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BTS: Automotive Photography in Extreme Weather Conditions | Tuesdays with Lauri

By Lauri L. on December 11th 2012

Sticking one’s head (and photographic equipment worth more than 3000€) out of the window of a car driving 100km/h is a very enlightening experience. Especially when driving in a snow-storm in the middle of the freezing Finnish winter… Don’t believe me? Check out the BTS-video from our shoot, and you will:

So. About a month ago, Sakari Mäkelä, a good friend of mine and a fellow photographer suggested that we should organise an automotive photoshoot. I got very excited about this and so we started planning the shoot. Four weeks later we found ourselves standing in an old harbor in the middle of a freezing cold snowstorm. Definitely not the best possible conditions for an outdoor photoshoot, but as we Finns are famous for our “sisu” (it’s a finnish word that really can’t be translated to any other languages… Check out Wikipedia’s definition for it to learn more: we decided to fight through it and take the photos that we had planned to shoot.

As you saw from the video, we had a very long day. We started our travel towards the old harbor in Helsinki around 2pm and got back home about 12 hours later, at 2am. But it really was worth every minute! This was my first time shooting automotive photos, and I was very keen to hear new tips and tricks from Sakari.

Sakari was kind enough to write down some of his thoughts about automotive photography for this week’s article, and so here they are:

  • Plan, plan, plan. If you have a clear vision in your head, it helps a lot.
  • Check your locations and shooting angles before the shooting day, if possible.
  • When lighting the image with wireless strobes and combining several shots in post, make sure that the camera is secured tight in your tripod and does not move a bit.
  • Avoid using too wide angle lenses, because they distort the shapes of the car too much for commercial use.
  • If you use natural light, early morning just before sunrise and late evening just after sunset gives the best light for car photography.
  • Have fun!

And here are the final images from our shoot:

I hope you enjoyed this week’s article, and if you have any questions about it, please leave a comment below, or shoot me an email to

About Sakari A. Mäkelä:

Sakari A. Mäkelä is a 25 year old photographer and cinematographer and leads a media production company called White Cloud Productions. He also works as the Vice President in The Association of Finnish Camera Clubs and teaches photography and film-making courses.

To see more of Sakari’s work, visit:


Photographers: Lauri Laukkanen & Sakari A. Mäkelä
BTS-videographer: Risto Päivärinta
BMW-driver: Pertti Mäkelä

Also, a big thank you goes to my father, Juha Laukkanen, for borrowing his BMW to us for the day. 

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Lauri Laukkanen is one of the youngest established advertising photographers in Finland. At the ripe age of 21 he has already been working with some of the biggest commercial clients and his photos have been featured in the media, all around the world. Check out his portfolio here.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Nice images.

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  2. Kristoffer Sandven

    Fantastic images!
    Still, I’d like to warn people about things like this. Sticking your head or body out of a car in motion can be fatal, as it was for a camera man during the filming of “Batman – The Dark Knight”. This was even performed by professional stunt people. So keep safe, people!

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    • laurilaukkanen

      Yes, thank you for pointing that out Kristoffer. You’re absolutely true. ALWAYS take all the possible safety precautions into consideration when doing something like this. We shot these at midnight, when there was no traffic on the highway, and tried to make sure that we were safe at all times.

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