Model Photography | Samantha

Winter Styled Model Session in Sacramento CA

Snow is just an hour away but I didn't have to go quite that far for this model photoshoot. I styled a winter-inspired photosession with Samantha Cullifer at the WPA Rock Garden in Sacramento CA. 

Teen girl wearing a white fascinator and dressed in a winter wrap during a styled winter photo shoot

We lucked out the day for this shoot – it was nice and cloudy, so I didn’t have to deal with the harsh shadows that a sunny day would have given me. The even light gave me images that were much easier to transform into photographs that looked like they were taken during a snowfall.   

Girl wearing a white fascinator looking down

My idea evolved from a Steampunk Styled Shoot that I am planning for the near future. I love the look of corsets and low flowing dresses - edgy + romantic. I must have spent a good 2 weeks trying to find the right outfit so that Samantha could dance as well as pose. I had to revise the costume when I had trouble finding the right type of skirt. All of the flowy skirts that I liked had A-line underskirts which would have restricted her dance movements. I settled on a tulle ballet skirt + a corset + peasant top that my daughter wore for her Halloween costume. I added a wrap & a hair fascinator as finishing touches for some of the posed photographs.

Teen girl wearing a light colored corset and peasant top next to a tree looking up during a snowfall

In post-processing, I used Phopshop actions from Jessica Drossin. The actions made it really easy to turn the warm-winter Sacramento day into a cold winter afternoon. I also added photography overlays from Bellevue Avenue to give some of the images more depth. I loved the idea of her dancing in a snow covered forest & the overlays gave them that feeling. 

teen ballerina posing during a snow fall. she is wearing a white tutu, peasant top, and light colored corset

It's quite a tangent from the Steampunk Photo Session that I started with, isn't it? Thank you Samantha for helping me make my winter inspired model photoshoot in Sacramento a reality. I bet you’re glad that we didn’t actually have the shoot in the snow, though ;)

Teen ballerina wearing a white tutu, light colored corset, and peasant top performing a ballet jump in the snow

Claire Toney is a professional portrait photographer based in Rancho Cordova CA. She loves using photography as her creative outlet. If you are interested in posing for any of Claire's model photography, the best way to contact her is via email at