What a crazy few days it has been here in the UK with all the snow up and down the country! Unfortunately the high winds and freezing temperatures have meant that we haven't been able to venture out and take photos BUT we did manage to get out the last time we had a huge snowfall and I'm so glad we did.
If you've had lots of snow and it's safe enough to venture out, here are some tips to help get the most out of your images.
If these photos are going to be put on the wall, it's worth putting a little thought into the outfits. It's really not the end of the world and the most important thing is that everyone is warm and comfortable, but a reindeer onesie may not be the best choice...although much better without the knitted chicken hat he was wearing!
As in all portraits, I'd recommend wearing plain and simple clothing, we don't want it to distract your eye from your children's beautiful faces. When it comes to snow though, sometimes bold is better and bright colours can work very well!
Perfect light ~
If you can, aim for the morning or afternoon to get out and grab some shots. The position of the sun is really important when it comes to lighting, especially in snow. The bright white of the snow can often make your images look little cold/blue. If you're lucky enough to have a beautiful warm and sunny sky then that's great! If you want to use this light to warm your image, aim for the sun to be behind you and slightly to the side of you. This will add a beautiful warmth and depth to your image.
If, like for us, the sun is hidden behind the thick grey cloud, you can adjust your settings in your camera to compensate. You can do this by adjusting your white balance to the cloudy/shady setting. This will add a little more warmth to the images.
Falling snow ~
Try to capture the snow falling in your images, this will add great depth to the image and will look extra special. If the snow isn't falling, you could position your family under some trees and allow the wind to create the illusion of falling snow or if you use Photoshop, you could add some in later! There are some wonderful overlays out there...
Be creative with the Aperture ~
For those of you shooting in Manual mode with your DSLR, try playing around with the aperture to create an interesting depth of field. Try to get a mixture of close up images and get some wider shots showing a little more of the magical background.
All of these images were shot with an Aperture of f/2.2 on my 85mm Nikkor prime lens and apart from the two above comparing the difference of adding snow, none have been edited in any way aside from being cropped a little.
I just love to shoot with a wide aperture as I love the creamy background making my daughter stand out. Try going as wide as your lens allows and see what you think! The secret to this look is to get your children to be closer to you and further away from the background.
Mix it up a little ~
There is almost never an occasion where all three of my children are up for a sensible photo so I have learnt to just go with the flow and get what I can, when I can! On this occasion it was my eldest who was up for it whilst my Son just wanted to stay in his onesie and have fun throwing snowballs from behind his makeshift fort! and my youngest was in and out of the house every 2 seconds sipping her hot chocolate... So I just went for a mix up of shots. Only a couple will end up on the wall but the rest will end up as part of the family album, as a fantastic memory of the great fun we had! It's far better to have some than none...
Lastly, Keep warm ~
Take a flask of hot chocolate out with you if you're venturing out away from home ( I'd recommend Siocled- www.facebook.com/siocledpoeth - it's AMAZING! but that's for another blog ;-) and have plenty of warm clothes to wrap up in. Take a beautiful huge blanket and maybe get that in the photos too!
If you're local to Aberystwyth and are interested in learning how to use your DSLR to capture beautiful images of your family, I run small courses on Digital Photography for parents. You can find more information by visiting my Facebook page.