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If you received a new camera for Christmas this is a perfect time to start taking pictures. Everyone gets excited when it first starts to snow after Christmas! So, grab your camera and join the fun.

First tip: Buy some micro-fiber cloths to keep your lens clear if it’s actually snowing. Don’t use Kleenex because it will literally melt on your lens after a few swipes and leave a mess. You can also buy cleaning paper for cameras. Use those products frequently to keep drops from blurring your pictures.

Next look for the action! Children are the best source for terrific shots! I took a series of photos of this little girl being hauled up to the top of the hill, then sliding down the hill, and then sliding down towards the bottom of the hill. I deliberately kept out of the way and used a “telephoto” lens to zoom in on the fun. I had to use a fast shutter speed to keep her from becoming blurred as she slid past me (1/250th of a second). Exposure can be tricky because the overcast clouds can make the scene really dark… while the snow on the ground can reflect a lot of light into the scene. You’ll want to take a few test shots to see what settings work best for you. Now a word of caution: using the Automatic or Program mode on your camera might not give you the best results. Why? Because the camera is designed to give you the best exposure, but it won’t know to adjust for speed as the kids whiz past. Some cameras have “speed” settings on the top of the camera that lets the camera know that you need a faster setting to stop the action. If not perhaps you’d like to try the “speed setting” on the camera which will allow you to choose 1/250th or 1/500th of a second. The camera will automatically adjust the aperture setting to keep the light properly set. Yes, that can be a little complicated the day after you get your new camera.

You’ll notice that I get down pretty low and focused just on the little girl. On the 2nd image above I laid down on my stomach to capture the scene. Too many beginners will take photos standing up and looking down. On my third shot I framed the two parents between the girl as she slid down the hill and that led to the fourth shot of the parents looking at the camera. I took a series of pictures of adults out in the snow, but avoided having them looking at me and saying “cheese.” These images all capture everyone in the moment and create a different presentation of that day’s fun in the snow.

After the excitement had worn off and folks went back to work, I just wandered around catching scenes of the snow in the neighborhood. When it was all done, I produced a short video of the day’s adventure with some fun filler shots.


For individuals living in the area around Fort Mill, South Carolina we offer portrait sessions on a snowy day. Yes, takes a lot of advance planning! Falling snow is usually limited to an hour or so everyone needs to be ready to go. The results can be a lot of fun. We also offer photo instructions for beginning photographers. These are one-to-one sessions designed to answer individual questions about techniques, camera settings, and camera controls. We’ll get our beginning students to confident advanced photographers in less than two months!

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