Tips for shooting in winter / by Paul Traeger

I´ve had this post in my mind for a long time now - unfortunately there is no real winter to be seen in Germany but hey, maybe there is winter wonderland where you live and you can use some of those tips for yourself over there! :)


General Tips

1. Be prepared!

You need to have spare battery packs simply because they will run out of energy faster if its freezing cold outside. I usually keep an extra battery pack in my pants pockets so it will stay warm. Also there is always a powerbank at my side to keep my phone running if needed


2. Shooting a wedding? Put your second body inside!

Cameras don´t like the switch from cold to warm. Taking a camera inside the venue to shoot the decoration will result in blurry images. Imagine breathing on your lens - thats how your images might turn out, forcing you to wait until the camera got used to the warm temperature. 
The solution is easy: I put my bag with the backup body inside the venue as soon as I can to help the gear adjust to the inside temperature. That way I can keep shooting. :)

Another tip is to put your camera and your lens into a plastic bag when entering a warm room after a shoot in the cold. That way the warm air will condense on the outside of that bag and not on your camera/lens. Wait until your camera is warmed up and start shooting. :)

3. Sailing Gloves.

picture taken from (

picture taken from (

I´ve searched for those for ages.. Mainly because normal "short finger-gloves" usually leave all 5 fingers exposed to the cold. Sailing gloves however only have that feature for two fingers which comes in very handy being photographer.

These are the ones I use - If you like the idea here is an amazon affiliate link for Germany:


Humans in front of your lens


4. Keep them warm

First of all, layers of clothing are a great! They keep your client warm, yet stylish. The image above works fine too but many layers in general are a better approach. I chose this image because of the cup of tea. It´s a great accessory for a shoot snuggle down in that cup :D


5. ...Or don´t.

If you have a couple in front of your lens it might be a good strategy to have them take off their jackets for a minute. Well I know.. its basically the opposite tip as the one before but as you can see: It works great! :D Just make sure they don´t catch a cold. Please. :D

Auto white balance and skin tones can be a real pain in the ass in winter. Why is that? The easiest answer is: Our brains know that snow is white, the camera doesn´t. The auto white balance feature in our cameras analyzes the scene and snow basically has different light temperatures. If its a clear day, snow will reflect a lot of blue light from the sky. If its a shady area you are photographing in, the snow will have a completely different light temperature. 
So how do we deal with that? We shoot RAW. It basically gives you the chance to adjust the white balance later in Lightroom or Photoshop. 


7. Be prepared! Again! 

I took this one last week at the 13th of December in Ludwigsburg Germany. As you can see that woman is wearing a worm coat, gloves and a scarf. Guess what: It was cold. :D
Still I managed to pull off this particular shot because it basically took me ten seconds to put bride and groom on that pedestal and wait for someone to pass by. Why that? Because I was prepared. In advance to our shoot I took a 40 minute walk wandering around, sorting my thoughts and ideas for the shoot. I planned a route where to shoot which image with what "pose" explaining everything to the couple in advance. That way you will be able to have great images plus happy people in it :D