How to Create a Blizzard in a Photography Studio

On location shooting can be tough. The weather can be harsh and unpredictable, the lighting changes, there are environmental dangers, and you have to lug all your equipment from your studio to your location and back again. So why not skip the field trip and create your own environment inside a studio? That’s what commercial photographer Joey L. decided to do when he needed to photograph his subjects in a blizzard:

You wouldn’t think that a blizzard would be very easy to recreate, but Joey L. makes it look fairly simple. With a fake snow maker and an assistant waving a big piece of cardboard, he manages to produce a decently realistic snow storm. If you’re looking to create your own indoor environment, keep these things in mind:

  • Background – Of course an appropriate background is going to be needed to convince your audience that you’re somewhere other than in a studio. This may involve something as simple as a blurry grey background like in Joey’s blizzard scene, or a detailed scene of the beach with sand and waves.
  • Clothing – The proper clothing can convey a lot. For fashion shoots, you may have to shoot a specific piece, in which case you would want to adjust your scene to fit the clothing. But if you’re not, make sure your clothing matches the scene you’re shooting.
  • Minor Details – It’s the little things that often make a scene convincing. For instance, in Joey’s blizzard scene, you can see little bits of “snow” in the subjects hair, clothes, eyebrows, and even eyelashes. This makes it look as if the subjects are actually in a real blizzard.
  • Lighting – This can be heavily manipulated in a studio which gives you lots of possibilities. You may want to create a surreal lighting or a one that better highlights your subject or their clothing rather than imitating real world conditions. But if you are looking to mimic natural lighting, make sure you think about the angle and color temperature of your setup.
  • An Assistant – You can never underestimate the helpfulness of a few extra hands. Whether it’s running the fan or simply holding a strobe, an extra person can help you focus on your final image and create what you really want.
in studio blizzard fake created

Would you have guessed this was taken in a studio?

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2 responses to “How to Create a Blizzard in a Photography Studio”

  1. Jonathan Suarez says:

    I really liked this article! Check out Wonderfall Snow Machines on Amazon, they work great for creating this effect in your home or even in a professional setting!

  2. I’m glad you mentioned that I have to consider improving the background of the photography studio I will go to in order to create the effect I’m going for. I’ll make sure to mind the clothing of the model so that the portraits would look perfect. I believe that minor details matter so I’ll make sure everything comes together by ensuring that the photography studio I choose for next month’s shoot has everything I need.

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