Bryon Summers

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Another Snowy Day

It feels like we've had a lot of snow this year. It's only really come down twice but when it did, it had a large enough impact to hold me over for the rest of the year. So imagine today, how I feel seeing snow - upset. Until I noticed my go-to model at home with the day off. The snow had been coming down all morning so work would have been canceled anyway. The sidewalks weren't shoveled yet and the plow had only done a light pass. It was still clean out. Fresh white powder and it was still snowing. My outlook on the snowy day changed completely. "Ma, you want to go out a take some photos?" She was grading papers, but a break for a PortraitWalk wouldn't hurt.

It was still clean out. Fresh white powder and it was still snowing.

Shooting outdoors has the perk of natural light but the weather can be unpredictable. You have meteorologist giving forecasts of what the day-to-day might be - we really don't know. But now it's snowing. And we have to take advantage of this situation. She grabs a hooded black winter coat, black gloves and boots. Can't forget the pearls and earrings. 

We set out to capture a few shots either in the empty street or the larger neighborhood park but on the way we settled on an untouched treelined path. Nothing like being the first set of tracks in unbothered snow. 

Growing up, I became accustomed to finding family photographs tucked away in albums. Real tangible photo albums. Not some omni accessible cloud or Facebook. Each household had their own collection of images sentimental to that immediate family. On almost every visit to an aunt, uncle, or grandparent's house, the ritual of visitation involved flipping through pages of these curated memories. Some photos would be taken by whichever family member owned a camera. Some would be taken by the local professional chain like Jostens , Lifetouch, or Olan Mills.

Nothing like being the first set of tracks in unbothered snow.

Today the privilege and duty is mine to capture family moments, both group and individual. Now, here in the snow, the opportunity to capture not only a family moment, but a special moment has presented it self. At the end of every portrait walk, I ask the subject to let me know which images from the set were their favorite. I'll surprise them with a print with hopes of it making their wall or special curated family album. At the end of this shoot, I knew these images would be added to our collection. The question is do they go in an album or do they make the wall? 

Photos and narration by Bryon Summers

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