At the end of January a couple of weeks ago, the Pratik Doshi Photography team drove out to Jersey City, NJ for some urban setting engagement photography as the sun set over the Manhattan Skyline. It was freezing cold and extremely windy but we still managed to capture some great Save-the-Date pictures and some beautiful engagement photos of our bride and groom to be.
Here are some useful tips about how to plan a successful photo shoot in harsh winter conditions. You can thank us later.
Think Like an Onion ( Dress in layers)
Staying warm and looking nice at the same time is possible. Don’t give up the suit and dress if you want to wear them, just wear a full thermal layer underneath your cute outfit. Try to find good quality - warm but not bulky -thermals. If you are wearing a dress, make it a long one, that way you can hide thick leggings or thermals and thick warm socks underneath.
Locate an E.W.U.A
In our case, Emergency Warm -Up Areas tend to be coffee shops. This is also an important tip to take into account if you plan on shooting different outfits. If your shoot takes place in a remote location and there are no EWUA around, your car can qualify as one as well.
Cue the Waterworks
Your nose and eyes may get runny. Be ready for this by stashing some tissues in an accessible pocket if possible or somewhere nearby. Waterproof makeup, especially mascara, might be a good idea also in some cases.
How to combat WIND:
Pre Prep your Props
Make sure that you do any required set-up beforehand whenever possible and not out in the cold because your fingers will become numb in the cold air and it is not easy to maneuver with gloves. For example, Velcro or double sided tape is easier to set up and faster to remove than tying and untying knots to hold up signs or other props.
Tame the Maine
Hair can look great flowing naturally in the wind or it can be a total disaster. Be aware that it may get messy or cover your face in half of the shots in a way that is unflattering and potentially ruins an image. It may be a wise idea to prepare for this beforehand with hair gel, bobby pins or maybe even a cute hat. Especially if you have a shorter hair style, consider securing fly always with a good amount of hair gel, in order to avoid the “electrocuted hair-sticking-up-on-end” look in the pictures.
Protect the Fingers
Hand warmers (the kind that you snap to release warmth) and/or a thermos with a warm drink will help keep your hands from freezing and hurting. Unless you are wearing gloves, your fingers will probably hurt the most in the cold.
Protect the Face
This won’t show in the pictures, but for your comfort keep in mind that your face will most probably be directly exposed to the harsh winter conditions. Before you apply makeup remember to moisturize. This includes your lips as well. They will chap easily in the cold and wind.
Early Bird gets the Worm
This one might be a bit more obvious, but remember that sunset is really early in the winter (around 4:30 here in NYC) so plan accordingly. Sunset will alter lighting conditions but also temperature drops.
The PDP Team