Professional Photo Shoot in the Snow

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Photo © Copyright Image Mechanics

Image Mechanics is a small, cutting-edge company in Los Angeles that pushes photography equipment to its limits. The company serves leading advertising and celebrity portrait photographers around the world. Image Mechanics provides high-tech photography skills and expertise to its clients who require the highest-quality results at lightning speed.

Image Mechanics worked on a snowy photo shoot in Aspen, Colorado, for a catalog for a British clothing company and wrote about some tips for coping with the cold and the snow, which I’ve listed below. At the end of this article, I also provide links to more articles in the Photobird Daily about shooting in cold weather and what you can do to prepare.

The shoot Image Mechanics worked on was in the middle of nowhere, so they transferred the image files from memory cards to a laptop. In similar situations, they recommend the following:

  • Bring a heavy duty laptop stand.
  • Use a good laptop shade so you can block the huge amount of glare from the snow and still see the screen.
  • Put on a lot of sunblock 20 minutes before you go out in the snow. The Image Mechanics article describes how one of the assistants on the shoot didn’t put on sunscreen and ended up badly sunburned: “It looked like he’d spent all morning with his head stuck in a microwave, and he complained that even his eyeballs were burned.”
  • Back up to a portable hard drive that doesn’t require a power adapter.
  • Have one or two extra fully-charged laptop batteries.
  • Wear snow boots and sunglasses.
  • Bring gallon-sized plastic bags to put the cameras in when it’s snowing.
  • Most cameras, including the Canon DSLR that they used, can get a little wet without any problems.
  • Keep extra camera batteries in your pockets; they don’t last as long if they’re cold.
  • Bring plenty of memory cards in case the photographer goes somewhere you can’t bring the laptop.

On this shoot, they also had success using the Canon Wireless File Transmitter. They used it as part of the process to preview photos in a design template on the fly, during the shoot. Immediately after each photo was taken, the Wireless File Transmitter would send the RAW file straight to one of the laptops; the transfer time for each photo was only about 10 to 15 seconds.

More articles in the Photobird Daily about shooting in the snow and in cold weather:

More articles in the Photobird Daily about photographic adventures with Image Mechanics, the company profiled in this article:

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