A snowy day in Glasgow | Top three tips for photographing in snow
Documenting my family
Did everyone enjoy the little flurry of snow we had in Glasgow today? I say little flurry, it was more like someone dumped a bucket of snow on us for an hour and a half and then, done, no more snow and what’s left is quickly melting!
It was a mixed response in our household. My daughter loves it and will throw snowballs with the best of them. My wee boy however, not so much! He hates it, won’t be put down on it and cries at the smallest snowflake landing on his glove.
Last year I went out and got lovely snow photos of the kids with my husband and the dog (who thinks that days with snow are the very best days!), and I love them. But this year I am challenging myself to take more of the photos I love the most, the truly documentary style photos. That means zero direction.
I really enjoy lifestyle photography and the photos that fill my hallway walls are mostly lifestyle photos. Photos that capture connection and emotion. That’s what I am always looking for first and foremost when taking photos of my family and my client’s families and I will always enjoy taking those photos. But documentary family photography goes even deeper. It follows truth, it follows reality. So not just the moments where a family is perfectly dressed and feeling all the love, but the moments when someone decides to run off and play. To draw. To pick flowers. Whatever it is, no matter how fun, crazy, normal or routine it is, these moments happen in our lives every day. The chaos in our homes, the little feet running upstairs, the lego all over the floor, this is what truly fills our days and one day those feet will be grown, the lego will be in a box and those moments will change for something else. That’s why I want to honestly document our family life, and to capture those truths for other families too, so that in years to come, the pictures that fill our photo albums will make us laugh and cringe and feel exactly what it was like to be a child in your family, or to be the parents raising that child.
Well that got a bit emotional for a minute there! I was talking about snow….
I decided to take the kids out in the front garden after the nursery run and catch their real, first expressions that show how they feel about the cold. Unsurprisingly, my daughter started throwing it everywhere - this is a go to of hers with snow and leaves - whilst my son reacted exactly as he always does, followed by a very serious face to let me know he was not happy with me for putting him down. This is our snow day (or morning if we’re really honest), honestly summed up in two pictures!
Oh and one of the dog who sat at my feet and clearly wanted in on the attention with a perfectly posed look.
Snow is beautiful. It coats everything in a gorgeous blanket of white. But it’s exactly that, white! So dress colourfully and make your wrapped up bundles stand out from the background.
Knowing that you have this perfect, crisp background - use it. By taking your photo from above, you will create contrast and that pop that it brings will draw the eye straight to your subject.
Get down on their level. This is always a top tip when photographing kids, it really helps the story telling as you see everything on their level. So if they are sledging down a hill (and it doesn’t need to be a big one) get just below them and you’ll catch all their expressions and excitement as well as giving a better sense of them travelling down hill.