Photography during the winter can be difficult, especially when it’s cold, the snow is blowing, and the light isn’t great. It’s times like these that make you want to put your camera down, curl up by the fire, and stick to catching up on your editing. Ski photography adds so many other elements to the mix of chilly weather and variable conditions. A photographer has to hike/ski to the shooting location, becomes the director of the athlete and scene, and every action sequence might take a lot of time to set up again if the first shots didn’t work out.
Although the amount of work and dealing with the weather elements can be frustrating at times, a photographer who loves to ski and enjoys the mountains can find a lot of great benefits in focusing on this unique action-sports photography niche. If you’re able to hold your own on the mountain, keep your hands warm, be patient, and communicate well to your subjects, the chances of going home with some quality images goes up dramatically.
Here are some some awesome examples of ski photography selected from our Flickr group. If you post your photos to this medium, we may feature your work in a future post. There is also a list of resources at the end of this post to help take your ski photos to the next level.
Ski Photography Resources
Nikon – Ski Photography 101
From scouting your location to managing your skiers, being a ski photographer is hard work. This article from Nikon highlights many of the things you need to think about when creating pictures in this unique category of action-sports photography.
REI – Getting the Perfect Ski Shot
This extensive article by REI really goes into depth about all of the steps it takes to get the perfect ski photo. A few of my favorites were communicate your plan, emphasize movement, and probably the most important one of all, keep your hands warm.
Skiing Magazine – Ski Photography Pointers From Grant Gunderson
This is a fantastic gallery of some really great photos by Grant Gunderson as well as a collection of tips from him for making great ski images. To see more of Grant’s work, check out his website and Instagram.
Dan Carr Photography – 10 Things You Will Need to be a Ski Photographer
This is a simple list of gear, created by an experienced ski and mountain photographer, that will help you get prepared for a season of snow, big jumps, and variable weather.
PictureCorrect – 4 Fundamental Tips for Better Ski Photography
A simple but useful article that brings a photographer back to the basics of creating a great skiing photo.
So You Want to be a Ski Photographer
Ian Coble talks about his work as a ski photographer in this fascinating 9 minute video. Check out more of Ian’s work on his Instagram.