When the white snow covers the earth, everything looks purer, cleaner and dreamier. While it is actually snowing, probably most of you noticed that magical silence fills the air as if you are in Narnia! Not a few blocks away from Trans Canada highway.
This is a precious opportunity for us photographers to go out and create something beautiful about winter season. New year comes with snow just like a new white page in our lives, ready to start filling it with colourful memories.
When I have an outdoor session in the snow, I always tell my clients to wear colourful clothings or accessories to stand out in that whiteness. With low depth of field, it is easy to blend background noises into the snow’s whiteness and I think portraits appear more distinct with a creamy white background that snow provides. Another advantage of winter shoots is that the sun is always low in the sky, shining in low power, giving us the perfect light. So there is not a narrow window for winter outdoor sessions unlike summer time. (we usually chase golden hour in summer days) We can do it any time of the day before it gets dark.
Of course it has challenges to take photos in the winter. First, it’s cold. The coldest weather that I had a family session was -10 ֯ C . It was difficult for little kids as they tend to get cranky in the cold, so I go to those sessions well prepared not to lose any time on choosing a good spot or thinking of poses or putting together a theme using props. So I do all these beforehand and when we meet for the photoshoot we start it immediately. Keeping little ones toasty is the most important thing. I recommend putting kids in snowsuits before going in the car, so they can get warm on the way and keep their body heat for a longer time. Those tiny handwarmers come in handy for winter sessions. You can slide the them in your gloves or boots, it keeps warm up to 8 hours. They are available in most stores from Canadian Tire to Costco. It’s a good idea to keep some in the car, you can never know when you would need them.
In Calgary, we are blessed with Chinook winds that gives us a break from cold winter. It is such a privilege in our cold country. We are lucky to have snow on the ground and wearing no jackets. I even remember one day we went tobogganing with kids and it was so warm and the sun was shining bright, we took off all our clothing layers down to a t-shirt! As well as -10 ֯ C we have a chance to do a photo session in the snow at +10 ֯ C temperature in this city.
Maternity sessions in the snow would also be great but it is best to do it on a warm Chinook day, so you can pose in a fancy dress instead of big winter coats.
During sessions, I don’t like carrying heavy camera bag on my back so I bring a sled to the sessions to carry my equipment and some props (such as blankets, lantern, garlands) in it and drag along. It also serves as a photography prop and keep little ones entertained.
If you are interested in booking a winter family session at one of our beautiful parks, all you need to do is to choose a date and book it on the Alpina website: www.alpinaphotography.com
Here is a few frames from recent shoots in Montalban Park (Montgomery), Edworthy Park and Confederation Park.