It's almost time for the first snow of the season here in Maryland!!! I love to photograph in the snow! Well, for the first day, anyway. It makes everything look bright and fresh and makes for beautiful photographs. If you are planning on taking up the role of photographer of your children and want to learn a few tips - keep on reading!
When choosing snow jackets, keep in mind the colour. Most winter jackets tend to be brightly coloured - red or pink. These jackets can cause colour casts, which occur where the colour of the jacket reflects onto your child's skin, so if your daughter is wearing a bright pink snow jacket, you will likely have pink reflected on her skin, particularly around her neck, chin and cheeks. I choose darker neutral coloured jackets and stick to black snow pants so they don't detract from my children.
It's no secret, I love to take my daughter out to photograph her in beautiful dresses in the snow. I'm lucky as my farm at the base of the catoctin mountains in Frederick MD provides the most beautiful backdrop to photograph her against. I'm doubly lucky that she also enjoys having her portraits taken. If you plan on a styled shoot in the snow, here are a few things to keep in mind. In almost every snow shoot that I've done with my daughter, I've gotten all the photographs that I need in less than 5 minutes. If I need more than that, I will bring her back in the house for a break and to warm up and then, if she is still up to it, I will take her back out again. To help achieve this shooting at this pace, I take care of every variable before bringing my daughter out, I have my location prepped, my settings ready and I work very quickly. I also dress myself very lightly too, so that I can feel the temperature as she does, and it helps to keep me on my toes and from asking for that one extra series of shots.
If you are shooting in manual (and if you aren't, you should take one of my workshops! Sign up for my newsletter to find out when the next one is and to get first dibs for a spot) then you will notice that the snow acts as a giant reflector and bounces the light everywhere, making it very, very bright. You will need to crank up your shutter speed to help reduce the amount of light hitting the sensors and prevent overexposing the image. Your ISO should be around 100 as it is so bright out. If you max out your shutter speed and your ISO is 100 and the images still look over-exposed, you will have to narrow your aperture (increase the f-number) and use this to balance your exposure.
Have fun and stay safe!!