Stacey Hedman describes herself as a “people and personality” photographer—regardless of the season. “I love having someone in every photograph that I take,” she says. “So for me, photographing in winter is less about the scenery and more about capturing the enthusiasm and vibrance of people in an otherwise white and gray season. I like to prove that winter is lively, and not nearly as dreadful and reclusive as we sometimes make it out to be.”

A resident of Barnstable, Stacey shoots for Cape Cod LIFE and has her own business, Stacey Hedman Photography and Cold Nose Photo. Winter weddings and snowy engagement shoots are among her treasured assignments. “The interactions between a couple in love are my favorite,” she says. “There is something so fun, spirited, and unique about celebrating in the quiet months of Cape Cod! And having started my roots as a dog photographer, I have a blast being on the beach in the snow with our two rescue mutts as well.”

Stacey shoots with Kodak color film and Ilford black and white film, primarily, and often uses a light meter to gauge her settings. “Because my light meter gives me an incident meter reading (measuring at the exact subject) instead of a reflective meter reading (measuring the reflecting light back toward the camera) off the bright snow, I do not need to make any changes to my process. Film also allows me to overexpose the snow and still capture intricate details within it. Snow is definitely a valuable learning opportunity in turning your camera dial off program mode and into manual settings to achieve the best look: i.e., white snow!”

Stacey recalls a wedding she photographed at Spohr Gardens in Falmouth, and speculated the site would be a sweet spot for winter images. “It was incredibly romantic,” she says. “It was beautiful the way the trees enveloped the paths, an old bench stood alone, and several large black anchors adorned the edge of Oyster Pond. Of course,” she adds, “it wouldn’t be complete to me without bringing people along to photograph in this backdrop too.”

Freeze Frames


The best part about shooting in the winter,” photographer Dan Cutrona says, “is that I actually have much more time to myself where I can go out and just shoot for the fun of it.” Dan shoots for Cape Cod LIFE and has his own business, Dan Cutrona Photography, which is based in Mashpee Commons. “The business of the summer leads me from assignment to assignment, leaving me little time to do personal work. When it snows, most shoots are cancelled anyway, so then I can go out and have fun!”

Dan described one of his favorite winter photos, shot in Bourne in 2005. “It was after a really cold streak and many of the bays had frozen over completely,” he says. “That morning was warm, and with that comes beautiful fog over the water. The fog was thick at first, but it broke as the morning went on. This photo shows all the ice cracks, the fog, and the blue sky trying to come in. This particular pier was completely destroyed in a storm a few years later.”

Dan says the winter allows him to enjoy the “serenity side of photography.” “For me, it’s a natural fit,” he says. “The place I keep going back to again and again is Quisset Harbor in Falmouth. It is surrounded by trees, and when it is cold enough the harbor freezes, then breaks into millions of these floating ice chunks, and I feel like that happens more often there than anywhere I’ve seen.”

In winter, Dan shoots with a polarizing filter, which exaggerates the blue sky and cuts down the glare. “This is important, especially with snow and ice,” he says. “But you don’t always want to kill the glare completely, so with a circular polarizer you can spin it around, and ‘dial in’ just the right amount. After that, the most important piece of equipment in the winter is your snow tires.”

Freeze Frames
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Matthew Gill

Matthew is the Managing Editor for Cape Cod Life Publications.

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