Cold Weather Photography Tips
I love living and working as a photographer in NYC. The City has so many beautiful locations for photos, and the proximity to the rest of the Northeast means beautiful shoot locations abound.
However, we are a little closer to the Arctic Circle than I would like, and the cold weather can make things a little bit tricky. But it doesn’t stop us – we can do outdoor shoots at any time of year.
I just did some ballet shoots in Cambridge MA over the weekend. It was pretty cold, but we worked efficiently and got some gorgeous dance photographs.
Before the shoot, I outlined the strategy with the kids and their parents, and thought I’d post a few quick cold weather photography tips here.
Cold Weather Portrait Tips
• The first priority, as always, is everyone’s safety and happiness. We work quickly and do some planning and get some great photos. We never push it. We keep things cozy and fun.
• First step is to include any stylish warm weather clothing. Neon ski jackets should be substituted for something a little more subdued, like a peacoat. Janie & Jack often has great coats for children.
• If you want jacket-free portraits, the subjects get into place wearing the jackets. We get the portrait all set up, do the test shots with jackets on, and then the subjects quickly take off the jackets for photos, then quickly put them back on.
• Then we run into a nearby store, or your apartment lobby, or car, and warm up. And repeat etc.
• We don’t work continuously in the cold. You can bring hot tea (no hot chocolate or coffee please – stains the teeth).
• We stay out of the wind as much as possible.
• Also, handwarmers (the disposable kind for skiing) are effective, and kids usually get a kick out of them. These ones on Amazon
• Plan on having a hot meal at the end!
The portrait above was taken in the winter in Manhattan. It was very cold, and we’d been doing studio portraits, but really wanted a few outdoor portraits. We were standing right outside my apartment. We snapped the photo quickly, and then dashed back inside. It probably took about 10 seconds. Sneakers and tights saved the day! We were laughing the whole time.
When we do this, I usually don’t wear a jacket either so I don’t lose track of time and stay out too long!
The shoot above was truly frigid. I remember my fingers going numb while shooting.
With a toddler participating we were very careful to keep him bundled up between photos. We also did some running around to keep warm. You can see more of their Manhattan skyline family shoot here.
We did the shoot on their wedding anniversary and there had been a huge blizzard on their wedding day. We lucked out and just got freezing weather with no snow.
Kudos to the beautiful mama here in her lace dress!
A cold day in Belmont, MA.
A chilly fall day in Greenwich, CT.
A chilly fall day in Old Greenwich, CT.
A cold day in Midtown Manhattan.
During the “Arctic Blast” of 2016, in Manhattan NYC. One of the coldest shoots I’ve ever done. We were in and out of stores to keep warm. It was a lot of fun.
A snowy maternity shoot in downtown Manhattan. I love the drama of the red dress with the snow.
Snow in Belmont, MA.
We did some warming up the car during the shoot, it was a fun adventure!
A sunny but cold beach day in Amagansett, NY.
A cold day on the Upper East Side.
This was such a cold day. Again, we’d been shooting indoors but popped outside quickly for some photos of these cute brothers. We worked very quickly, and got this lovely portrait that was used for a very cute holiday card.
We make it work, and we have a great time!