Photographing kids in the snow. My family has been working to gather proper snow gear so that we can head out to the mountains to play in the snow. In the meantime, my Facebook feed is filled with photos of everyone else getting out there and enjoying the powdery goodness! To top it off fellow Me Ra Koh Confidence Teacher, Cathy Mores from Manhattan, Kansas, wrote an inspiring post on photographing kids in the snow. So I thought I’d share a photo with a photo recipe following her lead. Don’t worry, there’s a link at the end so you can see her tips for photographing kids in the snow!
My snow photo is from last November when we had an entire 2 hours of snow. It was around long enough for Sawyer to have her first experience with snow and Milo to build a snowman with Grandpa. (He now hopes for snow daily). One of my favorite things about the snow was my kids’ little red cheeks and the contrast between the background and my kids.
Set Up: When photographing kids in the snow, you need….SNOW! I know, the obvious. We did these images in the backyard. But the biggest thing is making sure there’s nothing distracting in the background standing out. You want just the white wonderland and snow covered trees as your backdrop. Aim to start shooting shortly after your kids are out in the snow. If you wait too long they may get too cold and not want to cooperate. Plus, capturing the first few minutes helps capture the wonder in their eyes as they take everything in.
Camera Settings: Snow is a wonderful natural reflector. All that bright white, just bouncing up on my subject. But it can also mean dark gray skies, so you want to make sure you have a high enough ISO to let in a good amount of light. I chose to have my aperture wide open so that my son could be the focus and I could create a nice blurry, buttery background out of the snow! Finally, my boy is quick so I needed a fast shutter speed to freeze his action! ISO 500 Aperture f/2.8 Shutter Speed 1/320
Compose: You could choose to frame your image either vertically or horizontally. I chose a vertical orientation to accentuate how he was looking upwards. Play around with both ways to see what fits the story you’re telling. The biggest thing is to get in close and focus on their eye. By getting in close you can see the glimmer in his eye, the snow flakes on his hat, and those rosy cheeks.
For more inspiration, don’t forget to check out Cathy’s post 8 Tips for Photographing Kids in the Snow! I know that I can’t wait to try out her tips when we finally get it together and hit the slopes with the kids!