kids in a Santa hat playing in the snow in Snoqualmie

Snow Photo Tips: How to Take Better Photos of Your Kids

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Craving simple snow photo tips? Keep on reading, this one’s for you!

Playing in the snow with my family and friends is one of my favorite memories of childhood. We didn’t get snow often at my house, but those snow days when we got to stay home from school and spend the day building snowmen and sledding down our driveway were so special. Watching my own children enjoy the magic of a snow day is even better, and one of my favorite things to photograph.

Snow creates such a beautiful scene it can seem impossible to take a “bad” photo, however, it can be challenging too. With these simple snow photo tips, you can elevate your picture-taking game and take better photos of your kids playing in the snow this winter!

The first snow photo tip is to photograph their excitement before even stepping outside.

There is nothing quite like waking up and finding that it has snowed outside. I love to start documenting my snow day adventures with the moment I tell the kids to look outside.

As they take in the magical scene out their window snap a few photographs before they head outside. This snow photo tip is all about getting photos that show that excitement and anticipation of a snow day.

Children looking out the window at a snowy scene

Consider the background (avoid all white) when photographing kids in the snow.

The blanket of white snow is so pretty and serene. However, if we photograph our children with just the snow all around them it can be hard to tell it is actually snow.

My photo tip here for the snow is to add depth by including some of the trees (or fence, etc) in the background. This will help your subject stand out while still showing them playing in the snow. This might mean adjusting your angle to get down low in the snow! Play around with it and see what changing your angle does for the background.

snow photo tips, boy sledding down hill on a blue sled

Another snow photo tip is to give your kids space to play and capture the story.

Let your kids play, sit back and watch the story unfold. This is not a time to direct your kids or make them perform. Instead, take a moment and observe how they play. Are they pushing trucks, building a snowman, or maybe teaching their little brother which snow is good to eat?

By observing and being intentional with what you’re capturing you will end up with photos that better tell the story of your day in the snow over a simple, stand here and smile at me shot.

Beyond being a snow photo tip this tip is great for all photography. When photographing someone who’s moving, running, or sledding, leave space for them to move into. It helps the viewer follow the story and creates a beautiful photo.

Photo of children eating snow together in beautiful backlight sun

Photograph the environment.

While you’re observing the kids play and waiting for your story, step back and capture more of the setting or environment. Show off that gorgeous, snow-covered landscape around with your kids playing in a small corner of the frame.

This may seem like an obvious snow photo tip, but who doesn’t love a magical, snowy scene?! However, we can easily get caught up in the excitement and play of a snow day.

Children at Gold Creek Pond in the snow

Bonus Snow Photo Tip: Let them hit you with a snowball.

Okay, so this sounds crazy as you’re holding camera gear, right?! But put on your longest lens (I’m using a 135mm lens for the photo below), and told Milo he could hit me with a snowball. I asked him to wait, let me get set and I snapped this photo as he prepared. His smile was huge and genuine as he was so excited to hit mom with a big snowball!! I snapped the photo quickly, and covered my camera before he threw the snowball.

Boy about to throw a snowball and smiling

Of course, if your kids are older and/or have an amazing aim, you may not want to try this one out or ensure you’re standing far enough back.

Once you grab the photo, put your camera somewhere safe and enjoy an all-out family snow fight.

These tips are ones you can use with your DSLR or smartphone, so don’t let the type of camera you have stop you from taking photos.

Want more photo tips for taking pictures of kids? I have a collection of resources just for you.

Find more inspiration on YouTube and Instagram.