4 Tips for Taking Photos in Cold Weather

With winter upon many of us, questions are beginning to come about taking photos in the cold weather. While it’s true that for most of us, business slows down in the colder months and we find ourselves with less work than the rest of the year, winter can still be a great time to take photos. Winter scenes make a gorgeous backdrop for photos, whether you’re photographing snow covered landscapes, clients, or even your own children enjoying the snowfall. So don’t let the cold air keep you from getting great pictures this winter! Here are 4 easy tips for taking photos in cold weather.

Taking Photos in Cold Weather

Warm Batteries

Your batteries will discharge faster in cold temperatures, so always make sure you are shooting with a fully charged set. When you are going to be outside shooting for prolonged periods of time, it is a good idea to not only make sure you have multiple backups, but to find a way to keep them as warm as possible. When I’m shooting in cold weather, I like to keep fully charged backup batteries in my pocket. Keeping them close to my body heat, instead of in my bag, keeps them warmer and helps them to hold their charge longer.

Favorite Accessories

I’m going to be honest with you: Cold weather is not my thing. But after 8 years of facing Chicago’s harsh winters, I learned a few things about enduring the cold. Besides lots of layers and warm clothing, there are two accessories that I always utilize when I’m taking photos in the cold: hand warmers and fingerless gloves.

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Manipulating your camera settings with even the sleekest of gloves can prove to be quite a challenge. If you do a lot of shooting in the winter, you might find gloves like this to be helpful. I personally find that a simple pair of warm, fingerless gloves with a couple of hand warmers thrown in my pocket does the trick.

Protect Your Gear

One of the biggest concerns people seem to have is protecting their gear from the elements. While the cold air itself should not hurt your camera while you are out shooting, you will want to be mindful of heavy snow, sleet or any precipitation that could damage your camera, or more likely, your lenses. Utilizing a rain cover such as this or this does a great job of keeping both your camera and your lens dry.  

Additionally, if there is falling precipitation of any kind, or even high winds causing blowing snow, avoid changing your lenses while outside. If you must change lenses, do it indoors where your camera and sensor are protected from the elements.

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Avoiding Condensation

When you are done shooting and ready to head back into a warmer environment, it is important to protect your camera from condensation during the extreme temperature changes. Once you return indoors, it’s a good idea to place your camera into an airtight bag and choose the coolest indoor location you can to let your camera warm back up slowly. Good places to consider might be a mudroom or near a window.

Looking for tips on how to get great photos in the snow? Check out this free tutorial!

There is something magical about winter photos. Don’t be afraid to get out there and brave the elements! With these tips, you will be fully prepared for taking photos in cold weather. We can’t wait to see what shots you get!