There’s something about snow that draws creative people to it. The sparking beauty, and soft fluffy texture are a delight to play in and can be stunningly beautiful in photographs. Snow photos can draw cosplayers and photographers to it like a bear to honey. Capturing the sparkling and cold white stuff (with you in the middle) can be a dream come true.
Winter photos, for me, have been fast and furious and it takes a lot of prep to make the experience worthwhile for the photographer and the model. Unless your costume is a fur lined wool parka, you are going to start freezing in about 15 minutes or less. You might be able to deal with it for another few shots but once the cold starts setting it, your body’s reaction is to start shivering and jerking, telling you to move or die. Your face changes too. From a controlled and relaxed natural expression to RBF with red nose and cheeks and you start giving that look to your photographer that says ‘Hurry up!’
Below are some helpful tips on staying warm, confident, and getting the best shots in a short amount of time. You’ll look like the King in the North or a serene winter sprite, perfectly at home in the frozen taiga.
“Scout your locations in summer, and again in winter, before you go shoot. If you’re not a hiker, make friends with one. They’ll know some great spots. Discuss what you want with your photographer. If you want epic mountain backgrounds, and you are just there, awesome. If you want to be the centre of attention, and sure there can be mountains there too, great. Just discuss it with them so you don’t waste both their and your time shooting in the snow. Bring warm clothes to change back into. Or wear a costume well suited to winter. Bring coffee and carbs. Bring friends. One character is great. A squad is better. Bring enemies. Conflict in pictures is exciting. Just a Jedi? Cool. Jedi vs Sith? Epic photo series.” ~ Shawn Trainor AKA Sidewalker The Adventurer
Our 10 Tips for Winter Photos
1.Choose a location close to a warm building or your car. When the cold becomes too unbearable you can hop in and warm up then jump back out again. Keep your car running with the heat on.
2. Choose a costume that is warm. If that doesn’t suit your artistic vision bring a huge winter coat or thick wool blankets to wrap yourself in while assuming your pose position.
3. Wear multiple layers of thermal clothing where ever you can without compromising the look of your costume. Alternatively; alter your costume design to include scarves, gloves, or to otherwise keep you warm.
Don’t wear heels when you find 4 foot patches [of snow], suffer, be really cold, bring a change of clothing, bring blankets, be more cold, bring hot cocoa, have a car near you. ~ Roze Masquerade
4. Hot pockets or hand warmers will save your life! Get 4 and put them in your gloves and the toes of your boots.
5. Bring a thermos of hot cocoa or tea and a mug. Let the warm drink warm your hands and your belly.
6. Bring friends to help. A few extra pairs of helping hands are incredibly valuable. It’s no fun struggling with frozen fingers to tighten straps, fix your headdress or hold lighting equipment. Friends make the world go round and photoshoots run much more smoothly.
7. Consider how walking in knee deep snow will affect your costume. I had my worbla dragon scale greaves actually shatter in some places because it was so cold and there was too much pressure from the snow I was walking through.
8. Add the element of fire to your shoot. There’s nothing like a bon fire to warm you right up real fast! Just make sure you aren’t going to melt your thermal plastic armour off!
9. Bring extra camera batteries and keep them in a warm place during the shot. Subzero temperatures can suck the life out of batteries faster than normal.
10. Be conscientious of the poses you are using. Is the temperature causing you to hug yourself or hunch your shoulders and keep your arms close to your body. Body language speaks volumes in photos. Communicate with your photographer to make sure you’re getting the heroic, serene, and a cold-what-cold attitude to your body language.
That’s a wrap for now. Stay warm, be creative and good luck!
Author: Amanda Eccleston AKA Beebichu Cosplay.
Contributors: Shawn Trainor, Nikki McPherson, Jos Riv.