Sunday, January 4, 2015

Editing Winter Photos

 I live in Michigan where we usually have snow on the ground for most of
the winter.  But for the first time in 125 years...we didn't have ANY snow
in December!
That's why I was GIDDY when yesterday, we were blessed with the pretty
kind of snow that sticks to the trees.
My daughter Lindsay was still home for the holidays and
she was wonderful to pose for me.
Well, she wasn't all that thrilled as you can see in this next behind-the-scenes photo.
Being my daughter, she is asked to pose A LOT....
She was wearing sweat pants and shoes with no socks under that dress
and was FREEZING!
Plus she had to carry that poofy dress into the woods.

But she knew I have been wanting to shoot portraits in the
big white dress that I found at a thrift store last winter for $20.
I pictured it with a long red velvet, hooded cape and found one
on E-bay.
But, last winter we had two feet of snow on the ground all season,
so I never got to do the shoot.
Thanks, Lindsay for finally helping me accomplish this!
Most of my clients don't schedule winter portrait shoots...
but winter is one of my favorite times of year for portraiture.
Here are some tips to help you spruce up your
winter portraits with added bokeh and snowflakes from my winter overlay
collection I sell here in my Etsy Shop.
Start with a clean edit.   In the winter with snow,
I like to edit on the cool side.  But that is a personal preference.

Next, I add this winter white bokeh that comes with the collection.
In Photoshop or Elements, with your main photo open,
Click on File>Place and navigate to the white bokeh.
Click on it and it will appear over your photo.

While holding down on the Shift key to keep it in perspective,
stretch the bokeh to cover your photo.  In this case,
I only wanted the bokeh on the upper sky part...not over the snow.
Above your layers pallet on the right, switch your blend mode to
I lowered my opacity to 68%...but lower yours to what looks
good with your photo.
Create a layer mask and use a soft/black brush to remove the bokeh from the subject.
If you don't know how to do layer masks...just use the eraser tool.
See how the bokeh adds a pretty, ethereal look?
Now add one of my snowflake overlays.
Lower the opacity a bit...this is at 75%, and erase any
flakes over the eyes, nose and mouth while leaving
a few on the face to look believable.
I have so much fun with the bokeh and snow overlays!
Today, I got to photograph beautiful Sarah
in our pretty snow and had fun adding snow and bokeh.

Brave the snow and
have a FAB time with winter portraits!


  1. These are great! We have snow on the ground, but not much until today. I am looking forward to playing with this snow effect. Thank you.

  2. Great news about your and Rita's combined newsletter! Looking forward to learning new techniques, thanks for sharing all of your knowledge with all of us.

  3. This is fabulous that you two are a team, sharing your tips and techniques is awesome! Looking forward to the Monday newsletters.

  4. I'm excited about the new newsletter! I have been enjoying Rita's for a little while and am glad to have found you as well. We have had no snow, but maybe I will just photoshop some! :D (Now I just need to find a cape for my's the gift that didn't come this year...)
    Thank you!

  5. Your photos and what you do to edit them are absolutely breathtaking! Thank you for your help and free resources!


  6. Loving your winter work! Being in Texas myself I don't get to play much with snow :( I have to say that your blog is my new favorite and Rita's is an old favorite so I'm very excited for your collaboration! Keep up the great work!


  7. I live in Michigan as well & am so happy to see this post.
    With the storm raging outside my window right now, hopefully the temps will warm up enough soon to do some serious snow shots!
    Right now - it's me & my trusty Wonder Dog that are the only crazy one's to dare go out in these conditions!

  8. Living in MIchigan as well - I am SO glad to see this post!
    Right now though, with the raging storm & frigid temps, the only model I can get to go outside is my trusty Wonder Dog.