With snow being a frequent visitor in New Jersey, we figured it would be fun to put together some tips on how to shoot in the snow, safely. We also have some creative ideas for shooting photos in the snow. So kick off that blanket, jump off your couch, layer up, and head into the wall of white for some creative photos to end the winter season with.
Some Techniques & Gear Tips:
Before you head out into the snow, there are a few things to keep in mind to keep not only yourself safe but others like the plow operators, police, ambulance drivers, and others that are needed in case of emergencies. If there is a state of emergency, DO NOT travel by automobile, ATV, snowmobile, bike, or any vehicle on roadways. If you travel by foot or snowshoes, stay off the roads, especially while the storm is going on.
- Use Crampons or Yak-Tracks – These handy boot tracks can help you with a better grip in the snow or icy spots.
- Wear Bright Colors – This is especially true if you are going out to shoot photos during the storm. Make sure to stay off roads and have a bright-colored vest, like this one, on while traveling on foot.
- Dress Warm – Expect temperatures and winds to always change during a storm. Do not underestimate the storm, temperatures, or windchill. Want boosted warmth? Buy reusable hand warmers in your pocket to quickly warm up your fingers.
- Tell Someone Where You’re Going – If you are headed out during the storm, let someone know where you are going and charge your phone before leaving.
- Protect Your Gear – Whether it’s your phone, camera, flash, drone, or extra batteries, be sure to have the proper protection from water damage to your equipment. We also suggested grabbing a camera warmer to preserve your battery life.
Think Smart. While it is “trendy” and “cool” to get that epic shot during the storm, be smart. Don’t drive on uncovered roadways or venture to places you are not familiar with. It’s not worth the risk.
Photographing Local Buildings or Streets
Shooting local buildings, streets, or homes is a neat way of seeing the spot differently. It can allow you to notice the color of a house against the white backdrop or give depth to the street leading up to a church. See below for some excellent examples.
Buildings In The Snow Ideas:
- Find Cool Icicles Hangings from Roofs
- Find Fun Colored Buildings
- Photograph a Plow Truck Clearing the Street (a safe distance away)
Taking Portraits In The Snow
Snow is a cool element that adds to otherwise average portrait spots. With snow falling or around your subject it offers a different perspective to focus more on the subject. Having someone to take photos of in the snow can allow you to get creative with what they are wearing or what scene they are in. Get creative and have fun with the element of snow.
Some Snow Portrait Ideas:
- Throwing Snow In The Air
- Kids (or adults!) Building A Snowman or Sledding
- Catching Snowflakes in a Hand
Photos of Waterfalls & Water During Snowstorms
Another great subject during a snowstorm is water. The white surroundings of the snow will cause the water to look even more blue than usual. Waterfalls are a good place to start, too, because generally, with the snowstorms, they will be raging more and have a high flow rate.
Finding unique places for frozen snow photos is fun every winter, but it’s a good idea to scope them out. We collected some of the most prominent frozen spots in New Jersey during the winter.
We have a list of some of the most prominent waterfalls in New Jersey. Be sure to brush up on your skills in photographing a waterfall because you won’t want to be in the cold figuring it out for the first time. If you want to venture outside the state, we have a list of hikes in Harriman State Park with waterfalls too.
Ideas For Water Photos During Snowstorms:
- Great Falls in Paterson
- Surfers Hitting the Waves from the Storm
- Reflections in Bodies of Water
- Hemlock Falls in Central Jersey
- Frozen Bubble – Blow a bubble on a cold day and place it on a cold surface and watch it freeze!
Aerial & Drone Photos During A Snowstorm
A blanket of snow makes regular everyday scenes look so tranquil and peaceful. Imagine that from the air! If you have a drone or high access point in a building, taking aerial photos can be a unique way of capturing the storm. You can get some unique perspectives of fields, streets, parks, and bodies of water. For drone users, we suggest doing it after the storm has passed. If you need a refresher, be sure to review the places you are not allowed to drone.
Ideas for Drone/Aerial Photos For Snowstorms:
- Parking Lots with Plow
- Winding Roads Through The Woods
- Coastal Waves Crashing into Snow-Covered Beaches
Snow Photos After The Storm
To be on the safe side and wait until the snow has passed, you can set out to take sunrise photos or blue sky photos the day after. We have collected some of the best places to start with for incredible sunrise and sunset photos in New Jersey. This is a great option to get a pristine look after a snowstorm before the snow melts. Couple the white surfaces with blue skies you can get some unique photos. Also, the sunrises and sunsets always seem to pop a little more in color after a good snowfall.
Ideas for After The Storm Photos:
- Sunrise/Sunsets Through The Trees
- Roadside Scenes
- Kids Getting On A Bus To Go To School
However, you enjoy the snow and capture it, be sure to be safe and intelligent. Don’t travel if the roads are bad and don’t walk on the street when plows are actively cleaning roads. Be sure to shovel your sidewalks to allow safe travels for the community. If you do manage to capture some unique photos around New Jersey during the snowstorm, be sure to tag #NJspots on Instagram and share them with us!