Try as we might, we always seem to get stuck shooting in anything from chilly to frigid weather. Let’s face it, some of the most epic locations are in cold areas of the world! Ireland? Iceland? Mountains? All cold! Taking a trip almost anywhere in the fall or winter can lead to cold temperatures. Whether you are a landscape photographer, a self-portrait artist, or taking fine art travel photos of your willing subject, you are going to have to brave the elements in order to get that perfect shot. Here’s everything you need to know about shooting in cold weather:
Keep it quick
Your body can only handle so much cold. Your health is your number one priority so check the weather where you are going to be shooting and then Google how long skin can stay exposed at that temperature before frostbite sets in. When shooting, shoot just as much as you need and then get out. For example, when we were shooting in Iceland, our longest shoot was 20 minutes, our average was 7 minutes, and our shortest was 3 minutes! Shooting in cold weather can be accomplished if you are quick and focused.
Wear fleece lined leggings
It doesn’t matter if you are the photographer or the model….wear fleece lined leggings or some other type thermals under your clothes. If you or your model is wearing a long dress, you can even keep your pants and leggings on underneath your outfit. In Iceland, Victoria was wearing ski pants, jeans, and fleece thermals underneath all of her dresses. Even if you are “just” the one taking pictures and not stripping down into a dress/design, thermals are a “must” to keep you warm enough to complete the shoot.
Don’t forget the flip flops
Yep, you heard us correctly! Flip flops are essential when shooting in general, but particularly in cold weather. Trust us on this one, taking your shoes and socks off and putting them back on in order to easily get around your location is a pain and takes up precious shooting time. Once your boots are off, use a cheap pair of flip flops while you change or move about the shoot area. Once you arrive at your new spot, take them off and hide them behind a rock/tree etc. Sure, it’s cold, but it sure beats walking between shooting spots on rough ground or putting your dirty feet back in your shoes every time you want a new angle.
Listen to your body
Doing more than one shoot in a day? Your body may be able to handle 20 minutes of 30 degree weather on the first shoot of the day. With each subsequent shoot, your body’s stamina will be quickly stripped away. Your second shoot may only be 10 minutes, and your third, 5. Listen to your body. Being cold is one thing. Shivering uncontrollably and feeling nauseous is another.
Keep your gear in organized
You may stumble across something epic, so you won’t always know what gear you should have prepared. That being said, at minimum, know exactly where it is in your gear bag and even carry smaller lenses in your jacket pocket to make switching easier during the shoot. Speed is key when shooting in cold weather and keeping organized is super helpful.
Did we forget anything? Are you used to shooting in cold weather? Let us know your inclement weather tips in the comments!
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