Shooting outside in Minus Thirty – Winter festivals

JOB: To photograph a series of Winter Festivals for the Government of Alberta Parks and Rec during winter.


1. In Canada its winter for over half of the year. So as a professional photographer one needs to learn how to shoot outside in very cold temperatures. At the time we shot these two festivals the temperature dipped to about minus 30.

2. ¬†Model consideration is a MAJOR concern when shooting in such cold temperatures. My assistant and I can dress like Michelin men… but models need to look like they are enjoying themselves and thus need to keep warm.¬† The first concern when shooting in Canadian winter is where can the models warm up while we are prepping for the shot.

3. The other concern is gear. I use all Elinchrom and Canon gear and it performs under the harshest conditions. However on this shoot especially the ice sculpture ones my shutter on one body actually froze up.

4. The main tip I can give anyone reading this is get Merino WOOL socks and the warmest boots you can afford. Once your feet get cold the rest of your body goes down… Make sure to keep your feet warm. Also remember its not about style its about keeping warm!!

5. I was so impressed with all of the models on this shoot. They all look and acted warm for the shoots.I should note the crew over at Lindisfarne were the ones who found the talent for this shoot.