Portrait Photography in Extreme Weather

We have seen storm-chasing photographers make awe-inspiring timelapses. We’ve seen photographers make mesmerizing natural light portraits, too. However, we haven’t often seen a photographer attempting to chasing bad weather just so that he can make portraits. But if that photographer is Ben Von Wong, then there must be a reason behind the insanity:

“I think that we live in a rapidly changing world right now, and whether we admit it or not our lifestyle is pretty unsustainable for the environment around us. I wanted to create a series of images that would highlight everyday, normal people doing normal activities with the building up of a storm in the background and I thought that the two together would tell a really nice story around climate change.”

bad weather portrait photos

Von Wong’s project is in support of Cowspiracy, an environmental documentary film. The gathering storm making a backdrop for all the images is a premonition of things to come. Von Wong deliberately placed models doing normal everyday activities seemingly oblivious of what’s brewing behind them.

The project was a challenge in many ways. For a start it mixed two genres. Chasing a storm is a challenge in itself. There is absolutely no control over anything except how quickly you can chase a storm, reach a safe spot, set up a shoot, and make the shot, before the storm catches up on you.

photographing in bad weather

The crew would often have less than ten minutes to make the shot once they reached a spot.

von wong's project supporting cowspiracy
photographer chasing storm for climate change project
working in inclemental weather
photography project supporting cowspiracy
bad weather portrait photography

“The intent of the series is really just to get people to think. Think about the world. Think about what’s happening around us. Be aware of it. And if I can ignite that conversation regardless of the reaction on the series then I think this project will have been a success.”

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One Comment

  1. Wow! The photos are awesome! I would love to be able to incorporate bad weather into my wedding photos when it happens but most clients are very difficult (if not impossible) to convince to go out. Those are some brave model!

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