Session Secrets: Time of Year


Even though I took a sabbatical from portrait work this past year, I had quite the adventure shooting some commercial work for several magazine issues.  Shooting for a magazine is so different.  One of the challenges is simply timeline.  The session will usually be required to take place anywhere from 2-6 months before publication.


This shoot was scheduled for June publication, but needed to be shot in early spring in Northern Utah.  Even up until the day before the scheduled shoot there was not a single leaf on the trees yet and patches of snow were still found on the ground. The entire storyboard for the shoot rested on a “summer theme”, yet our environment was still trying to hold onto winter.


We needed greenery.  I opted to use my families farm and shoot with a background tree line of evergreen trees.  I also relied heavily upon the warm effect of backlighting during the last part of daylight to bring a feeling of light and warmth. The white balance (color temperature) of the images was also set as warmly as possible. With the combination of dressing in summer clothes and engaging in summer activities, I think we managed to pull out of the challenge!


Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah. Her greatest desire in life is to find simplicity.  Maybe even move to the mountains, live in a cabin, and grow her own food.  Actually, maybe that’s taking it too far.  Weekends only would be just right 🙂

Brooke teaches inspiring online photography classes that bring you confidence in your skills and creativity.

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6 Responses

    1. ha ha! I was nervous! But we had already pushed the deadline as far out as possible! Thank heavens Evergreen trees keep their needles all year long!

  1. Fabulous shots Brooke, I have a weakness for golden retrievers too so that makes them even more appealing to me! In terms of aperture, for the group shots like the first one are you still using f/2.8 as long as everyone is grouped pretty much together? Are you making make the aperture smaller (say f/4.0)for the shots like the one of the dog running in front and the family behind or are you only focussing on the dog and because the family are relatively close to him they seem to be in focus?

    1. Moira! What great questions! Most of the shoot I shot at f2.8 because I really really needed to blur that background. I posed the family all on the same plane and was far enough away that they would still be in focus. The images of them running towards the camera I believe was shot around f5.6 though the dog is slightly “soft” because she was closer to the camera than the rest of them were, but not as soft as she would have been if I had stayed at f2.8. I had my focus on the family. Your intuition is correct! See how well you’re understanding all of this!? You’re doing great!

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