Tips To Taking Outdoor Portraits In The Winter

If you photograph portraits, whether it be for couples, families, children or even seniors, you may find that your Client wants to get outdoor photos in the cold, winter months. Even when the temperatures are cold or there is snow on the ground, you want to make sure you are prepared for everything that could come your way during the shoot. Today, we wanted to share with you a few tips to taking outdoor portraits in the winter so you are as prepared as can be and can focus on taking the best photos you can! 

Tip #1 - Keep Your Batteries Warm

Your camera batteries can lose their power quicker when exposed to low temperatures. In cold temperatures, the number of shots you take with one charge can drop considerably... as much as 50-70% less than you are used to. It would be awful to run out of batteries while you are out shooting in the cold weather. Be sure to keep your spare batteries warm. If you keep the extra batteries you brought with you in your inner pocket of your coat, and close to your body heat, that will be helpful in keeping them warmer.

 Photo credit: PureLily.com 

Photo credit: PureLily.com 

Tip #2 - Wear Photo Friendly Gloves

If it is very cold where you are shooting, you will most likely want to wear gloves so you stay comfortable and do not feel like you need to rush your session. You should consider using photo friendly gloves so you will be able to use the buttons and fully control your camera settings without having to remove your gloves each time. You can find these at any camera store... and you want to be sure to try them out before you buy to make sure they fit right and they work nicely with your camera. 

Tip #3 - Be Prepared With Extra Warm Blankets

Your Clients may not think about bringing extra warm stuff along for the shoot so having an extra blanket or two in your car may be very helpful! It may even be fun to use the blankets as a prop in some of their snowy winter photos! A couple could wrap up together in the blanket or a family could lay the blanket out in the snow and sit on it. The possibilities are endless.  

 Photo credit: Brianna Record Photography

Photo credit: Brianna Record Photography

Tip #4 - Increase Exposure Compensation

When you are out shooting when it is sunny and bright outside, which happens during the winter when there is snow on the ground, adjust your exposure compensation by +0.3 or +0.7. Your camera will not know that you are shooting snow, so you have to tell the camera that you are shooting something bright and adjust your exposure accordingly. If you do not adjust, you will find that your snow will end up looking gray in the photos instead of the beautiful white that you are hoping to capture.


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