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Tips for Taking Pictures in the Cold

Since most of North America has been experiencing an almost never ending cold snap for the past few months, I figured a post on taking pictures in the cold would be quite fitting.

There’s nothing more fun than taking pictures of kids in snow. Whether capturing your child coming down a hill on a sled at full speed, building a snowman or skating for the first time, there are a few things you must keep in mind when bringing your camera into the cold.

Tips pictures in the cold

Tips for Taking Pictures in the Cold


  • If your picture is comprised of mostly white snow, try over exposing your picture a bit as your camera will most likely see the snow as gray and causing your picture to look too dark.

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  • Do not use your flash if it’s snowing. The light of the flash will illuminate the snow causing bright, out-of-focus blobs to take over your picture.
  • Bring along either fingerless gloves or mitts that turn into fingerless gloves. This will allow you to be able to access your camera controls easier while still staying warm between pictures. If you’re planning on being outside for long time consider putting hot packs in your mitts to keep warm.
  • Since the cold tends to drain batteries very quickly, I highly recommend bringing along an extra set or two. Keep them in a sweater pocket in the inside of your jacket so your body temperature keeps them warm and charged. You can also keep your camera inside your jacket between shots, this will help to extend your battery life as well.

Pictures in the cold

  • Never blow on the glass of your lens outside as this will create condensation.
  • Never bring your camera inside to change a lens on a DSLR. Doing this can cause condensation inside your camera body.
  • Make sure, with any kind of camera, to bring them carefully into the house from outside. Put them in a sealed plastic bag or dry towel while still outside. Once inside place the in the coldest part of the house and wait at least 10-15 minutes before unwrapping. This will allow your gear time to warm up slowly. The last thing you want is condensation building up in your camera or between the glass of your lenses.

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Here’s hoping the weather starts to warm up soon so we can all get out there to make amazing memories with our kids and start enjoying the great outdoors again!

Nadine is a stay at home mom/professional photographer from Winnipeg who specializes in children and newborn photography. You can see some of her work at She has 3 wonderful children Caleb 9, Amélie 7 and Leia 2 and has been married to her best friend for the past 10 years. Nadine loves photography, baking, reading, crafting, helping people and finding daily ways to teach all these loves to her children and others around her.

Stephanie P

Thursday 6th of February 2014

Great Tips! Can't wait to try!

Teresa Claire

Monday 3rd of February 2014

These are really great tips, thank you...several that I hadn't even thought of!


Tuesday 28th of January 2014

I rarely take pics outside in the winter, but with these tips, I'm eager to get out there! Great tips thanks!

Debbie Fitcher

Tuesday 28th of January 2014

Great tips .I didn't know that batteries drained fasterin the cold.


Tuesday 28th of January 2014

I love photography. Thank you for the tips :)