(Do be sure to click into full screen to enjoy these portraits in all their awesomeness!)

Wow.  What a crazy winter we’ve had this year.  Maybe I had a romanticised notion of what winter would be like in central Ontario, but I really expected it to be colder, with more snow, oh and how about some sunshine?  Not this winter.  The effects of La Niña have been pronounced, varied and highly bizarre.

Let’s take this week for example, shall we?  Monday was -17.  I can’t remember Tuesday, it was so unmemorable. Wednesday was +12 and sunny.  It stayed warm overnight and rain came in Thursday morning.  Naturally, we were trying to teach ski lessons in the rain.  Yuck!  So, the temperature falls through the day and by Friday it was -10 again but man was the wind blowing!  -13 again this morning and then tomorrow is supposed to be +14.  Talk about a roller coaster.  This whole winter has been like this.  Up and down and round about.  Granted, not THIS warm, but still.

With this crazy weather this week, I realised that it was going to be last chance to set up some cross-country skiing lifestyle portraits.  I’ve been thinking about doing this all winter.  Well, as long as there has been snow on the ground anyway, which has only been since early January.  Two months rips past pretty quick when you’re having fun.  And it has been a really fun winter, despite the crazy weather.  Just enough snow at just the right times to provide excellent skiing conditions for the past couple months.

Wednesday was it.  I packed up a bit of gear into my backpack and headed out to Hardwood Ski & Bike to teach some ski instruction to grade schoolers.  After the lessons were finished, I headed out onto the trails to patrol with a couple other instructors, found some interesting spots along the trail and created the portraits above.

My fellow ski instructors are a pretty fun bunch.  When we came up to The Posts, Sharon said “Can we create a portrait in outhouse?”  ummm, sure….  Later, as I was dialling in the lights I asked Arienne to stand in for a minute.  She proceeded to mug for the camera thinking “Ah, test shots, these aren’t going anywhere.”  When they came up in Lightroom, I was like, “OMG, these are awesome!  I’ve gotta do something fun with these.  Hence the photostrip of Arienne mugging for the camera.”

For sure, these images are stylised a bit more than I usually do, but the fun we had making these portraits just called out to me to continue having fun in post-production and give you guys something a bit different today.

If the weather forecast holds for the coming week, all the snow will be gone by the end of the week and maybe I can find a willing subject or two to create some muddy spring mountain bike portraits?  Who’s up for that?

Tell us what you think of these portraits?  Do you like them?  Can you see yourself going beyond the staid “smile-for-the-camera-standing-in-front-of-a-beige-backdrop-at-Zellers” for your next family portraits?  How about a paddling picnic with the kayaks or canoes?  A day with the dirt-bikes perhaps?  Or why don’t we start at the stables and go horseback riding?  Endless options for truly memorable portraits.