Winter Photography Tips

Here are some cold-weather shooting tips to keep your pictures good and your gear safe... and your tushy warm.

Get out there. Weather is the photographer’s friend. Don’t let the cold or snow or ice or whatever stop you. It can add visual elements to your photography that make the difference between good and great photos.

This post will give you some tips on taking photographs in the winter (tips based largely on my own personal experiences of taking really bad winter photographs). Even if you not a die hard photographer, these tips can help ensure that you're ready to grab that photographic opportunity when you see it.

Tips for winter photography:

1. Get out there. Weather is the photographer’s friend. Don’t let the cold or snow or ice or

whatever stop you. It can add visual elements to your photography that make the difference

between good and great photos

2. Bring extra batteries and keep them close to your skin. Cold weather zaps batteries. If you have at least one extra battery, you can really increase your shooting time by swapping batteries from time-to-time, taking one from the camera and putting it inside your shirt, etc., to keep it warm. Even a battery that says it’s dead or nearly dead can come back to life if you warm it up.

3. Minimize changing lenses in winter weather. You don’t want to get moisture or condensation inside your camera or your lens. You really don’t. Also be careful when bringing your camera indoors to a warm house from a cold outside. Put your camera/lenses in plastic bags that you can seal before you bring them in. That way the condensation forms on the bag not the gear.

4. Bring rain covers for your camera and lenses. Even if it’s not raining, snow is wet. If you’re out in a snowing environment, snow can fall on your camera and get it wet. This is less important with some of the top-of-the-line pro bodies, but something to consider in any event.

5. Dress in layers. Wear warm boots, socks and under garments. Wear fingerless gloves, a hat that covers your ears and a good, thick coat. Under the coat wear a shirt, and a sweater. If it warms up you can take off a layer. Also bring hand warmers and foot warmers in extreme weather. Wool works better than cotton.

6. Watch where you step. Black ice can bring you down quickly. A slip and fall can not only damage your camera but seriously hurt you.

7. Use a camera strap. When your hands are cold they have less dexterity and grip. It’s easier for the camera to slip out of your hands when they are cold or wet. Don’t chance dropping your camera.

8. Remember to breathe through your mouth when looking through the viewfinder... breathing through your nose will get condensation on the viewfinder and could cause problems by freezing up your LCD monitor.

9. When you come in out of the cold leave your camera for a couple hours and let it assimilate to room temperature. You can take your memory card out, just do not take photos for a couple hours.

10. Don't eat yellow snow. Its not nature's slushy!!!


Kevin A Pepper

Kevin is a photographer and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. His first love is photographing nature, regardless of the season or weather condition; the Ontario landscape and its wildlife are his inspiration. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio. Kevin’s images have been featured in Canadian Nature Photographer, PHOTONews Canada, Photo Technique Magazine, The London Free Press, The Weather Network, and National Geographic Online. His diverse client list includes the City of Cambridge, Olympus, GORE Mutual, TVO, and African Lion Safari. Kevin also operates “Northof49 Photography”, a company launched in 2012 dedicated to teaching amateur photographers through International and Canadian-based workshops. In the coming year, Kevin will be leading workshops in Iceland, Mongolia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Provence, and numerous destinations across Canada. Website: