11 Tips For GREAT Family Ski Photos

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Whether you’re trying to capture a family vacation or just want to soak up the memories of skiing with your kids, knowing how to take GREAT ski photos is often the difference between a memory you look back on with a smile and one you’ll ignore.

While not every picture turns out perfect, we’ve learned some things over the years that have helped us capture some great skiing shots of our family.

Want to capture some great winter images, but not confident you can do it on skis? Book a vacation photoshoot with Flytographer. They have TONS of great ski towns where they can shoot and it’s a great way to capture your ski vacation memories.

Here are our best tips for great ski photos with kids:

Get Down Low

Crouch down to take the photo, and try and be downhill from your child. This will make your little skier the focus of the picture and will help things seem more in proportion. When you squat down for a good photo, your child will naturally look you in the eye, which can make for a great candid shot. This is especially true if you’re trying to take pictures of a skiing toddler or young child.

little boy on skis

Smash Together for a Group Ski Photo

Getting a group photo on skis can be HARD, since holding still can be tricky. When one of the kids is having a hard time getting into position, we opt for the smashed together look. Not only is is super cute, but it also helps everyone stay together. This is a great ski pose with kids!

Family ski hug

Set Up Downhill and Have Kids Ski To You

One of the best ways to get a great ski shot is to have your family ski towards you. This allows you to think more about composition and be really mindful about where you’re shooting your ski photos.

kids skiing together

Take Group Ski Photos on the Flats

While it’s tempting to try and get a group photo of everyone together on the hill, those shots are best reserved for flat areas. This allows everyone to easily position their skis and move around without sliding down the hill. The best part is that you usually won’t even notice that the picture is in the flats when you look back on them.

big family skiing nordic vally utah affordable ski resort

Try Skiing Backwards While Shooting Ski Photos

If you’re a good skier, and can get your family to ski slower (or have a beginner), try taking photos of your family while you ski backwards. This is how we get our very best ski photos of kids since we can really capture them in the moment. Make sure that the slope is pretty gentle and that it isn’t crowded. Look over your shoulder often and stay aware of your surroundings so you can steer clear of obstacles and other people.

toddler learning to ski

Shoot Ski Photos To Capture Different Scenes

Consider what you want to be the focus of your photo.

Are your kids just having tons of fun and can’t get enough of skiing? Go for a close up if you want to capture that.
Is your child learning to ski new terrain? Grab a photo of them heading into a run, and make sure you get the sign in the picture.
Is the scenery just stunning? Take a step back and capture the full landscape with your family just as a part of that.

Grab Some Ski Shots From Behind

It’s unlikely that your kids will want to pose and be directed for every photo that you take. In fact, it’s likely that they won’t want to slow down at all for you to whip out your camera. Find fun ways to capture them skiing from behind. This is an especially great angle when they’re skiing through the trees or have some wide open space around them.

boy skiing through the trees

Be Ready to Get The Shot

This may sound like common sense, but you really need to be prepared when it comes to taking ski photos with kids. Have your camera out and ready before they start skiing down the hill towards you. And if possible, use a camera with a continuous shooting mode, so you can take several photos in quick succession and then choose the best one later.

boy skiing through the trees

Use the Action Setting For Ski Pictures

Make sure that you have your camera set to the action mode. Kids often ski fast or make quick, unexpected movements, and this mode captures the photos the best. This will help you take great skiing photos by reducing blur. If you don’t have an action button, try using a faster shutter speed instead. Anything above 1/500 should do the trick.

If you’re trying to capture action shots (it’s harder than it looks), make sure to postion yourself on the hill well in a spot that captures the action well. Some great options are below a jump, coming out of the trees, or to the side of some moguls.

kids skiing squaw valley

Give Specific Directions To Skiers

This is another one that may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. As your child skis towards you, be sure to give them some direction on what you want them to do. Do you want them to smile? Look at the camera or somewhere else on the ski hill? Ski in a certain direction? If you don’t tell them what to do, chances are they’ll just ski right past you without giving you the perfect photo opportunity. It’s also helpful to let them know which side of you to ski on so that you can get the shot you’re looking for.

Mom skiing with little boys

Wait for the Right Moment

This is probably the most important tip of all. When it comes to taking great skiing photos with kids, timing is everything. You need to be patient and wait for the right moment to take the photo. This may mean waiting until they’re skiing in just the right light, or until they make that cute little face that you love so much. But trust us, it’ll be worth the wait when you finally capture that perfect shot.

ski jumping on snow

Set A Limit On How Much Photography You’ll Do On Your Ski Trip

Remember, you’re on your ski trip to actually SKI. Don’t make your family pose or wait for your while you’re taking pictures all day long. Choose a couple of runs that you’re going to take photos on, and then put the camera AWAY! If you have limited time, not only will your family be more likely to want to take photos with you, but then you can actually engage with them for the rest of the day.

Best Camera Backpack For Skiing

If you’re going to be skiing with a DSLR, you’ll want to protect your camera with a great ski backpack. We LOVE this Lowepro backpack for skiing with a DSLR. The camera compartment is accessed from the side so it’s easy to get in and out on the go, and it always felt like it had good protection for skiing as well.

We also love that this camera has room for much more than a DSLR so that we can easily put other ski gear (warm clothes, snacks, etc), in the bag as well.

What Kind Of Camera Do I Need For Ski Pictures?

Truthfully, most of our ski photos are just taken on our phones (like most things these days). If you have a newer phone, the image quality is great and most newer phones also have image stabilization for videos. The man Drawback to shooting with your phone is that the cold often drains your battery FAST!

If you do decide that you want more image control and precision, shoot with a DSLR. We only recommend that expert skiers ski with a DSLR since you’ll want to have great skiing skills so you don’t accidentally crash and break your camera.

Preserving Your Phone Battery While Skiing in the Cold

The most limiting factor to shooting photos and videos on your phone is your phone battery. Phone batteries don’t perform well in the cold, so you’ll need to make sure that your phone stays warm and insulated. I highly recommend getting a Phoozy insulated phone case to keep your phone battery lasting longer on cold ski days.

Tips For GoPro Ski Pictures

GoPro pictures usually have their own look and style because their lenses are different than a traditional camera or phone. Here are our top tips for taking ski pictures on a GoPro

  • Follow CLOSE! Whether you’re doing a photo or a video, the wide-angle lens of a GoPro shows people best when you’re pretty close.
  • Shoot in high-quality video and capture images from there once you import it to the GoPro software.
  • Get a mount to attach the GoPro to your ski pole so you can follow more closely or capture a selfie video.
  • Practice LOTS before you get to the ski hill. Find what angles you like best and how to capture the full image you’re trying to shoot!

Written by Jessica Averett

Hi, I'm Jessica! After meeting my husband on a chairlift, we now live in the mountains of Utah with our 5 kids. As a former ski instructor and mom, I'm here to help you make your family ski trips as easy, and FUN, as possible!