Dreary Weather Does Not Mean Dreary Pictures

It’s winter in Chicago, which means dreary weather. (It usually also means cold and snow, but that’s not how this winter is going!) But dreary weather does not mean your pictures have to look dreary. If you think about them a little differently, you can still get lots of beauty and energy in your photographs, even if nature is not entirely cooperating.

1) Seek out color. In the spring and summer, color comes naturally in photographs. Grass is green. The sky is a bright blue with beautiful white clouds. And flowers pop your pictures with reds and pinks and yellows. In the winter, everything is brown. Everything. So thinking about deliberately adding color will add energy to your pictures. Clothing. Accessories (hats and scarves). Even food! (We’re going to be doing some amazing mini-sessions at an ice cream parlor in May as a fundraiser for a local school. Let me know if you might be interested in joining us!) Adding color will make a big difference.


2) Direction of light. By controling the direction of the light in your picture, you’ll add much needed contrast. One of the problems with this dreary weather is that everything looks the same. It’s just really flat. And one of the ways to add contrast is to vary the amount of light in your image. Make one part of the picture darker and one part lighter. Try taking pictures with the light source on the side of your subject rather than right in front of it. (For example, put your child next to a window, so the light is hitting one cheek, rather than facing the window, when the light will be evenly spread across the face.)

3) Brightness. The brightness of your images is not determined by the amount of external light. Instead, it is determined by the amount of light that you let into your camera (also called exposure). Learning to use your camera to control the exposure will give you soooooooo much control over the feeling in your pictures. And making pictures feel bright and airy, even in dark and dreary days, will change the entire feel of your image.

As always, we at Pollack Photography are focused on you.

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