Shooting Snow Photos

I absolutely love snow photos! Unfortunately we just don’t get very much snow here in Southr\ern Missouri. 

We get some nice little snows from time to time but it is never convenient to take photos. I’m usually at work or something when it happens and by the time I get to my camera, it has melted or stopped snowing and just looks plain ugly. 

This article is about how I work with the snow I have, add falling snow or completely transform a non-snowy photo into a winter wonderland.

Working With the Snow You Have

When we get a nice snow and I am able to get to it before it compleatly melts, I work with what I have.

I try to use the environment and the little bit of snow that is left to create a magical photo. 

I will grab the sled and have the kids start playing in the snow. I have them pull each other on the sled, throw snow up in the air or reach up into the ski like they are trying to catch the snow as if it is still falling. Then I will add some falling snow when I am editing.

Adding Falling Snow

ObviouslyI want to have falling snow in my winter photos, so I created a bunch of snow overlays that I can apply to my photos.

This is simply a black photo with white dots all other it that you can drop into Photoshop.

I have had a lot of people asking me to make these snow overlays available, so I did. You can find my ‘Magical Snow Overlays’ here.

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Transforming a Non-Snowy Photo Into a Winter Wonderland

What about a situation where you have clients who want Wintery Snowy photos and there is no snow what so ever?

 I have figured out a way to transform an ugly non-snowy photo into a magical winter wonderland in the editing process. 

I use an infrared filter in Photoshop that creates a wintery looking enveirment and then add my falling snow overlays.

This is actually a simple process and works with most photos if they were taken on an overcast day.

To see this done first hand and to learn the entire process check out my ‘Watch Me Edit: Let it Snow’ videos!

[twenty20 img1="5687" img2="5682" offset="0.5"]

Isn’t This Cheating?

A LOT of people will say this is cheating. I guess it depends on how you look at it. 

The way I see it is that if I didn’t create this process, I would almost have no winter photos at all where I am.

This has opened up a whole other theme I can offer to my clients now and they love it!

So is it cheating? Well, I'll have to leave that up to you to decide. ;)


I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, please share it with your photography friends! I would greatly appreciate it! :)

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