Photographing Horses in the Snow!
I’m originally from the east coast-born in New York! I’ve lived in cold weather and spent time outdoors in cold weather. I spent several years living in the Midwest in Illinois, near the Wisconsin border. I was just telling a friend about getting stranded on the school bus during a big mid-west snow storm and having to be taking home by emergency crews on snowmobiles. However, standing outside photographing horses in the snow holds some different memories.
Photographing horses in the snow can be such a peaceful photo shoot. Just after moving to Prescott, Arizona I was able to get outside during a snow storm and photograph some horses down the road from my home. I did not have to drive anywhere and it was certainly not extreme temps. I find that walking in the snow when it’s not too cold it quite serene. The gently falling snow flakes fell on the horse’s back and face and I was able to capture “Silent Snow”.
The horses seem to enjoy the peace and quiet of the gently falling snow as well.
You won’t find any technical tips in this blog for photographing horses in the snow. Just some stories of my adventures and keeping warm.
Photographing horses in the snow in Westcliffe, Colorado
My next experience photographing horses in the snow was in Colorado in April. I landed at the Denver Airport for a photo workshop at Bear Basin Ranch in Westcliffe, Colorado. Westcliffe is 150 miles south of Denver and I was supposed to rent a car and drive from Denver to Westcliffe. When I arrived at the car rental counter- they informed me that a storm was moving through and that I should rent a 4 wheel drive and be very cautious. Fortunately, I made it to the small town of Westcliffe just as the snow started to fall so the driving part was easy. Since I was not expecting the snow storm- I was not prepared with boots and gloves or very warm clothing. As soon as I got into town and checked into my hotel room I headed off to the local hike shop and picked up some warm clothes and boots for the impending storm.
At o’dark thirty the next morning I was picked up at my hotel by photographer, Andy Cook and rancher owners, Bob and Phyllis. I knew it had snowed a few inches that night. It was dark when I was picked up so as the sun started to rise and the photo shoot began, I was pleased to see a lovely white layer of snow everywhere! I proceeded to have a great day photographing horses in the snow!
The temps warmed and by the next day all the snow had melted. It was fun to see Bear Basin Ranch covered in snow and then to enjoy a clear spring day.
Photographing horses in the snow in Kalispell, Montana
This photo shoot was very very cold! It was January in Kalispell, Montana and the photoshoot was hosted by Triple D Game Farm.
The day we ventured out to photograph horses in the snow, it was not even above freezing. I was bundled up and had my gear inside my jacket while we waited for the temps to rise to 17 degrees. UGH! There was enough snow on the ground to get some good shots but it was also very icy and it was a big dangerous to move the horses around too much. The wranglers were all women and they easily braved the cold temperatures.
I was able to get some good shots in between swapping out warmed batteries and putting my camera back inside my coat close to my body to keep it from freezing up.
Here are some common sense tips for photographing horses in the snow
1. Dress warmly and considering a hand-warmer (since you’ll need to remove your gloves), consider your equipment. For water protection, look for a sealed camera or a rain and snow cover.
2. Cold weather can drain your camera’s batteries fast! Keep a spare, fully charged battery on hand, especially if you are planning on being outside for a while. And, be sure to keep the spare in an inside pocket rather than in your camera bag. cold elements.
3. Wear a really big coat so you can keep your batteries and camera warm while it’s not in use — inside your jacket next to your body, for instance.
4. Get those great foot warmers and hand warmers. My feet are normally cold even in the best of weather, so having the foot warmer inserts in my boots made these experiences tolerable. Of course, soaking in a hot bath once I got home was perfect too.
Jody Miller is a professional photographer specializing in Horse Photography, Equine Photography, and Equestrian photography. Her work can be viewed online here in her gallery section, and she is also featured at these Arizona Galleries: Van Gogh’s Ear Gallery in Prescott, Arizona , The Phippen Art Museum, Hart of AZ Gallery and Dragonfly Arts in Old Town Cottonwood, Sedona Artist Market and Coops Coffee House at Talking Rock Ranch.