Don’t Shoot In The Winter Without Doing These 5 Things First!!!

Although West Sioux Studios is kept warm and comfy all winter long and it’s a perfect fit for all kinds of different photography projects, we understand there are some images you can only capture out in the frozen tundra!  But, you can’t have the same routine in February as you do in July… the cold will make you pay!  So here are our 5 most important details to help you prepare for a Winter photo shoot!

  1. Protect Your Gear – We are talking about electronics and batteries.  Neither one does well in the cold or in a moist environment… Winters in South Dakota create a perpetual cold and moist environment.  Don’t be surprised when the cold zaps your battery life; have a spare with you.  Let your lens get used to the cold for a second before shooting so it’s not fogging up on you… or let it fog up that is also a cool look!  Tuck your camera body in your jacket between shots.  Be careful as you step, the only thing worse than slipping on the ice and falling down, is slipping on the ice and falling on top of your expensive camera!  Your camera gear is your livelihood, do everything you can to keep it safe this winter!
  2. Work Quick but Work Efficiently – No one wants to hold a pose for 2 minutes while you try to capture the perfect angle; set up your models, get the shot, and get them moving again.  We suggest you snap a few “good” shots right away (everyone is looking at the camera, noses are wiped, and cheeks aren’t too rosy), then let your models move around, throw snow, and otherwise keep warm while you snap away.  Plan ahead of time to ensure you get all of the shots you need in a shorter amount of time.
  3. Bring Blankets and Extras – Parents have enough to deal with as they prepare for your shoot.  They are figuring out wardrobe, everyone’s individual schedule, coordinating with you, and more all while trying to make sure they get off of work in time to make it to the shoot.  Inevitably someone is going to forget their hat, mittens, or scarf or one of the teenagers (its always the teenagers!!!) doesn’t think its “that cold” and doesn’t bring a coat.  Then after they’ve been standing for 10 minutes their tune starts to change!  You don’t want crying and sad kids stressing out mom and dad, and ultimately cramping your style.  Have an extra blanket in your Winter Go Bag and help a teenager sacrifice a few cool points to save their toes!
  4. Hold Your Breath – Not you… your models.  There is nothing worse than finally getting that perfect shot, just to have it blurred out by a patch of hot air from someone’s mouth!  Models might need to hold it in for a few seconds to get the perfect shot.  On the flip side, you can do some cool stuff with “smoke” coming out of all of your model’s mouths every time they breathe.  Just be aware, and be ready to ask them to hold it!
  5. Make Sure You’re Prepared – The other 4 hints above are worthless if you aren’t totally ready!  Your camera can be great, your models are nice and toasty and holding their breath, but if your finger is frozen you can’t release your shutter!  If you’re going to brave the elements, gets some nice boots to keep your toes warm, figure out a system to keep your hands warm while still being able to change camera settings, and most importantly keep your head warm.  Check out your location before brining clients out, getting a car stuck in deep snow is a great way to ruin a photo shoot!  Just like you slow down and plan ahead when driving in the snow, slow down and spend extra time prepping to shoot in the snow as well!

Or… you can just come join us at West Sioux Studios and be warm and comfortable for your shoot.  Hopefully these 5 tips will help keep you, your gear, and your models nice and toasty even in the middle of February!  Thank you for reading, feel free to leave a comment below.

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