Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take photos sub-freezing weather, with a steady ice cold breeze in the winter time in Wyoming? If you’re a normal human your answer would be no, that sounds miserable. While you might be right and it would be ideal to avoid these conditions for a photoshoot, as Wyoming natural true to light photographers we have to learned to embrace the true nature of the Rocky Mountains at 7,200 ft in the Laramie area. The reality is that winter here lasts from the beginning of November to the beginning of May and with our elevation the average temperature in Wyoming is 50 degrees Fahrenheit with a historical record low of -39 degrees which does not include windchill. With a small breeze, this brings that temperature to a mere -50 degree causing frost bite to exposed skin in under 5 minutes.
Lindsay and I joke about how our weather patterns in Wyoming are population control, which is likely true, but for us its home and we love it. Our last engagement photo session with Jack and Bethany was in December. Although it was typically Wyoming winter weather, we all had a blast and the photos turned out beautiful. We were able to capture the breath taking mountain forest with surrounding snow in the Happy Jack area on the Tie City trail. In addition we enjoyed seeing all the cross country skiers, snowshoers and hikers embracing the day. The breath-taking photos and joy felt were the result of a well-prepared plan before the photo shoot.
Before any photo shoot, Lindsay and I run through our basic checklist including but not limited to: cameras, SD cards, microphone, extra batteries, reflector and step-stool. This time we added some things though which included: thermos full of hot chocolate, cups and hand warmers. These extra items are what make our sessions in the winter conditions enjoyable and was by far the key for the success and joy felt for this session with the future Govaerts’ couple.
As soon as we jumped out of our car with gear, we gave the activated hand warmers to Jack and Bethany for them to keep one in each coat pocket to provide a nice warm shelter for their hands. Then with that we were off on the trail. During the session Lindsay captured some beautiful golden hour snowy pictures and I captured some windy videos of the photos taken. Any time our clients would get cold, we would take a break and give them time to warm up before we continued. To top the session off towards the end, we broke out our cups and hot chocolate and had a blast taking some pictures as they toasted to a wonderful time of smiles and memories.
To complete the session, we took a classic phone selfie with them as is our tradition stands with all of our clients. However our phones had both died due to the cold, so we had to take it with our camera.
We had an incredible session with Jack Govaerts and his finance Bethany Williams and we can not wait to continue the photo journey with them as they tie the knot in June this year.
February 1, 2023