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!