Photos of the day: Family portraits in the snow!

I have always wanted to offer more family portrait sessions in the winter. The snow makes a lovely natural reflector, bouncing flattering light up and all around, and winter outfits are often brightly coloured and pop against a snowy background. Some of my favourite pictures of my own kids are from our wintertime adventures, and I’m certainly not averse to taking my camera out into the cold. Ottawa has no shortage of beautiful backdrops in any season of the year!

I learned this weekend that professional portrait sessions outdoors in the winter pose their own set of logistical challenges, though. The client and I exchanged a few worried emails in the week before the session with our eyes on a changing forecast, and I had to pay a quick advance visit a location I’ve used many times to make sure we would be able to access it with the half meter of snow that’s fallen in the past month. While cold temperatures make for lovely rosy cheeks, wind chills in the range of minus 20 make for watery eyes and runny noses. Moving around to get the best composition often meant I would step off the packed-snow trail and find myself lurching about in a sort of half crawl up to my knees in crusty snow. And while the family was numbed by the raw wintry wind, I was sweating in my layers. Family photography can be a great workout!

Of course, all of that is more than worth it when you get to work with a sweet, fun family who just happen to be amazingly photogenic.

Family snow portraits

It is possible that not every family member was completely enthralled with the idea of portraits, snow or otherwise. Those curls, though!

Family snow portraits

So the raw wintry wind was a challenge but with good humour and patience, some trees to block the wind and some cuddles, we had a bit of an adventure and got a great mix of posed and unposed family portraits in the snow.

Candid, fun family snow portraits by Ottawa photographer Danielle Donders

Note to self: consider adding snowshoes to your gear list for the next outdoor family portrait session!

Author: DaniGirl

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

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