Winter Photography: Tips & Tricks for Shooting in Cold Weather

Winter brings in shadows, gorgeous snowy landscapes, Northern Lights, and holiday portraits, but it also blows in extremely cold temperatures that can do more harm than just frostbite on your finger tips!

Photo by: ADVANCED|  Rebecca Rajkowski

Photo by: ADVANCED| Rebecca Rajkowski

Follow these tips to protect your equipment (and your nose!) before going out to explore over the bridge and through the woods to all the winter wonderlands.

Bring Spare Batteries & Keep the Warm

Ever gone skiing with your phone in your pocket only to get to the top of the mountain to get that perfect selfie to have your one hundred percent charged battery to be dead? Same goes for your camera batteries. The cold kills batteries, even if they are not being used. To avoid being stuck with a dead camera, bring extra batteries and keep them close to your body. They are sensitive and like to snuggle close to your heart.

Avoid Instant Frostbite on Your Nose on Your Camera

You read that and laughed. I can hear you all the way from here. But you won’t be laughing when your nose gets stuck to the metal of your camera like a tongue on pole in A Christmas Story. Wear face masks and shoot with tripod while looking at your camera’s screen instead of the viewfinder.

Take Care of Your Hands

In the spirit of frostbite, wear good gloves and use hand warmers. If your fingers are cold, your whole body will feel miserable (that is what my Grandmother told me) so keep them toasty! Fingerless gloves are perfect for snapping shots, but keeping warm on your palms.

Photo by: EXPERT |  Evan Sheehan

Photo by: EXPERT | Evan Sheehan

The Magic of a Ziplock

Take it from someone who has been shoulder deep in snow with all of her equipment, you need an airtight plastic bag! This will protect you from obvious snowflakes melting (or unexpected drowning in mounds of snow) but as you move from freezing to warm temperatures moisture can form inside of your equipment if not complete dry. No one wants condensation (that will turn to mold!) on their favorite 50mm. Before you head inside after your adventure, seal the bag with some of that cold air trapped in with your camera. Let it warm up slowly for a couple hours without forming water droplets! Take out the battery and memory card beforehand to give you the ability to start downloading and editing immediately.

Pay Attention to Your Settings

Yes, yes, all that white can be beautiful, but it can also cause your camera’s exposure meter to go crazy due to confusing glares from the snow resulting in underexposed imagery. Bracket your images by shooting one stop higher and one stop lower than the initial meter reading. This will insure that you have the perfect shot when your eyes are no longer frozen and you can actually see what you are editing.

Photo by: EXPERT |  Vrushali Lele

Photo by: EXPERT | Vrushali Lele

 Now bundle up, find Frosty the Snowman, and create some beautiful imagery! Upload them to your profile and open challenges - we cannot wait to see your winter wonderlands!

How to: Shooting Lifestyle Stock Photography

As the landscape of stock photography changes, it’s important to be aware who is purchasing stock photos and what you, as the creator, can do to create a more successful stock portfolio. With sales transitioning from a single image to larger orders containing multiple images from a single set.

Photo by: Master |  Maureen Im

Photo by: Master | Maureen Im

By following these five steps; Theme Selection, Talent and Location Acquisition, Choosing equipment, Engaging Direction and Cohesive editing, your stock photography sets are sure to rise to the tip in quality and value.

Theme Selection:

Choose a theme broad enough to grant you the ability to create multiple scenes from. For example, if you’re going to photograph Millennials and Technology, you should be looking at the photographing millennials using technology in school, millennials using technology in social settings, and millennials using technology in start-up settings.

If a buyer is looking for multiple images of technology and millennials, this will offer plenty of variety. The theme should allow for you to dive deeper, being transferrable to multiple locations and translate across a diverse cast of models. An additional tip is to be attentive to the world around you, photograph themes that are relevant in today’s society and predict what could come next.

Photo by: ADVANCED |  Gavin Carter

Photo by: ADVANCED | Gavin Carter

Talent and Location Acquisition:

It’s 2018, your models need to be extremely diverse  - all themes can be relatable to any group of people. Sets of images containing multiple models hold a higher value. Prioritize scenes in your shoot where you can have 4-6 models in one frame. Buyers who are looking for sets of images, will look for consistency of models across the sets of images. The best way to find talent is through your friend circle, social media, and casting calls. Facebook is a great place to start and many regions have groups for model castings.

Choosing the Right Equipment:

Equipment isn’t the most important aspect but certain equipment will create more engaging images. 24-50mm is the sweet spot as wide angle lens allow you to get more information in the frame and when photographing activities, can make the viewer feel as if you’re right there and have a more organic feeling to them. 50mm lenses give you the option to isolate emotion and actions while adding a portrait element to the set. Choose lenses that are fast, shooting around F2.8 to F4 can highlight the actions, pulling the viewer in. Traditionally, lifestyle stock is not photographed with anything higher than 50mm as the depth compression gives the images more of a product/staged feeling. Remember that all lifestyle stock should be photographed with natural light. Artificial lighting can be used, but it should be used indirectly, bouncing a diffused light off a wall or ceiling.

Engaging Direction:

Block out your scenes before you start shooting, this will give you confidence in placing your models correctly in the scene and giving you grounds to begin. Once you’ve set your scene, let your models act it out while being you shoot. Be attentive to what each model is doing, you’ll want models to repeat certain actions and understand what sequence they should do to get your desired result. Having a variety of models will allow you to direct them to cycle throughout the scene, giving everyone a chance to be the centre of focus and play out different roles - this cycling will not only give you a large volume of images with variety but it will also boost fo the confidence of your models by giving them an opportunity to learn and try other roles. Actions should never be forced, what you might want is in the middle so run through the actions a few times, shooting from multiple angles. Tethering is a great way to help directing your models and blocking your scenes in real time.

Editing Process:

The first step in the editing process is to cull your images. Select the best 2-3 images from a burst, any more will saturate the set and cause the buyer to have difficulty selecting one. Once you’ve selected your images, begin editing out any logos visible in the shot (yes, that includes Apple’s little apple.) These images should feel bright and organic, and light contrast. Consistent saturation with no grain or noise will give you clean, cohesive look across a whole set. Batch editing can be more efficient, but make sure to spot check images as you go along!

Photo by: MASTER |  Marjan Apostolovic

Photo by: MASTER | Marjan Apostolovic

Happy STOCK Shooting!

Creator Spotlight: October

As our days get shorter and our need for candy corn gets higher, our need for inspiration may dwindle. Look no further, here are three photographers to inspire you this month.

PRO | Tatiana Shumbasova

Tatiana Shumbasova's food photographs take on a personality of their own through playful narratives and strong focus on color.

SHOOTER | Leo Majarrez

Leo Manjarrez documents his everyday life in Mexico, capturing the personalities and natural textures of his city. His images are both inviting and enlightening. See more of Leo's work in the story!

ELITE | Rainbow Sprinkles

Whether it is trick or treating, a day at the beach, or bubbles in the backyard ELITE | Rainbow Sprinkles captures her children's everyday life in a playful and nostalgic inducing manner.

Follow Leo, Tatiana, and Rainbow Sprinkle's work on Snapwire for more inspiring shots! 

Creator Spotlight: September

As the leaves turn red and the days darker, Autumn has always held a symbolism for change. Here are four photographers to help boost your creativity and inspire your September projects.

PRO | Diego Cervo

Diego Cervo's portraiture is elevated by his use of natural framing and background elements. His subjects remain in clear focus, while surrounding elements strengthen their narratives.

MASTER | Rachel Bingham

Rachel Bingham's naturally thoughtful way of shooting is apparent in her plant portraits. Her inspiration is is driven by "watching how light falls on everyday life, highlighting its beauty, calling [her] to document it."

PRO | Alexandra Semyonova

Alexandra Semyonova's portraiture is simplistic, elegant, and emotional. While breaking the classic “rule of thirds,” her center framing pulls you straight into the subjects.

PRO | Cristian Bortes

Cristian Bortes's travel photography transports you across the world through his eye for unique color and shapes. What's the secret to capturing travel shots? "Shooting in "travel mode" means to open yourself and constantly wonder. There is no such thing as ordinary people or ordinary places."

Follow Cristian, Alexandra, Rachel, and Diego's work on Snapwire for more inspiring shots! 

Photography Technique Isn't Everything

As photographers, we've all gone through the bombardment of basic composition techniques when we first pick up the camera: rule of thirds, leading lines, filling the frame...the list goes on and on.  But it's important to remember that these rules simply build a foundation, and are not meant for you to follow for every single shot you take.   

These rules are definitely a good start, but keep in mind that in the long run, it is possible that these rules may restrict you from reaching your true creative potential.   At the end of the day, creativity has no boundaries or rules that govern it. So next time you go out with your camera, try to forget the generic photography rules, and just shoot Surely, it'll take A LOT of trial and error, but you'll be surprised with what your own creative vision can create. 

Photo by: Ajanta Bhuyan

Photo by: Ajanta Bhuyan

Photo by: Yakashi Yasui

Photo by: Yakashi Yasui

Photo by: Marin Stefani

Photo by: Marin Stefani

Photo by: Sue Harper

Photo by: Sue Harper

Every week Snapwire keeps you updated with the latest photography and tech news. Here’s ‘What’s on the Wire’ this week: 

Meet the #Cagefree Photographer Running Discovery Channel’s Instagram for Shark Week (PetaPixel): It’s Shark Week! Here’s a fun story about fearless photographer Michael Muller, who takes shark photos without a cage. 

DIY: Create a Dead Simple Product Shot Setup Using One Light and Tin Foil (PetaPixel): A great, easy tutorial on how to capture a perfect product shot with materials you can find around the house. 

Apple Expands OS X Mavericks Raw Compatibility (DPReview): A list of cameras that are now compatible with OS X Mavericks. 

The Other Side of Fair Use (aPhotoEditor): A discussion of the fair use case involving a photo of a sculpture being sold as stock.

Confessions of a Colorblind Photographer (Aaron Lavinsky): A great blog post from a colorblind photographer, who learned how to deal with his handicap without giving up what he loves to do. 

//Photo by Ena De Guzman

Every week Snapwire keeps you updated with the latest photography and tech news. Here’s ‘What’s on the Wire’ this week: 

'Selfies Anonymous' Parody Takes On Our Favorite Instagram Cliches (PetaPixel): A hilarious video poking fun at common Instagram behavior. 

Using the iPhone or iPod Touch to introduce photography to children (TÚAW): An interesting perspective on how you can get kids into photography using mobile devices. 

7 DIY Tips for Better Photography on a Shoestring Budget (Mashable): Photography doesn’t need to be an expensive pastime, and Mashable has tips for how to use household objects in place of expensive gear. 

10 Summer Photography Tips to Get You Creative in the Warmer Months (PetaPixel): Fun ideas and advice on how to to capture the essence of summertime in your photos. 

iPhone 6 Design, Healthcare and Power (TechRadar): Every week more rumors come out about the upcoming iPhone 6 release - here’s the latest. 

Photo by Erdem Yilmaz

Every week Snapwire keeps you updated with the latest photography and tech news. Here’s ‘What’s on the Wire’ this week: 

16 Examples of Totally Ridiculous 4th of July Stock Photography (HubSpot): Everyone over at Snapwire had a great 4th of July weekend, and we hope you did, too! Here are some funny 4th of July stock photos to start your Monday with a smile. 

Apple Confirms 3rd-Party Extensibility and Robust Editing Features in OS X Photos (PetaPixel): PetaPixel reveals new features that will become available with the release of OS X Photos. 

How to Work With Imagery on Your Website (Forbes): Forbes offers tips and advice on how to successfully use imagery on your website in order to maximize sales and emotional connection. 

10 Tips For Taking Better Photos With Your Smartphone (PopPhoto): PopPhoto’s slideshow features helpful tips like to crop photos rather than zoom, and more. 

The Best Free Online Photography Courses and Tutorials (PetaPixel): A long list of photography courses and tutorials from a variety of sources for every skill level. 

Photo by Jeremy Brooks

Every week Snapwire keeps you updated with the latest photography and tech news. Here’s ‘What’s on the Wire’ this week:

How to Go on a Date, According to Stock Photography (Styleite): Jillian Richardson over at Styleite pokes fun at silly stock photography, this time in the context of dating.

Top Mobile Photographers Share their Tips for Creating Stunning Images with a Phone (PetaPixel): Daniel Burman and other successful mobile photographers share advice and tips from personal experience. 

Top 8 apps I use for my mobile (stock) photography (MyStockPhoto): Some apps are better than others when it comes to editing your photos. Check out these 8, and try them for yourself.

Free, Beautifully Designed App Notifies You when Golden Hour is About to Start (PetaPixel): If you’ve ever been unsure of when golden hour is each day, this is the app for you! PetaPixel reviews and details Golden Hour.

New chemical iris for tiny phone cameras (BBC): Technology improves exponentially as each year passes, and photographic technology is no exception. Here’s how it’s affecting smartphone aperture.