog photographer based in Williston, Vermont, serving Burlington and Northern Vermont.