Snow Session In The Mountains | Issaquah, WA

January 23, 2018

My sister was visiting me for Christmas and since she is such a beautiful girl, I of course had to take advantage of her being here and take some pictures for my portfolio. 

 

She is so used to me taking pictures of her, that she just let's me do whatever I want, which is why I love her so much. Since we were little I remember I would make her sit still for hours while I would attempt to draw her portrait. Things have changed very little since. 

 

 For this shot I used my Canon 5d Mark iii and my favorite Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8 lens. f/2.8, 1/200, ISO250 at 90mm focal length. 

 

I love this close up so much. There are three elements that make this pictures so breathtaking.

 

One is texture. I purposely put a nice furry hat on her and then added some more fur by placing the coat's hoody over her head, which has a fur inside. The coat as well has nice metal buttons and fur outlines. All these little details add lots of texture to this image. 

 

The second one is color. I purposely added blue tones to this image in the post processing to create a cool wintery feel. Whenever I look at it, I feel chills running down my body. Color is so powerful in creating certain feelings. Blue tones create a mysterious, fairy-tale type of sensation. You'll notice Disney uses a lot of blues in their pictures.

 

Third is depth of field. I had her stand in front of a long  wide opening between the mountains, that way when I zoomed in on her face it blurred the background helping her to stand out more.

 

Taking pictures is just a teeny tiny part of the process. Most of my time is spent in post-processing.

 

 

 

 

I get so many requests for tutorials, that I'm currently in the works of creating a post processing tutorials for both of the images you see here. If you would like to get notified on when they'll be available, send me an e-mail to let me know, that way I'll be able to notify you right away.

 

Now on to this next picture!

 

 f/2.8, 1/200 ISO200, 70mm focal lenght

 

 This one was a lot of fun to create! I used the same Canon 5d Mark iii camera and Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8 lens as I did for the top one. As you can see the original image is actually kind of boring. It has no drama, no pizzazz, no mystery. It's very blah. 

 

I've decided to spice things up by adding in a night sky and darkening the entire image. This instantly gave the mystical quality I was going after. 

 

I actually had an entirely different concept for this session. I wanted to take pictures of her interacting with my German Shepherd, but he was sooooo excited that we couldn't get him to stay still for even a second. 

 Usually I can get him to come down, but my sister was freezing due to an extremely funny incident that took place right before the shoot.

 

As we were walking towards the mountains both bottoms of her boots completely fell off!!! I don't mean just a heel, I mean the whole fricking thing! I couldn't believe it! I laughed so hard I almost fell over. 

 

My poor sister was such a good soldier she told she is going to tough it out and up we went. Me in my cozy warm winter boots and her in practically socks on a snowy, cold road. She is such a trooper!

 

Anyway, I knew I didn't have much time. I abandoned the plan with the dog and did what I could. The whole session took only about five minutes. After which I had to run to the car and bring my sister her hiking boots, because she was really cold at that point and couldn't even walk. 

 

I think about ninety percent of my sessions never go as planned. Something always goes wrong. I always have to prepare my self mentally that things may not go as I wish, and they usually don't! I'm always shocked at how wonderful they come out after I'm done with them. Many times they turn out even better than I have envisioned, which is always a good thing.

 

I believe one of the best advices I've ever gotten was from "Finding Nemo", remember Dory? "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming"? That's me, whenever I go with the flow it tends to work out towards the end. 

 

I do have a few tips for you to remember when planning a snow session.

 

1. Bring a towel

I always bring a big towel to my snow session for two reasons. One to wipe off my camera every now and then when it's snowing. Two to wipe of dirt at the end of the session from my clients and me before getting back in the car. Clients usually don't need it, but I always end up looking a huge mess, because most of the time I'm laying flat on the ground trying to get that perfect angle. It get's really messy real fast.

 

2. Use a lens hood

A lens hood helps tremendously in keeping snow from getting onto your lens. I always use a lens hood even when it's not snowing. It not only protects it from getting sun flares and snow, but it also protects your glass from getting scratched when you accidentally brush it against something.

 

3. Bring a few warm old blankets or sleeping bags

I tend to forget this one a lot, and regret it every time I do. Almost every time a client doesn't bring warm enough clothing for themselves or their kids. This stresses me out to no end and gets in the way of me focusing on creating beautiful pictures. Save yourself the trouble, bring the blanket, it is so worth it.

 

 

When doing a snow session always remember that it's going to be very cold and afterwords wet. You most likely will have to work a lot faster and won't get as many shots as would have liked. 

 

One more thing I almost forgot to mention. You! Take good care of yourself! Make sure you have proper boots on and a very warm preferably water proof jacket. Gloves are tricky. I don't like using gloves, but you can get a pair of cheap one and cut the tips of them to keep your hands semi warm. 

 

Good thing is that when taking pictures you usually work up a sweat, that really helps to keep you warm. The bad thing is you can get sick real fast going from sweat into cold. So take good care of yourself, because no one else will.

 

Make sure to send me an e-mail if you want to be updated on when tutorials for these pictures will be up and ready. I'll make sure to put you on the VIP list and you will be the first to know about their launch. 

 

If you have any more questions you can leave it in the comment below.

 

Have a great day everyone! 

 

Now go and take some awesome pictures in snow! It's so much fun!

 

To see more of my pictures follow me on: 

Facebook, Instagram and 500px.

 

 

 

 

 

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