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  • Writer's pictureErin Schwartzkopf

Snow Better Time for Photos!

It is no secret that winter can seem pretty blah, for the most part. Leaves and flowers are

dead, grass is brown or covered in snow, it's cold, it's blowing, and here in this part of Wyoming, it isn't even often a pretty snow due to the drifting. It is really just not generally considered a pretty time of the year.

Unless you are a photographer that specializes in creating stunning artwork of horses and dogs!

Ya'll, I love winter photos. I really do. So few photographers do them and so few owners think about having them done. I will admit that there are a couple of months that it is usually just a bit too cold for my equipment to work well in (and let's be real, a high of -30* isn't a temp anything is really going to work well in). January and February tend to be the months were I do the biggest chunk of work on the backside of my business while I stay nice and warm inside. The camera bodies and lenses get sent off for maintenance, and I plan the year ahead. But those other winter and early spring can really be the setting to create out of the park artwork! There are a few reasons for that...

First, like I mentioned, not many people are doing photos in the winter and snow. This means that those that are have something absolutely unique. Winter can present backdrops like no other season. Horses and dogs of many colors will really pop against the white of the snow. At the same time, they will have less distractions to compete with since there are no leaves or flowers to take attention away from them. Winter time also offers a different landscape where you can see things in the background that are often hidden by leaves. For those that have white or gray animals, you may think your best friend will get lost in all of the white. The truth is, winter can create a very complimentary palette.

Second, sleep. Who doesn't love sleep??? Amirite??? Shorter days of winter are often a complaint, but...for photography, this means you do not have to get up at the crack of dawn before any sane person would consider opening their eyes just to have that gorgeous golden hour light. Plus...there is the added bonus of blue hour light looking so extra in the winter. How perfect is it that we can capture blue hour and golden hour light and still get to sleep in to a respectable hour?

Third, clear blue skies are not boring in winter. And that is a good thing, because we sure get a lot of them! But during the winter and snowy months, those solid blue skies just seem to compliment the scenery. That may mean we need to find some shade because the light can get pretty harsh with some reflection from the snow, but...that reflection used correctly can also bounce some lovely soft light to bring out all of the details of the face. On the flip side of all of that, overcast or cloudy days are great in snow because the snow is still reflecting some light.

Finally, better expressions, happier animals. The colder temps are not always preferred for every breed of dog, but many, many dogs are more comfortable when it is a bit colder than they are in the heat of summer. The colder temps make it easier to get photos without that tongue hanging out and many times the dogs can last a bit longer than in the heat of a summer or fall session. Then there are many breeds who just live for winters! All of those heavy coated breeds as well as the sporting breeds tend to really just thrive on snow days. You can easily see the happy and joy in their faces and that makes for great images! For horses, they have the relief from bugs that bite and annoy. This helps to keep their ears doing what we want for those gorgeous expressions and keeps the tails from swishing all over and the feet from stomping. Generally, horses have a bit more patience in the cooler temps, too.

Are you ready to book a snow session yet?? I am ready to go do another one!

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Elaine Tweedy
Elaine Tweedy
Dec 18, 2022

I agree that Winter provides great backgrounds, stark contrasts and loads of photography fun!

Erin Schwartzkopf
Erin Schwartzkopf
Dec 24, 2022
Replying to

I just love seeing snow shots! They make me smile every time...

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