Any photographer who’s shot through a harsh winter can tell you: it ain’t fun. You have to choose between finger dexterity and frostbite, between constantly moving to keep warm and standing perfectly still to capture the shot. Photographer and videographer Mike Wilkinson spent two weeks in below-freezing conditions in northern Michigan recently, and he came back with a few basic tips for winter shoots:
Winter Photography Gear & Shooting Tips:
- Keep equipment in small padded bags to protect from snow and keep lenses in individual bags.
- If the weather is calm enough, use Think Tank support straps to clip your camera onto the front end of your backpack.
- Bring multiple gloves: fingerless gloves for shooting, and thicker ones for if you’re dealing with snow and ice.
Fingerless gloves are a photographer’s friend.
- Keep extra batteries in your pockets, because cameras tend to freeze up in cold weather. Batteries also die quicker, so it’s better to keep a spare pair warm and available.
- Audio is tricky. Use lav mics on your subjects, or, if you use a shotgun mic, block the wind with your body.
- Keep your kit in your bag when you reenter a warm space. You gear will suffer condensation if you acclimate too quickly. Try opening the bag’s zipper in a drafty place to let it warm up slowly.
With the right gear, even the most treacherous conditions can make for a fun photo shoot.