Chilly Hands, Warm Hearts with Family Portraits in the Snow

Family Portraits in the Snow

Alicia had been dreaming of capturing some family portraits in the snow for some time. She had the family; now all she needed was the weather to cooperate. Though I doubt she (or anyone else) expected quite this much snow!

When the forecast showed a break in the snowfall and a chance of sun over the nearby Sierra Nevada mountain range, we knew we had our chance. Alicia piled her crew (including me and my camera gear) into the SUV for a drive up the hill. We gawked at just how low in the foothills the snow began to appear, and it got me wondering just how deep the snow would be at the destination I’d recommended near the Loch Leven Trailhead.

My jaw hit the floor as we parked. Five foot snowdrifts surrounded us on all sides. Gulp. Since we weren’t exactly outfitted for an Artic expedition, we plotted a course up a nearby sledding hill to get above the snow and make some images without sinking into it. And I’m proud to say that we didn’t lose a single member of our party along the way.

Check out some moments from these family portraits in the snow…

As we cranked up the heater and drove back down toward Sacramento, we spotted a beautiful vista at Emigrant Gap. Beautiful enough, that is, to stop so mom and dad could have a bit of time to cuddle up in the snow. It was a sweet end to a wonderful time in the mountains.

Despite our lack of sled dogs and parkas, I had a blast making these photos with this wonderful family. Believe me when I say I’ve got my boots and camera ready for my next session in the snow.


  • Stephen Hadeen 03-15-2019

    Fun and great images! Next time take the adventure and trudge through the 5 foot drifts (without your clients of course). ? Gotta live once!

    • P.J. Oswald 03-15-2019

      I actually did get to jump in the deep end myself, in a fairly lame effort to tamp down the snow for this brave family to walk on. I did at least have my waterproof hiking boots on!

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