How to Convey Emotions in Winter Photography

The associations and sensations that produce certain situations, colors, shapes, lights or times of the year are curious. If they speak to us of spring we think of pure life, if they speak of darkness we think of mystery, fear or negativity, if they say white we think of purity, light and innocence, if they say green we think and smell nature, if they speak of autumn we enter in the melancholy that precedes the introverted sadness of winter, so different from the extroverted summer environment.

All these deep and universal associations are part of our identity with the same intensity with which our origin, culture or nationality would. It is part of us and of our way of conceiving the world that surrounds us, and consequently of our way of representing it.

Emotions transmitted by winter
Obviously there is always a component inherent to each one of us, our experiences and of course the climate that each one of us lives in our corresponding countries. It is not the same to live with 22h of darkness a day at -18º than to have winters of 12º with a good 12h of light a day, right? The important thing is to be able to transmit the emotion that inspires us in our own images.

For that, we always have to ask ourselves before we start photographing. What does winter represent for you? Loneliness, cold, mystery, sadness, home, family, happiness …? How to represent it in order to convey the emotion it represents for us?

Techniques to transmit emotions in winter photography
For this article I will build on my winter, which is the one I know, and that you can always radicalize to the side something colder or something hotter

Climate contrast
You can represent the cold through scenes that reflect the cold (snowy streets, sheltered people, etc.) but you can also represent the cold portraying a warm and cozy room prepared to combat the cold outside winter. A lit fireplace, a window with the windows fogged by the difference in temperature, a cozy blanket on a sofa, or a cafe with warm lights portrayed from the street generate, through the contrast, increased sensations of cold or heat as opposed to the with the others.

Climate contrast

Negative space
It is part of the techniques of composition, and is not more than the space that surrounds and our center of interest without providing relevant information, helping it to stand out in opposition to a “flat” background. This type of compositions through negative space, can convey a sense of loneliness, isolation, peace or calm, very much in line with the feelings of isolation or loneliness that winter can convey.

The fog
The fog has always seemed magical, capable of transmitting unique, mysterious sensations, of isolation, fear, cold and loneliness. If you have a place nearby where morning fog condenses or if you meet them casually while you travel by car, do not hesitate to take a photo session in the fog, you will have very exciting results. To be well prepared before a casual encounter with the fog, read this complete article where it perfectly explains everything you need to know about fog photography.