We have been getting a lot of snow in the past few weeks. We’ve had a week of late starts due to snow delays and canceled appointments due to terrible driving conditions. My husband even got sent home from work early last week.
While snow days can cause a lot of headaches for daily life, they can also be so magical if you let them. Especially through the eyes of a child.
The anticipation of a snow day can be so exciting to little kids. Think about it. They wake-up, see their yard covered in freshly fallen snow and then realize they have a 90-minute school delay. Or better yet...a whole day off school for a SNOW DAY.
And just like my little ones, I love a good snow day. We usually start our day with homemade french toast or waffles. Next we watch a few cartoons until the sugar sets in and they can’t sit still anymore.
Then it’s time to play.
Yes, play...I know its snowing but my kids love a good play in the snow. We usually build a snowman, have a snowball fight and sled off the deck in our yard. And a snow day is a great opportunity to capture some fun pictures.
I always love looking back through pictures of the past years' snow days and seeing how much we’ve changed. Some pictures only have my oldest son in them because the others were not born yet. It’s such a great time for a natural photo shoot and I love capturing these magical everyday moments.
Each month I set out to document one intentional part of our lives. I know a lot of people participate in mylife365 challenges where you take one picture a day for a year. But the thought of taking a picture a day intimidates the heck out me. It is something that I know is not realistic and I hate setting myself up for failure. But setting aside an hour a month to document an important memory to me is something I can get behind.
Before the month starts I always like to have an idea of what memory I plan to capture. And without fail, it always dumps snow in February so I knew this month I wanted to document a snow day.
Snow days can sometimes be difficult to photograph. There is a lot going on and you have to move quickly before everyone gets cold and tired. Here is my step by step process of how I take pictures in the snow.
I like to photograph my snow day early in the morning. I try to get outside around 9:00 while it is still overcast out so I don’t have to worry about shadows. I usually have all of our snow clothes pulled out the night before and extra things we may be using. Some examples are sleds, blankets, and hot chocolate. I also ensure my camera is charged and that is has a clean memory card in it.
Next, I feed everyone a hot breakfast and get them all ready. Then we head outside for some fun. I don’t start photographing until everyone has had a chance to play for a little bit. I usually start making the snowman (because that is the hardest part) and then they finish it up. I also pull them on the sled and watch them make snow angels. After about 15 minutes of snow play, I grab my camera.
I start with the baby and take some shots of her in her snowsuit. Then of her eating the snow, being pulled on a sled and helping with the snowman (if we make one). Next, I lay her in the snow a snap a few images of her making a snow angel. Then I let her rest while I photograph the boys.
The boys are a little easier because they are older. I capture all the same type of images of each child separately. Then I tell the boys to start throwing snowballs at each other. That lasts for a few minutes and then everyone needs a break.
After a quick rest, I like to grab a blanket and have all 3 of them snuggle under it while sitting in the snow. I capture a few more sweet moments and then tell them they have 2 more minutes to play and its time for hot chocolate.
I run inside and make easy hot chocolate for them and bring it out with lots of marshmallows and whipped cream. Then I have them all stand in a line and start drinking it. After I capture a few images of all three of them. I start to photograph each kid separately. I usually start the oldest because he drinks his hot chocolate so fast.
I like to capture him holding the cup with both hands. Gulping a big drink, and then his whipped cream mustache. Then I repeat the process for the next two kids ending with the baby.
The whole process takes me about 20 minutes of intentional photography time. The rest of the time is spent enjoying one another and playing in the snow.
Over the years I have learned that once I have my snow day pictures, I don't feel like I have to photograph every snow day. It takes a lot of pressure off of me as a photographer and the snow day experiences I want to remember with my kids.
I also fee that once I have my pictures, the rest of the snow days we get are a bonus. We can casually head outside and not have to worry about shadows and making sure I have everything prepared. I don’t fuss with iPhone pictures and I can intentionally be apart of the experience with my kids. Those days are a lot more relaxed and I don't feel like I have to have it all together.
I hope my processes inspires you to intentionally document your next snow day.
Make sure to leave a comment and let me know your favorite part about a snow day or if you have any questions about my process.