How to give your photos a snow effect in Photoshop.

Learn how to create whimsical winter scenes with these pro photo editing tips.

Holiday cards, winter weddings — snowy photoshoots can be magical in the right conditions. But while you may be a talented photographer, you're likely not a magician. Try these photo editing tips in Adobe Photoshop to create a snowy effect, for the inevitable case of a winter photo shoot without the winter.

Add snow in 6 simple steps.

  1. Add your layer. Open your image in Photoshop as the Background and add a new blank layer on top of it (Layer 1).
  2. Design your layer. Fill Layer 1 with black so that it appears as a dark square on top of your background. Use the Noise feature to create a snowy looking effect. Be sure to select the Gaussian and Monochromatic options so that the effect is in black and white. This will be your “snow.”
  3. Blur and reduce your noise. Soften the noise with the Blur command, which dulls the contrast, and the Levels command. With the Levels command, you can play with the noise contrast. Heighten snowy effects with the white slider and remove noise with the black slider. You’ll use the black slider heavily — drag it to the right until you’ve removed most of the noise and are left with what looks like snow.
  4. Blend it in. Time to hide those black areas and bring out the remaining white "snow." Blend mode makes this easy. Set Blend mode to Screen. This will replace the black with your background image and bring the remaining white to the foreground. Voila — snow.
  5. Soften the look. Use the Motion Blur feature to soften and blend the snowflakes a bit more.
  6. Add more layers and play around. Use the Layers feature to add more layers of snow to your composition, depending on how wintry you want to go. Experiment away for your most perfect winter mood.

Any season, any time.

Learn more about how to use Photoshop to enhance all of your seasonal photoshoots — with sun, snow, clouds, rain, you name it.