With at least 10 feet of snow a year, Traverse City is the destination for your winter photography adventure. When I moved to Traverse City, a friend told me that you really need to ‘create your own internal weather’ in Northern Michigan. What I’ve learned about winter is it’s really all about perspective. You can attach any meaning to the words ‘cold’ and ‘snow’. I’ve taken this friend’s advice to heart and so I embrace winter. I welcome snow with open arms. And this is probably the reason why I’ve had the best winter of my life. 

This season, I photographed Jake and Sarah frolicking around Glen Arbor for our very first snow. I snowboarded for Wes and Kat’s slope side proposal at Crystal Mountain Resort. May I just say that snowboarding and photographing was quite a challenge. I snowshoed the Bowers Harbor frolicking Vineyards on Old Mission, followed by wine and a book by the fire. I ventured out on weekly hikes at Sleeping Bear Dunes with friends. I’ve been out on adventures almost everyday and the funs not over yet. I have plans to kayak Crystal River. I also hear I’ve still got plenty of base to go cross country ski the VASA. This is great news because I have not gotten out on my cross country skis yet. The truth is if you’re outdoorsy and choose to embrace snow life, Traverse City has endless opportunities. It’s like no other place on earth. 

While most people go south for adventures, I vacation to cold climates like Iceland, Romania, and the national parks out west in the slow winter months. But even I was surprised at the number of couples who planned bone chilling adventures with me at Sleeping Bear Dunes and all across Northern Michigan. I photographed Thu and Ha at one of my favorite trails in Sleeping Bear Dunes. Thu wore a traditional Vietnamese silk dress despite a frigid -20 degrees and 20 mph winds. I captured beautiful bridal photos at the dunes. These styled adventure shoots were as cold as they look, but so much fun to capture. We had a coat and champagne on standby while our models danced around the dunes for a minute or two and then ran for their coat. What a fun adventure! By the way, thanks to One Oak Bride and Grace Elizabeth Bridal for providing the gorgeous dresses. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to capture the beautify of Sleeping Bear Dunes in the winter.

I know it’s April and we’re patiently waiting for spring to come, but hopefully this collection of my winter photos will inspire you to take one last hike in the snow before it all melts. Remember that even though it’s cold outside, no winter lasts forever. I personally think that the seasons are what make Northern Michigan such an incredible place to live and I already miss the snow.

Josh Hartman – Traverse City Wedding Photographer

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