A Model’s Perspective – Modelling On Location During Winter


Katey Spink



At Welshot

Welcome to part two of “A Model’s Perspective” by Katey Spink. This series is written by Katey who is an experienced, full-time professional, for the photographer wanting to get the best from a photo-shoot with models.

Last month it was about How It All Began – this Month, Katey offers up some invaluable hint, tips, do’s and don’t of working with a model in Winter.

If you would like to know more about working with models then we have just the event for you. How To Work With A Model – Everything You Need to Know – From the planning, to the shooting, to making perfect photos.

Modelling On Location During Winter.

As we approach the depths of Winter, now is as good a time as any to talk about the difficulties of modelling throughout the ever-changing seasons.. Especially in the UK!

Autumn/Winter can arguably be the best time of year for street photography – you can find the most beautiful backgrounds around every corner.

Sparkling frost decorating the ground, bright orange crisp leaves on every tree, Christmas decorations lighting up the streets.. it’s not difficult to imagine why photographers love this time of year to shoot on location.

All of that beautiful-ness aside. What fills models with anxiety and dread more than anything else when approached to work on location, outside, during winter is…

Unrealistic styling expectations.

When planning your location shoot you simply must factor in the weather/temperature. (unless of course, you would like to photograph a project such as “the stages of hypothermia” and that won’t be very pretty.)

Now for some of you reading this, that might seem like the most basic rule of all, right? But trust me it isn’t. I have been approached (as have many other models I know) to do outside work on location in the most freezing temperatures, with an evening dress or something not suitable for the season. As much as we try our hardest (and we really do) to finish the assignment, sometimes it is literally impossible and it can be very dangerous.

The end result is always the same, skin colours looking red & blotchy (extreme cases blue – no really!), goose-bumps giving lots of unflattering texture to skin that you can’t edit out, and one very exhausted, cold and unhappy model that has burned all their energy shivering.

So what’s the solution?

Think about how you would feel. Are you prepared to wear a summer dress and high heels in icy -2 conditions outside for hours? I will guess probably not.

But, you still want to get your shots, and we want to work with you to get them; but not at the expense of our own health and safety.

Here are my top tips to working outside with your Model this Winter:

  • Make realistic suggestions for styling. (Swimwear / summer dresses outside in December? Stiletto heels & icy pavements? = NO!)
  • Take regular breaks. Even just walking into a shop for 5 minutes so your model can warm up again.
  • Get a hot drink so your model can hold it in between shots. (It can make a great prop too!)
  • Let your model wrap up in-between sets / whilst you are testing light etc. Your model doesn’t need to be “ready” whilst you are sorting out settings. Trust me these extra few minutes will help preserve warmth & energy for your model.
  • Consider taking a hot water bottle / hand warmers so your model can hold it in-between shots.

Did you find this blog helpful? Has it changed your priorities when booking a model for outside work this winter? Let us know in the comments below.

Want more? Check out the event below we are running in January 2024

How to Work With A Model – Everything You Need to Know

From the planning, to the shooting, to making perfect photos.

Event Details

  • Saturday 6th January 2024
  • Chester Crowne Plaza
  • 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Refreshments and Lunch Included

For more guidance join us in January for a “How to work with a Model” event hosted by Katey Spink (Model) and Team Welshot

This will be a full day workshop where you will be given guidance on how to book models, help to pose / direct them, importance of a mood board, industry terms, correct communication & a whole bunch more.

Did I mention we will have THREE models there too and you will have an opportunity to shoot in a mains studio

What are you waiting for! Limited spaces remaining! Book Your Place NOW!

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