Lapland
In My Heart

Reindeer Photography Is Exciting.
So Why Not Bring Lots of Photographs With You Home?


Free Reindeer Photography Tips

We have prepared some short reindeer photography tips aimed at amateur photographers who travel in Lapland. The pros already know what to do and how to prepare and do the necessary research beforehand. Many of you will be bringing your cameras with you. It is appropriate to share some reindeer photograpy tips with you. Reindeer are fast runners

General Tips

  • Take many shots from different angles!

  • A little bit of luck is fine, of course.

  • Lots of patience is a good thing.

  • Use a tripod or some steady place to rest your camera on as often as you can.

  • Look around you and try to frame something unusual. Change your perspective.

  • The light is important for best results. But anyway you just go on and shoot as you go.

  • With digital cameras you can evaluate shots and delete the mediocre ones afterwards.

  • Reindeer Photography Tips

  • Whenever you go by car or motor home, please, beware of the traffic both in front of you, but especially behind you. Some driving reindeer photographers create dangerous situations when they suddenly see a reindeer and want to stop momentarily. Don't stop at bends in the road or at other dangerous places - no matter how nice the sight is. Reindeer photography can be dangerous if you don't take heed.

  • Usually reindeer are used to motor vehicles. They won't run far away whenever you stop at the roadside. You may get many nice shots this way.

  • Normally reindeer will run away fast if you come out of your car.

  • Reindeer are whimsical animals. When driving you may see reindeer stand still at a distance. Don't trust them to stand still all the time as you approach. Suddenly they may leap up and cross the road just in front of your car.

  • With a telephoto lens you can come close even if you stand some distance away.

  • If you can, use the right equipment. Any name brand 35mm SLR camera is fine. The key is most often the quality of the camera lens. Such lenses give sharp, clear and vivid images.

  • The light makes the difference. If you are in a position to choose, the best light to take pictures of reindeer is on a slightly overcast day.

  • Bright sunlight creates too much contrast and shadows. Also pictures taken when it is getting dark don't come out too well.

  • Flash does not work well with reindeer photography when it's dark. The shadows will come out too harsh.

  • If you are near the reindeer in enclosed areas, for instance when the herders work with reindeer in the corrals, flash will help soften the shadows of bright sunlight.

  • With bad lighing conditions you can increase the ISO number. Use a tripod if you can.

  • Choose different angles. Antlers are the most exciting part of a reindeer, but take some to show the rest of the body as well. Try and get as close as you can. Remember the telephoto lens. It's nice in reindeer photography.

  • Try to get a clean background if at all possible. Don't photograph a buck with big nice antlers against a messy background like tree branches that resemble the antlers. Try to kneel or lay down and shoot upwards with the sky as a background.

  • Focus is important. Study your camera manual to learn about "depth of field." If you know about this you can deliberately blur the background. It is a great way of removing unwanted backgrounds - also in reindeer photography. Setting your f-stop at a low f-number will blur the background and thus accentuate the main theme of your picture.

    Take a look at this example of reindeer photography from Oulu, Finland.

    Go back to reindeer article

    Where the Reindeer Roam


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