Photo of the day: Biggest! Snowman! Ever!

It’s the off-season for my photography business, which means two things. First, I’ve got a lot more time on my hands, so I’m teaching myself new tricks and being inspired by seeking out photography tutorials and workshops. Lately, I’ve been thinking more about creativity and storytelling in my photography. Second, I’m positively twitchy to take photos and create things.

I came up with this idea not too long ago, and the idea got firmly stuck in my head. I’ve taken zillions of snowman-building photos over the years, but what if I used composites to show the boys building an epic-sized snow man? This is the final result:

Creative photography composites of children at play by Ottawa photographer Danielle Donders

I have to admit, it’s not quite where I wanted to end up. I have the skills now to composite the various pieces together pretty well. This image was about 15 layers in Photoshop, by the time I got through adding the bits together and correcting the light and shadows. Here’s the original four photos I used:

Creative photography composites of children at play by Ottawa photographer Danielle Donders

The background is actually a photo I shot with my iPhone on the way home from church, when I realized that the first background I’d been using wasn’t going to tell the story properly.

While I am pleased with the final result, I’m also frustrated. There’s a big gap at the end of what I was able to execute and where I was originally trying to go. I was going for a whimsical, magical feel, almost like an illustration, and couldn’t get it to that level. It may be that the components I was building on are just not right for what I was imagining, or that I just have more learning to do. Even so, I learned a LOT in the process of pulling this together, not least of which is that some tutorials on the Internet are full of crap. The good news is that I have about 50 more ideas I want to execute in this vein, and for the first time in my photographic career, I can conceptualize a theme that I’d like to build into a coherent body of work. That’s pretty exciting, to me at least.

I also learned that spending six hours in Photoshop on a Sunday leaves you with the same sort of “wow, did I ever overindulge myself” feeling that eating nothing but chips and cookies all day does! I’d probably feel a little less guilty about it if I’d been able to hit the mark I was going for, but I’m still pretty pleased with where I ended up.

What do you think?

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

2 thoughts on “Photo of the day: Biggest! Snowman! Ever!”

  1. funny you mention being disappointed it wasn’t more whimsical because for me, it evokes whimsy immediately. you could also try in with a slightly different paint technique (as you have done in the past).. might look cool?

    most of all, it is just great your are exploring your art. I am in a a bit of an artistic rut these days….. so this inspires me 🙂

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