Author: Tara Schatz

Commercial Photography

Commercial Photography 101: What is it & How do You Get Started?

Commercial Photography 101: What is it & How Do You Get Started?

In this guide, we take an in-depth look at commercial photography. We cover exactly what commercial photography is, examples, tips, and recommended gear to help you get started.

Want to turn your passion for photography into a rewarding career?

Commercial photography is a competitive field, but with the growth of digital advertising, the need for commercial photographers has skyrocketed. If you are already a hobby photographer, you may want to put those skills to use and specialize in commercial photography.

Not only is it a fun and rewarding career, it’s also quite lucrative. This commercial photography guide will cover everything you need to know to get started as a commercial photographer, including the equipment you’ll need, how much you can expect to make, and some tips for shooting better photos.

Read on or use the links below to “jump” to the section you’d like to check out:

What is Commercial Photography?

Nail polish by Ellenllyy

Photo Credit: Ellenllyy via Pixabay

In the most basic terms, commercial photography simply means taking photos for commercial use — think business, advertising, and product photography.

Commercial photography is used by companies who want to promote a product, lifestyle, or brand. Many of the photos you see on popular stock photography websites are commercial photographs.

Commercial photography is used by advertising agencies, marketing firms, tourism bureaus, and small business owners whose goal is to sell their brand using carefully curated photographs.

The Difference Between Commercial Photography & Advertising Photography

The terms advertising photography and commercial photography are often used interchangeably, but there are distinct differences between the two.

ice cream cone by Steve Buissinne

Photo Credit: Steve Buissinne via Pixabay

Both are used for promotional purposes, but with different intent, techniques, and equipment. Commercial photography is used to capture products in the best light possible and is often used in portfolios, catalogs, brochures, ads, and digital marketing. It is all about showcasing a product or brand.

Advertising photography includes elements of commercial photography, but it is much more involved.

Instead of simply capturing a product or brand, advertising shots must tell a story, evoke strong emotions, and persuade the viewer to make a purchase. Commercial shots are usually bright, clear, and simple so that the product can shine. Advertising shots make use of creative props, lighting, and editing techniques that may be highly stylized, bold, or dreamy, depending on the campaign and the motives of the ad.

Beer by Free Photos

Photo Credit: Free-Photos via Pixabay

Both commercial and advertising photography are powerful marketing tools, and while they certainly overlap, they require a different skill set, different tools, and a different budget.

Types of Commercial Photography and Finding Your Niche

product flat lay by marijana1

Photo Credit: Marajana1 via Pixabay

A great way to be successful as a commercial photographer is to specialize and excel at one type of photography. Choose a niche based on your interests and work toward creating a portfolio of your very best shots. Here are some common types of commercial photography to help you narrow down your niche.

  • Product Photography – There is a huge need for product photography across the globe, and talented photographers will always be in demand. Product photographers usually work in studios with controlled lighting, but some product shoots happen outside with natural lighting.
  • Headshots – Headshots are modern portraits that are used for professional profile images in brochures, resumes, websites, and on social media. Traditionally headshots are taken from the shoulders up and can be captured outdoors or in a studio setting.
  • Real Estate and Architectural Photography – Real estate photographers can work in both urban and rural areas and are charged with showcasing a property inside and out in order to make a quick sale. Real estate photographers will use a combination of natural and artificial lighting and a variety of wide-angle lenses.
  • Drone Photography – Drone photography is a very specific type of commercial photography that is often used in conjunction with real estate photography, but is also used by tourism boards and event marketers. Photographs are shot from the air, enabling you to capture buildings or events from unique angles. Drone photography isn’t for beginners, but it’s a fun way to specialize and financially lucrative.
  • Food Photography – It takes quite a lot of talent to make food look enticing in a photograph. Food photographers work almost exclusively indoors, often in a studio setting, but you may be required to shoot on-site at restaurants and commercial kitchens. Food photographers often work with food stylists to make every morsel shine.
  • Fashion Photography – If you have experience shooting people and portraits, you should consider fashion photography. Companies hire fashion photographers to capture models wearing specific brands or engaging in different experiences. Fashion shoots can be outdoors or in the studio, but you should excel at giving direction and posing people on the fly.
  • Workplace Photography – Also known as environmental portraits, workplace photography images will feature people at work — chefs in the kitchen, office workers at their desks, and construction workers using the tools of their trade. Workplace photos are used in brochures, websites, and advertising, and are usually shot on-site.

Commercial Photography Examples

Now that you have an idea of the types of commercial photography you can specialize in, let’s take a look at some examples featuring each type.

Here is an example of classic product photography. This curated image of color-coordinated work-out gear was shot in a studio setting and features several brands:

Dumbells and sneaker by Steve Buissinne

Photo Credit: Steve Buissinne via Pixabay

Headshots are often used by models and actors and should feature a close-up of the model’s facial features, usually from the shoulders up. This headshot was created in the studio against a dark background:

Headshot by John Harper

Photo Credit: John Harper via Pixabay

While real estate shoots consist of many indoor and outdoor images, the front of the building in good lighting is one of the most important shots to capture. This image was shot at dusk with lights on throughout the house for a warm and welcoming glow:

Real Estate image by Pexels

Photo Credit: Pexels via Pixabay

This carnival image was shot with a drone at night so as to better capture the lights and festivities of this colorful scene. Using an image like this is a great way for marketing teams to promote special events:

Festival drone shot by Daria Nepriakhina

Photo Credit: Daria Nepriakhina

Fabulous food photos need precise styling and perfect lighting, which is best accomplished in a studio. In the photo below, notice the props – cherry tomatoes, sage leaves, and peppercorns that compliment the perfectly cooked pizza:

Pizza by Zuzana Gazdikova

Photo Credit: Zuzana Gazdikova

Fashion images are used to highlight clothing, experiences, or products. Images are often created in the studio, but a natural setting can really add to the finished photo. In this photo, the green trees and garden really show off the red dress that the brand is trying to promote:

fashion photography by Zigmars Berzins

Photo Credit: Zigmars Berzins

Workplace photography sessions vary wildly in scope and require a photographer who is willing to always be on the go and prepared for anything. One day you could be shooting an oral surgeon in an office setting, and the next day you find yourself shooting a firefighter training as in the photo below:

Firefighter by David Mark

Photo Credit: David Mark via Pixabay

How Much Do Commercial Photographers Make?

If you are just starting out, you may be wondering how much you should charge as a commercial photographer. Your fees will vary depending on where you live, the scope of the shoot, and whether you need to hire additional contractors to help with the project. According to PayScale, the average salary for commercial photographers is $45,990.

One of the benefits of becoming a freelance commercial photographer is that you can set your fees based on your skills and experience. As your skill and reputation grows, so will your bottom line.

How to Get Started in Commercial Photography

Photographer by S. Hermann F. Richter

Photo Credit: S. Hermann & F. Richter via Pixabay

Assuming you already have a passion for photography, as well as some skill with a camera, becoming a commercial photographer isn’t complicated. As with any new business venture, you will have to spend time creating a business plan, buying the proper equipment, creating a website, and advertising your services.

The very first step will be deciding exactly what you want to shoot and choosing a niche to specialize in. When you are just starting out, you should be ready to shoot everything from breakfast cereal to sports cars, but eventually, you will want to find a niche where you excel and feel comfortable as a commercial photographer.

Choosing a niche will also help you keep equipment costs down, as you will find that what you need for fashion shoots is very different from the equipment needed for real estate photography.

Once you’ve narrowed down your photography niche, you can begin taking steps to find clients and grow your business. Here’s a step-by-step guide for getting started in commercial photography.

Step One: Create a Business Plan

A business plan will help you refine your goals, secure funding, and develop a marketing strategy.

Following your business plan will help you stay on track as you grow your client base, and enable you to make smart, strategic decisions about how to invest in your business and price your services.

Your commercial photography business plan should include the legal structure of your business, a description of your products and services, your target market, key marketing strategies, an operations strategy, and a projection of your income and expenses.

Creating a business timeline as part of your plan will help you take actionable steps to grow your business. Check out Expert Photography for a more comprehensive guide to writing a photography business plan.

Step Two: Secure Funding If Necessary

A successful commercial photographer will need specialized equipment that will require an initial investment. If you have the funds to purchase what you need before getting started, congratulations! If you don’t, you can either purchase your equipment slowly over time or you can obtain a small business loan to help you get started.

Photography equipment is expensive, and it’s a good idea to have backup equipment in case something in your toolkit fails while on a shoot. Make a list of the equipment you think you’ll need to get started, as well as funds for marketing, website creation, etc., and decide if you will need a loan to get your business off the ground.

The Small Business Administration is a great resource for finding financial resources to start your business, and they have offices in each state. Banks and other lenders will want to see a well thought out business plan before funding your start-up costs, so make sure you have that done before you apply for a loan.

Step Two: Purchase Necessary Equipment

To get your commercial photography business off the ground, you will need to invest in cameras, lenses, external hard drives, SD cards, lighting equipment, computers, and editing technology. It can be overwhelming to figure out what you need, and what purchases are the most important. Some items you will need right away, and some you can budget for as your business grows.

Specializing in a niche and following your business plan will help you figure out exactly what you need now and what can wait until you begin to pull in some income. We will go into the recommended equipment for starting out further below, but you will definitely need two camera bodies, lenses necessary for your niche, storage solutions, and a computer with editing software to get started.

Do your research, and buy the best equipment you can afford.

Step Three: Develop a Commercial Photography Portfolio

Showcase your best work in an online portfolio that is dedicated to your commercial photography. You can create a simple website by purchasing a domain name and signing up with a hosting service, or you can hire a web designer or tech-savvy friend to create a portfolio website for you.

Your online portfolio should only feature your very best work, so if you don’t already have commercial clients, you may want to offer your services at a discounted rate so you can showcase samples of your work.

Step Four: Advertise Your Services

Your website will act as a digital advertisement highlighting your best work, but if people can’t find your website, you will have a hard time securing clients.

Additional advertising outlets should include both digital and print and will vary depending on your location and your niche. Start by creating business cards, advertising your website with Google and Facebook, and putting up flyers around your city and town. You should also join your local chamber of commerce to network with small business owners who might need your services.

Recommended Photography Gear for Getting Started in Commercial Photography

camera lenses for commercial photography by TeeImages

Photo Credit: TeeFarm via Pixabay

You could invest hundreds and thousands of dollars in your commercial photography business, but that isn’t usually a wise decision when you are just starting out. The following pieces of gear are the bare necessities for getting started. If you are already a hobby photographer, you will find that you already have some of these items:

  • Two camera bodies – If you have a decent DSLR or mirrorless camera, you will be able to get started with what you have. If it’s time to upgrade, do some research beforehand, and purchase the best camera you can afford. If you are already attached to a certain brand, it makes sense to stick with it, so you can use the lenses that you already own. It’s important to have two camera bodies in case one malfunctions during a shoot. Not having a backup could very well ruin your relationship with your client and crew.
  • A variety of lenses – The lenses you need for your commercial photography business will depend largely on your specialization. Real estate photographers, for example, will want a variety of wide-angle and tilt-shift lenses, and product photographers will want prime and zoom lenses with a wide aperture. Start with the necessary lenses that you can’t work without and make additional purchases as your business grows.
  • SD cards – Keep a collection of SD cards in your camera bag so that you have them when you need them. Two 16GB – 32GB cards should be enough storage for most shoots.
  • Extra camera batteries – Determine how long a battery lasts in your camera and buy enough for a few days of shooting. You should be charging your batteries before every shoot, but having spares is always a good idea.
  • External hard drives – After each shoot, you will want to save your photos to your computer, a cloud-based service, and an external hard drive. If one of these storage solutions fail, you will have a backup ready to go.
  • Tripod – Tripods are a necessity for shooting crisp, clear photos. The tripod you choose should be sturdy and lightweight with a head that is easy to adjust.
  • External flash – You will be using a variety of flash and external lighting equipment for photoshoots, but to get started, you can purchase an external flash for better illumination of your subject.
  • Camera gear bag – You will quickly realize how much equipment you have to carry to your photoshoots. Protect your gear with a dedicated camera bag that has room for your camera bodies, lenses, and tech equipment.
  • Computer with Adobe editing tools installed – You should have a computer that is powerful enough for all of your editing needs. A minimum of 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage should be sufficient to start. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop set the standard for editing tools and are well worth the investment.

Commercial Photography Tips

Once you’ve got things up and running from a business perspective, you can start perfecting your craft and taking amazing photographs for your clients.

  • Use a wide aperture – If you are photographing products, food, or headshots, use the widest aperture (lowest f-stop) that your camera and lens can accommodate. This will showcase your subject while making everything else disappear into a blurred background.
  • Add a tilt-shift lens to your kit – For real estate and interior shots, use a tilt-shift lens to ensure that your vertical lines remain straight. Wide angle lenses will add an obvious distortion to your shots.
  • Always use a tripod – Commercial photoshoots will almost always require a tripod for crisp images. Practice setting up your tripod and adjusting it quickly so it will become second nature on the job.
  • Experiment with every conceivable angle – No matter what type of commercial photography you pursue, the composition will always be the most important element in your shoot. Explore your subject matter from every angle until you find the perfect shot.
  • Practice your craft every day – Commercial photography can be your passion and your career. Get out and shoot every day to improve your skills.

Get Out There & Start Shooting!

Good commercial photographers are in demand all over the world. If you have skill with a camera and an eye for detail, then commercial photography is a great way to take your love for photography to the next level.

Winter Photography

The Ultimate Guide to Winter Photography

The Ultimate Guide to Winter Photography

Winter is a fabulous time to tackle new photography projects, learn fresh skills, and capture some amazing images, but it does pose a few challenges, especially for the outdoor photographer.

Whether you’re a novice, just learning the ins and outs of your camera, or a professional honing your skills, winter is the perfect teacher. This winter photography guide will help you stay warm, keep your gear in top form, and encourage you to shoot more creatively, despite the challenges of winter weather.

Read on or use the links to below to “jump” to each section:

Winter Photography Tips

Cold weather, harshly reflected sunlight, and snow are just a few of the challenges you’ll face as a winter photographer. Fortunately, none of these issues are deal-breakers — you just need to make a few adjustments to achieve the best results. Here are some general tips for taking better photos in the winter.

Shoot in RAW

Shooting in RAW format allows your camera to transfer all the information from the scene you’re shooting into a file that can be accessed during post-processing.

A JPEG file, by contrast, is a compressed file. The information included in a JPEG file is based on your camera’s settings when you click the shutter. Any additional information that has been gathered is discarded in order to save space.

Edits that are easily achieved with RAW images can be impossible to do with JPEG files.

Because winter conditions can often trick your camera into blowing out highlights, underexposing images, or giving everything a bluish tone, shooting in RAW provides more editing flexibility.

Shooting in JPEG will result in smaller files, but it can be nearly impossible to fix improper white balance or exposure issues in your JPEG photo. Photography Concentrate has a great overview of shooting in RAW versus JPEG, and how it affects the editing process.

Use a Versatile Lens

winter photography

Photo credit: Tara Schatz

When the temperature drops below freezing, the last thing you want to do is to change lenses in the field. Choose a versatile, multipurpose lens that can capture a variety of shooting situations. A 70-200mm works really well for capturing winter landscapes, portraits, and wildlife.

Focus Your Winter Shots Manually

Falling snow, scenes with little contrast, and foggy, overcast lighting will play tricks with your camera’s autofocus. To ensure crisp shots with a focal point of your choosing, switch over to manual focus.

Bracket Your Shots

One of the trickiest aspects of winter photography is achieving the correct exposure. Bright, snow-covered scenes tend to dominate your camera’s meter exposure reading, which will often underexpose your shots.

While you can certainly set your exposure value to +1 to compensate, bracketing exposures while out in the field will give you more choices when it comes time for post-processing. For an in-depth look at exposure bracketing, check out this article on Picture Correct.

Use a Polarizing Filter

Using a polarizer during bright, snowy conditions will reduce glare and add some contrast and drama to your sky.

The most common type of polarizing filter is screwed on to the end of your lens. It provides your lens with additional protection from moisture and damage, and can be turned in the field to achieve many different effects.

Get Out Early

winter photography

Photo credit: Tara Schatz

If you’re hoping to capture a beautiful, snowy scene, your best bet is to head out immediately after the snow stops, or even when it’s still falling.

Snow is a fickle creature, and once it blankets the ground, that snowglobe landscape will quickly turn a dingy grey and be marred by footprints, especially if you’re shooting in urban areas. The Golden Hour, shortly after sunrise or before sunset, is the best time to capture warm winter lighting. For frosty macro photography, head out at first light.

Camera Settings for Winter Photography

winter photography - jamie davies

Photo credit: Jamie Davies on Unsplash

While auto settings are great for snapshots, you will rarely capture winter’s drama without some manual adjustments. There is no time like a long winter to get familiar with your camera’s manual settings.

Sit down and read your manual, take some notes, and practice what you’ve learned. There are no hard, fast rules for which settings work best in a given situation. The best method is to experiment and see what works. Use the following tips as a starting point for adjusting your camera’s settings, but don’t be afraid to play around and have fun.

  • Exposure – We’ve already talked a bit about exposure, and while I definitely suggest bracketing your shots, you should also count on underexposed photos, at least when you’re shooting bright white snow. Use your camera’s histogram and adjust your exposure dial up a bit to compensate.
  • Shutter Speed – Shutter speed depends entirely on the effect you’re after and the conditions you’re shooting in. Fast shutter speeds will stop motion, and they are useful for freezing the falling snow, shooting in windy conditions, and capturing snowsports and wildlife. Gently falling snow may require a shutter speed of 1/150 to freeze motion. Blizzard conditions may require 1/350 or more. Slow down your shutter speed, and snow will appear as streaks of white across the frame, creating beautifully moody scenes.
  • White Balance – Auto white balance in snowy conditions will often lead to photos that are tinged with blue. The easiest way to remedy this is to set your white balance to the shady or cloudy setting. If you’re shooting in RAW, you will be able to further adjust the white balance in post-processing.

Taking Winter Portraits

winter portrait

Photo credit: Tara Schatz

Winter is one of the best times to capture beautiful portraits, provided you plan ahead. The evening golden hour comes early in the winter—as early as 2 p.m. in some locations. Even cloudy days have the potential for magical and moody captures that you wouldn’t normally expect.

Many of the settings for winter portraits will be similar to those for general winter photography, and of course, experimenting is important for achieving your desired results. Here are a few winter portrait tips to help you make the most of the cold temperatures and snowy landscapes.

  • Add some color to your scene. Whether it’s a hat, a scarf, or an umbrella, a little pop of color will add liveliness to what may otherwise be a dull scene.
  • Make use of backlighting. Winter light can be absolutely magical, especially when it reflects on glittery snow. A little backlighting and a shallow depth-of-field will create beautiful bokeh and warm highlights.
  • Keep your model warm. It’s impossible to look or feel relaxed when you’re cold. Encourage your model to dress for the weather, with warm gloves, a scarf, and a hat. Bring along a thermos of hot chocolate, extra blankets, and some packets of hand warmers, just in case.
  • Use spot metering and bracketing. Shooting in winter conditions will likely cause some of your scene to be underexposed. Using spot metering will ensure that the subject’s face is exposed properly, even if the rest of your scene isn’t. Bracketing your shots is useful when the ever-changing light is causing you to question your exposure settings. As long as your model’s face is properly exposed, the rest can be adjusted in post-processing.
  • Have fun. Winter is the perfect time to experiment with playful poses. Ask your models to play in the snow, meander through the forest, or frolic in the park. Snow has a way of bringing out the child in everyone.

Tips for Keeping Warm and Protecting Your Camera Gear in the Winter

laying in the snow

Photo credit: Tara Schatz

Winter photography can be a lot of fun, but certainly not if you’re fingers turn blue, your lens is always fogging up, and you get water inside your camera’s computer.

Keeping your gear protected is just as important as framing that perfect shot, and if you’re not comfortable, you’ll have zero interest in shooting creatively. Here are a few tips to ensure that you love every minute of your winter photo shoot.

Bring Extra Batteries and Keep Them Warm

When the outdoor temperatures drop below freezing, your camera’s battery will drain very quickly. The colder the temperature, the faster your battery will be depleted.

Be prepared with one or two fully-charged batteries, and keep them in an inner pocket so they will last as long as possible. Lithium-ion batteries perform the best, followed by NiCad and NiMH. Avoid alkaline batteries altogether, as they perform very poorly in the cold.

Keep Your Camera Cold and Dry

Most modern DSLRs are designed to work at freezing or below-freezing temperatures without a problem, with the main issue being a quickly depleted battery. The bigger problem will be moisture.

Try not to breathe on your camera when shooting, and if your LCD screen does fog up, use a microfiber cloth to wipe it down. Don’t keep your camera inside your jacket, as the change from cold to warm and back to cold will create additional condensation on your camera.

Lastly, if you are shooting in wet snow or other damp conditions, consider using a heavy-duty plastic bag or a rain cover to protect your camera’s internal components.

Move from Cold to Warm Conditions Very Carefully

When you bring a cold camera into a warm space, moisture will immediately begin to condense onto it, or even inside it. You can prevent this by slipping your camera into a protective bag before you bring it inside.

Let it come to room temperature before you remove your camera from the bag. If your camera does develop condensation or moisture, remove the batteries, and let it completely dry out before trying to use it.

Dress for the Weather

Dressing for winter photography is just like dressing for any winter activity in the outdoors—you need to wear warm layers, wool socks, and sturdy footwear.

Protect your hands with a lightweight pair of touchscreen gloves, followed by a pair of over-mittens that you can take off when you’re ready to shoot. Lastly, tuck a few packs of hand-warmers in your pockets to keep your fingers and your batteries toasty.

Bring a Friend, or at Least a Cellphone

Winter conditions make for beautiful photography, but dangerous driving and hiking conditions. Bring a friend on your photo expedition for double the fun.

If you must go alone, be sure to tell someone exactly where you’ll be and when you’re returning, and don’t forget to pack a fully-charged cell phone in case of emergencies.

Winter Photography Ideas

ray hennessy 170740 unsplash

Photo credit: Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

Now that you know which settings to use and how to keep your gear safe in winter weather, here are some winter photography ideas to inspire you to get out and start shooting.

  • Photograph falling snow – It’s true what they say—every snowflake is unique, as is every single snowstorm. Head out in the snow to play with your shutter speed. Slow it down to capture streaks of white, or stop the motion to capture each snowflake in your scene.
  • Sunrise/sunsets – Late sunrises and early sunsets make it easier to get outside during the golden hour. Combined with the warm winter lighting, soft reflections, and clear atmospheric conditions, and you have the ingredients for some amazing sunrises and sunsets.
  • Holiday lights – Light displays can be a backdrop for some very creative shots, whether you’re shooting portraits, cityscapes, or close-ups of your Christmas tree.
  • Shadows – Take a walk in the woods on a bright winter day to capture the shadowy patterns falling across the blankets of snow.
  • Frost – Early-morning frost can be found on foliage and window panes—perfect for macro photography or capturing abstract patterns.
  • Winter Birds – As far as wildlife goes, winter birds are very accessible. Put up a winter bird feeder and practice capturing its visitors. All you need is a zoom lens and a sturdy tripod to become a wildlife photographer.

Recommended Gear for Winter Photography

galina n 189483 unsplash

Photo credit: Galina on Unsplash

Aside from your camera and lenses, your winter photography kit should also include some essentials for keeping you warm and your gear dry. Here are some recommendations:

Gear to Help You Stay Warm

  • Sturdy insulated boots – Warm them up before putting them on, and if it’s really cold, slip some insole foot warmers inside for up to eight hours of warmth.
  • Wool socks
  • Thermal base layers
  • Traction cleats – These slip over your boots for easy walking on icy surfaces.
  • Hand warmers
  • Touchscreen gloves
  • Waterproof over-mittens
  • Balaclava – To prevent frosty breath from building up on your LCD screen.
  • A warm hat
  • Waterproof coat
  • Snow pants
  • Snacks and water
  • Portable first aid kit and emergency firestarter
  • Fully-charged cell phone – Keep this in an inner pocket so you don’t drain the battery.

Winter Photography Gear

  • A waterproof camera bag – Your camera bag should be easy to get into and 100% waterproof. The K&F Concept large capacity backpack comes with a dust-free rain cover, anti-theft zip pockets, and a shockproof design—perfect for photo shoots in all types of weather.
  • A carbon or graphite tripod – Metal tripods are hard to work with during the winter because they become so cold. A carbon fiber tripod will be lighter for easy transport, and your hands won’t freeze while you’re setting it up. If you do shoot with a metal tripod, consider buying tripod leg warmers to keep your hands from getting too cold. Also, make sure you have a quick release plate on your camera so you don’t have to screw and unscrew it from your tripod with cold fingers.
  • A rain cover – You can certainly shoot with your camera inside a plastic bag, but a dedicated rain cover will be much easier to use. Peak Design makes shells in three sizes to protect your camera from rain, snow, and dust while out in the field.
  • A polarizing filter – A polarizer is useful for shooting outdoors in bright sunlight and snowy conditions. It will reduce glare and reflections while adding contrast to your shots. Polarizing filters come in different sizes and screw onto the front of your lens.
  • A camera-cleaning kit – Aside from a small towel and some microfiber cloths to wipe down your lens, you should also carry Q-tips for cleaning your viewfinder, a lens brush for brushing away snow, and a small blower. Don’t ever breathe on your camera to clean it — you will only add moisture to the lens and elements.

Now Go Out and Start Shooting!

Winter is a spectacular time to experiment and grow as a photographer. Extreme weather, beautiful lighting, and of course snow, set the stage for some magical shots and enable you to play with your camera settings, composition, and techniques.

The challenges of winter photography—staying warm, protecting your gear, and shooting properly exposed images can all be overcome with preparedness and practice.