How Michael Mueller Keeps His Cool at -20°c | Profoto (NL)

How Michael Mueller Keeps His Cool at -20°c

24 May, 2017

Written by: Fredrik Franzén

So you think your last shoot was challenging? Well, try shooting on top of a snowy alpine summit in -20°C with screaming winds, occasional fog and clouds with snowfall. That’s what Michael Mueller did.


“The client wanted images in the same style as car ads,” says Michael Mueller – fearless photographer and dauntless adventurer in equal measures. “They wanted clean, super perfect images with blue skies and white mountain tops. Being a brand for serious athletes, it was also important that the images showed a real challenge. We couldn’t make it easy for ourselves. We had to climb high and shoot real athletes doing real things.”

Said and done. Michael and his team packed their bags and went to Pontresina in the Swiss Alps. With them they brought B1 Off-Camera FlashesTeleZoom Reflectors and Zoom Reflectors.





“The weather was far from ideal,” says Michael. “It was very unstable. One minute it was blowing up to a storm, the next it was so foggy you couldn’t see more than 20 meters in front of you. We had just tiny windows of time when the skies cleared and we could shoot. In three whole days we got only five hours worth of shooting!”

So Michael and his team had to work fast to seize the opportunities they had. Lights were quickly placed far from the subjects not to be shown in frame. TeleZoom Reflectors – which are great at throwing lots of light over long distances, were added to the lights furthest away. Zoom Reflectors were added to the closer positioned lights, allowing the team to zoom and shape the light not to hit the highly reflective snow cover.

On a final note, anyone who has experienced their cellphone battery suddenly die at below zero temperatures is probably curious to know how the flash batteries survived the extreme conditions.

“I can let you in on the secret,” laughs Michael. “We went to the supermarket and got some plastic bags for storing frozen food. We put the spare batteries in these, together with ordinary ski boot heaters. The batteries inserted into the flashes, on the other hand, got warm simply by being used. In fact, we didn’t use most of the spare batteries. I was quite impressed by that.”

See more of Michael’s work at:








Written by: Fredrik Franzén

Products used in this story

TeleZoom Reflector

For a directed and even light, thrown over large distances
894,00 €

Zoom Reflector

A classic among our light shaping tools
284,00 €