In search of snow

by Jan 3, 2016Field Day

This morning, I woke up to a thin yet mesmerizing blanket of fresh snow. In Portland, this happens maybe once per year, but the timing of this year’s dusting made me laugh. Yesterday afternoon, I went out shooting with the Parr Twins, Abbie and Kelsey, to test out Nikon’s new 24-70mm lens. The Parrs are avid snowboarders, but time being of the essence, we simply shot portraits on NE Portland’s acclaimed Alberta street, where there was nothing but sunshine and dry ground. We joked about how it was a little silly to shoot snowboard photos without any snow. If only we had waited a day…

That said, the sun being out didn’t mean it was any warmer. I had four locations in mind, we ended up shooting just two—by that time I could no longer feel my fingers and high winds were making it impossible to keep hair out of faces. Thankfully, we stumbled into a bit of luck in the form of some dramatic bounce light, a result of the setting sun reflecting off of the windows of a building. Combined with a graffitied wall, it gave us some edginess. It’s perhaps more skater than boarder, and not the most original idea in the universe, but I think it worked. Still, I prefer to not rely on luck, and a simple pair of gloves would have made it possible to put more time into setting up the shots. Either that, or, just wait a day to get some snow.


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Daven Mathies / Blog

Editorial style portrait photography in the Columbia River Gorge.

For rates and other inquiries, please email me at davenish(at)