Sunday, February 10, 2013

Set up For Winter Portrait Shoot

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I am LOVING winter portrait shoots!
My client, Bella was born on January 29th, but we had to wait a
few weeks to get some snow for her fourth birthday outdoor portrait.
I wanted to commemorate her winter birthday.

Winter shoots like this in the bitter cold take a ton of
PRE-PLANNING...especially with little ones.
I always style birthday shoots and pulled together this
adorable outfit for Bella using thrift store finds.
The boots, coat, hat and mittens are all from thrift stores
for a few dollars.  I added the flower to the hat...made with
thrift store flowers and ribbon!  I bought the skirt off E-bay
and have used it in many shoots.
I laid the outfit out on my kitchen table before Bella arrived.
We got EIGHT inches of snow the day before the shoot
and I was THRILLED this day was SUNNY.
I scheduled the shoot for 10 am because that's when the sun is
perfect in my back yard.
First, I determined the best LIGHTING spot.
I knew it would be too difficult to traipse through all that snow
to get to it, so I shoveled a path across our back porch and even
shoveled the GRASS!
I needed area to move around with my camera.

I placed the table just beyond my shoveled area
so the snow would be pristine in the photos.
Notice how the table is placed in the ideal spot with the sun.
I did this just minutes before Bella arrived because the
sun moves by the minute.
I planned ahead and put great thought into the
styling and the look I wanted.  All of this stuff
is from thrift stores.
Next, I took some sample shots to get
my exposure perfect.  Now my camera and settings
were ready for Bella.

I had her daddy place Bella on the stool while I
was already in place with my camera.
I wanted to capture those first candid moments
of awe and joy.

She didn't even know I was was
all about those pretty cupcakes.

In some of the photos, I used the
editing technique I shared in this blog post.

After she was over her initial rapture she
was all posey for me.

Notice how I cloned out the footprints in the snow around the table.
Turned out, the cute pink boots were too big, so she wore her own.

I shot all these photos in less than ten minutes because
I had planned so carefully before the shoot.
This is the KEY with children in cold temperatures.
Bella was so beautiful on her fourth birthday,
and was delighted to go home with those pretty cupcakes!



  1. Oh how cute...all of these are so darling. Thanks for all the tips and hints for your set-up. Love that you thrift shop for your props. Great set!!

  2. So sweet! I love the outfit and accessories you chose. The colours pop so nicely with the wintery background and such a beautiful little girl.

  3. Wow....adorable pictures. Love all your props :-)

  4. Absolutely, gorgeous, Jill! I just can't help but smile...BIG.

  5. Great tips! Your daughter is beautiful!

  6. These photos are great - what a wonderful idea for a shoot!
    i love it!

  7. Gorgeous pictures!! The bright colours against the white snow is breath taking!

  8. These are stunning! I love the hot pink against the snow, what a gorgeous shoot :)

  9. Those came out great- I love that pop of pink against the snow.

  10. Beautiful photos of a beautiful girl!

  11. That is the best coat in the world! Winter shoots are fun! I love this. Thank you so much for sharing your light and airy pictures. You made me smile.

  12. Gorgeous shots and great props!