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Photographing Ladies in the Snow

Updated on September 7, 2013
(CC BY-ND 2.0
(CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

You can also add some props like a crown, a walking staff or scepter. if using the studio then you can also add fake tree branches devoid of leaves as most trees shed them during the winter.

The model does not have to be posed in any special way or sitting. Simply standing and looking regal is enough and this simplicity keeps the costs down as well.

The studio has to be dark enough so that you illuminate the model whit a strobe or flash unit .

The main illumination should fall on the model and any incidental light will serve to illuminate other props if they are so present.

Having a fan that makes the model's hair flutter adds some interest to the shot but it is not a crucial part.

Also useful is to place a light blue filter on the strobe or light source as anything photographed in the snow tends to have a light bluish tone to it. But this effect can also be added digitally if you prefer.

This is a project that will enhance your portrait photography, your fashion photography, your skills with Photoshop, your use of light, your creative use of make up, costume selection and your creativity.

It involves photographing ladies in the snow. Whether the snow is real or digitally added makes no real difference since the objective is to make your models appear as if they were living in a world that is cold and where snow constantly falls.

Digital editing programs can achieve the effect when you use digital noise, and filters: Filter>Noise>Add Noise and in the dialogue box set the Distribution to Gaussian (Gaussian filter) and click Monochromatic.

I will post links plus a video showing how to do that later in the article but the effects should resemble a model, preferably with a make up that appears to be ice cold blue and she should be wearing an appropriate outfit that is long and white, but any gown color can be used if it ads contrasts or enhances the scene. This part is up to you, however the dress should look like any that would be used naturally for a snowy, cold condition.

If using foot wear try to use boots that match the dress in the color or just crop the feet altogether since doing this will remove the need to edit the studio floor later.

CC BY-ND 2.0
CC BY-ND 2.0 | Source

I have found that doing the scene in the studio is time consuming and you need to be very attentive to details, but nothing beats the freedom you have to experiment with various light set ups, filters and other situations plus it is warm and cozy.

With that said, the space and real feeling that you get outside on a snowy day is great, minus the cold factor.

If using the outdoors then try to pose your model next to an appropriate props like branches, rock covered formations, tall snow covered grasses, snow covered trees and so on.

Doing the shoot outside also offers the expectation that if the moon is visible and low enough, by changing your angle you can also include it thus giving an added appeal to the scene.

Off course if where you live it does not snow, like in Miami, then you basically have very little choice but to do the scene in the studio and digitally manipulate your images later. But if you can and have some extra cash lying around, a truck full of shredded ice is always available.

Another less expensive choice is to do the shoot indoors and have someone stand on a high ladder and drop fake snow flakes down below.

This is what you have seen in many television productions in earlier years and the effect is convincing enough but you can always add more or less with a digital editing program.

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Yes you can do the project in the daytime but why would you lose the element of mystery and suspense by doing so?

Night shots offers the viewers a look that is suspense filled, mysterious, beautiful and even sensual all rolled into one shot.

The daytime tends to eliminate these features simply because everything in the scene becomes visible and leaves very little to the imagination of the viewer and letting the imagination wonder is part of the process that can often make a photograph stand out from the rest.

CC BY 2.0 Edited to comply with TOS
CC BY 2.0 Edited to comply with TOS | Source

Your models should be dressed as elegantly as possible but without stepping too far away from the theme.

Their make up should also be closely related to the theme like said before and if you can add some sparkles to the eye area, the hair the neck and arms but do not go overboard with them

Take close ups but make sure to include parts of the scenery as this gives the scene an air of realism if done in the studio and more mystery if done outdoors.

A regular lens should be enough plus the flash and your skills. These images can be sent to any publication that focuses of photography, fantasy, greeting cards, and many others.

The best images can also be used in a fine art gallery presentation.

Like with all of your photography, aim to have images that are technically perfect and well composed and this is how you can start to build your reputation as a photographer.

© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Mike Robbers: Thank you

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      Beautiful photography, Luis! Thanks for sharing.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      MG Singh: Thank you

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      I loved your post. Women in. Snow are gods gift.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      I loved your post. Women in. Snow are gods gift.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Epabaxter: Thank you

    • Epabaxter profile image

      Susan Baxter 4 years ago from Georgia

      Very whimsical, romantic, and elegant

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      lisa42: Thank you

    • lisa42 profile image

      lisa42 4 years ago from Sacramento

      Snow can add such a wonderful element to photos. Great tips.