Written by Marjorie Dawson

How To Add Snow To A Photo of Your Pet

How To Add Snow To A Photo of Your Pet

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This photo is a rough and tumble shot of Toulouse and Thomas playing. It looks like a great photo to experiment with for the effect I want to share with you called an overlay. They are not difficult to do and I want to show you how to add snow to a cat photo for some Christmas fun.

The layered snow effect can give your photos an amazing look and you will enjoy using this on your cat photos, (especially if they like to stay indoors). Good news for those on a budget too, you do not need Photoshop or Lightroom which can be expensive for beginner camera users.

Add snow to a cat photo for a Christmas effect.
Play Fighting (Note fast shutter speed) ISO 250 f/4.5 1/1000

Overlays mean you could also float your cat amongst the stars, or have them floating on clouds.

Snow Overlays for Your Computer

For a fast way to add the snow effect, I suggest using one of the free (or paid) effects you can get online. Here’s a list of just a few I found with a brief search:

NOTE: The Luxe Lens offer (time-limited) is worth a look. It works with all the major software programs including Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, Gimp, Affinity Photo, and any editing program or app that allows layers. This is not a Photoshop ‘action’ or a pre-set, it is a simple and easy to use layer you add on top of your photos.

How Do I Add Snow?

  1. Open your computer software Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro, Affinity Photo or program of your choice.
  2. Load the photograph you want to add snow to.
  3. Open your snow overlay in a second window.
  4. With your photo page open, Open the Layer panel in your software. In Affinity Photo it is to the right of the Document menu along the top.
  5. Select New Layer. This opens a transparent layer on top of your photo.
  6. Go to your snow overlay and copy it. Ctrl-C/Cmd-C works.
  7. Return to your photo and Paste the overlay into the Layer you created. Ctrl-V/Cmd-V works.
  8. Resize the snow layer by dragging the corners, if it is too big or small for your image.
Add snow to a cat photo and show your cats having fun.
Play Fighting in the Snow! ISO 250 f/4.5 1/1000

TOP TIP If you want to make your snow thicker, you can add a second and even a third layer of snow, depending on the kind of overlay you use. Several light layers can be as effective as one dramatic thicker layer of fluffy snow flakes.

Help I Can’t See The Snow!

As the overlay is transparent, the snow can be difficult to see but don’t panic. It is there!

If you look at the sample, you can see the chequered background (which indicates the layer is transparent) has smudgy blurs. These are the snowflakes but see through is not very helpful when you want an idea of what the snow looks like. I have added a dark background to show the snow. If you dowload a free or purchased snow overlay you should be able to check photos to see the effect you are getting.

Here’s a second example of cute snow fun. I used a different overlay to create a touch of winter on a image I used for a blog post’s featured image. The plain image is brought to life by snowflakes.

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Don’t be surprised if I start getting into the Christmas spirit with more snow photos over the coming weeks, we haven’t had snow here since 2011!

Have you used an overlay on your photos, did you like the effect you got?


Marjorie Dawson

Marjorie is a motorbike riding blogger and award winning cat photographer who believes that everyone can shoot and edit wonderful pictures they love regardless of the camera they use.

She is a Professional member of the Cat Writers Association, Kuykendall Image Award winner and published photographer at the Guardian newspaper.

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16 thoughts on “How To Add Snow To A Photo of Your Pet”

  1. that is an awesome effect Marjorie…very well done on both photos. If you ever would like the “real deal”, let me know, I’ll be happy to ship some your way 🙂 and free of charge !!!!

    Reply
  2. Although we have plenty of snow in the winter, I love this idea! One of my dogs really doesn’t like to be in the snow for long, so he would prefer a wintery picture like this!

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  3. What a fun overlay! I love Toulouse and Thomas playing in the snow. This would be a fun overlay to play around with for a holiday card. Thanks for sharing it! I think I might have to try it!

    Reply
  4. What a fun photo! I love how the cats are playing together and having so much fun. That’s realistic to how cats react to the snow too. My Dexter loves to play with the snow. I have used overlays in the past. They are a great effect!

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  5. So funny…as I’m reading this we’re gearing up for a snow storm that’s supposed to start later today. We live in the frozen north, as we fondly call it, where it’s cold and snowy usually around 6 months out of the year. I get so many pictures of my dogs out in the snow, it never even occurred to me to add in fake snow. I’d totally do it if we didn’t get so many natural snow photos – snow is so pretty!

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  6. Addin’ snow? MOUSES! You know, peeps MAKE snow ’round here, at times. Yup, they do. They make snow at the ski hills when ol’ Mama Nature doesn’t provide what the skiers need. Me? I’m all for NO snow. Yup, things change ’round here once the snow flies. Peepers gets into a “mood” when she has to go outside and shovel and stuff. And if she slips and falls on an icy patch? Let me tell ya, it’s not a pretty sight.

    On the other paw…

    On the other paw, I suppose no one can slip and fall on the snow in the pictures. Not even my stupidy dupity peep. PURRS

    Reply
  7. Hmmm, I thought had commented here…oh well, here we go again!

    That is a very cool effect, and I think I should check out the app to make snowfall in the summer time when I need to feel chilled:)

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  8. So realistic. At first, we thought that was real snow!

    We rarely get snow here in England now.

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