Optics Mag is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Read more.

15 Snow Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired

Last Updated on

female photographer taking photos during winter

Snow photography gives the hobbyist the perfect gift—a clean, white canvas to get creative.  In watercolor, the paper provides the white. The paint takes on this role in oil painting. The photographer can thank the snow for this addition to their palette. The winter season places an extra burden on the photography enthusiast to set up the shots and take advantage of the ephemeral scenes the season creates. However, if you adjust your mindset, you can create some really beautiful images.

shutter camera divider

The Top 15 Snow Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired

1.  Filling in the Details

Eurasian Wren in the snow
Photo Credit: Holger Kirk, Shutterstock

Sometimes, it’s the simple shots that make the most interesting ones. This picture’s setup isn’t over the top, and it doesn’t have a special setting. That’s actually why many people love images like this. A fast shutter speed is essential to capture a stop-action scene. Of course, you have to have snow of the right texture, too.

2. The Right Angle

Photo Credit: Pixabay

This image is a classic one. The perspective is what makes the shot so intriguing, and it’s all thanks to the angle being used. The snow clinging to the tree trunk leads you into the scene, thus pulling you into it. It’s an example of a well-planned setup. The timing is also a vital factor that takes advantage of the reflective quality of the frozen snow.

3. Sunlight and Reflections

glacial mountains reflection on the lake during sunrise
Photo Credit: fynn, Unsplash

Timing is everything, as this image brilliantly illustrates. There’s so much going on with this shot. The reflections show how still the scene is, which adds a feeling of calm and serenity. The sunlight coming through the trees makes it look like a framed photograph. The blue on the shaded snow mounds conveys the coldness of a winter day. Brrr!

4. Embracing the Snow

woman enjoying the snow fall
Image Credit: Tony Ross, Unsplash

This image is another beauty. The limited color scheme is the star of this shot. It makes it classy in a way that only an image like this one can. The right timing and a snowstorm with big, fat flakes provide an ideal winter setting. The subject staring into the light is another nice touch that shows her wonderment, making it equally as essential to the scene as the weather.

5. Making the Most of Contrasts

Oak Titmouse perched on snowy branch
Image Credit: Hayley Crews, Shutterstock

While this red dress would likely pop in any photo, the snowy white backdrop makes it stunning. The use of textures with the contrast of the spiny pine needles against the soft snow truly captures your attention. The sleeveless dress in an undoubtedly cold environment seals the deal. What a fun shot on all scores!

6. Winter Wonderland

winter sunrise in the mountainside
Image Credit: Mike Kotsch, Unsplash

One of the best things about winter photography is the gorgeous palette you only see this time of year. It’s like nature feels sorry for us and wants to make up for the cold with some jaw-dropping views like this one. The icy blue undertones of the snow-capped mountains create the perfect scene.

7. Sharing the Light

Bird Branch Snow
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

The beauty of this shot is the triangle of shared elements with the candlelight. It’s a unifying feature with the human subject, the cabin in the background, and its reflection in the water. It keeps the viewer’s eyes moving and exploring the scene. Plus, it’s an excellent use of bokeh.

8. The Beauty of Vintage

vintage train during winter
Image Credit: Simon Berger, Unsplash

Of course, the focus of this shot is the vintage pick-up truck with its excellent positioning under the old Conoco sign. Together, the two items take you back to the past, giving it a welcoming, nostalgic feeling. The snow adds a melancholy or lonely feeling to the composition, giving it even more depth of feeling. You wouldn’t get that same impression had it not been for the snow.

9. Summer vs. Winter

man with snow on face
Image Credit: Sergey Novikov, Shutterstock

The subject of this image is almost startling, juxtaposing a quintessential summer scene with the stark reality of winter. Every element adds to the story, from the depth of the snow to snow-covered tree trunks. You can imagine the snowstorm that created this setting, and it leaves you wondering how the lake hasn’t frozen over yet.

10. Natural Beauty

northern lights
Image Credit: Jonatan Pie, Unsplash

The Northern lights, also called aurora borealis, are a surreal event to witness. The contrast against a white backdrop makes them even more stunning. If you ever have the chance to see it in winter, it makes your photos even more breathtaking.

11. The Wild Side

brown horse walking outdoors during winter
Image Credit: Annie Spratt, Unsplash

Winter is a magical time for wildlife watchers. The secrets of animals are no longer hidden. You see them in footprints in the snow and signs of a lost battle. It’s also an opportunity to see birds without the foliage hiding them from view. That makes wildlife photography during the winter such a unique opportunity to capture nature’s creatures in a unique setting.

12. Winter Scenery at Its Finest

aerial shot of the winter mountains
Image Credit: Luc van Loon, Unsplash

It’s hard to know where to begin with this gorgeous shot. The palette of whites with their pink and blue undertones almost looks like it’s a painted picture rather than a real image captured with a camera. The frost on the trees softens the edges, which adds to the scene’s beauty. The perfect timing is essential since the Sun will soon make this image disappear before your eyes.

13. Snow Angels

woman creating a snow angel
Image Credit: Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash

You can’t talk about winter photography without at least one snow angel. We can’t help but smile when we see a child—or an adult—lying down to make their masterpiece. The angle of this shot helps give the viewer the full effect of what it’s like to watch a loved one roll around in the snow. The sunlight shining down on the angel wasn’t lost on us, either.

14. Puppy Playtime

brown dog enjoying the snow
Image Credit: Kanashi, Unsplash

The golden pups in this shot make you realize how beautiful images of your own dog can be during winter. You can almost hear them barking, vying for which one will get the snowball first. Winter photography and dogs go hand in hand. You can be sure that these two don’t have a care in the world about the snow and cold. So, get outside with your furry friends and caption them in all their glory.

15. The Little Details

Burst shooting mode of snowboarder jumping
Image Credit: Lilkin, Shutterstock

Old Man Winter is a talented artist. While nature is responsible for this shot, the photographer had a keen eye to spot it and frame it well. People love images like this one that make you look at something as ordinary as some frozen leaves in a new light. The snow-covered edges are the star attraction. If you hate winter, it is crucial to look for the little details to see the beauty in it.

shutter camera divider

Snow Photography Tips

The best advice we can offer for shooting in the winter is to be prepared. If you see an interesting shot, go for it. Too often, the sunlight changes a once-in-a-lifetime scene in a blink of an eye. We also suggest observing and keeping an eye open for the differences in lighting that the season provides. Sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in the obvious cold and icy conditions. However, as you’ve seen, they are beautiful in their own right.

You’ll find it helpful to master the basics of depth of field (DoF), F-stops, and shutter speed to make the most out of them. One of the best things about snow photography is that it can offer excellent opportunities to hone your skills and nurture your creativity. That’s especially true with the ever-changing conditions of the seasons.

We also suggest exploring the possibilities of black-and-white photography. After all, winter makes it easier. It’s also a chance to show the complexity of the color white and its various shades. If you’ll learn anything about this color, it’s that it’s anything but boring.

shutter camera divider 2


Snow photography opens up so many new opportunities for different shots that make the most of the contrasts of the season. It’s something you can use to your advantage with different camera settings, subject matters, and colors. It’s an excellent chance to exercise your creative muscles in new and exciting ways as well. Many people love winter photography because they get to view beautiful scenes with the benefit of a blank canvas. It makes photographers feel like the true artists that they are.

Featured Image Credit By Jakob Owens, Unsplash

About the Author Chris Dinesen Rogers

Chris has been writing since 2009 on a variety of topics. Her motto with all of her writing is “science-based writing nurtured by education and critical thinking.” Chris specializes in science topics and has a special love for health and environmental topics, and animals of all shapes and sizes.