Don’t Cancel the Shoot: Embracing Bad Weather

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Everyone wants ideal conditions for their clients’ wedding or engagement photos, but no one can control the weather. When dealing with wedding clients, you can only reschedule certain sessions. A lot of times the show simply must go on. Thankfully, some of the most dramatic and beautiful wedding photography has come straight out of bad weather situations!

If you are faced with unavoidable inclement weather, don’t cancel the shoot. Embrace it.

Pull Out the Props

Large golf umbrellas are perfect to shelter two cuddling newlyweds from unexpected rain. Or, try using big clear umbrellas through which you can capture cool sky conditions or neat effects with streetlights. Alternate black and white umbrellas throughout the entire wedding party and use the contrast and geometry to your advantage. With the right props, rainy day weddings can be even more beautiful than their clear weather counterparts.

In extra hot conditions, try colorful parasols to protect wedding party members or have some fun with water (just beware of marking the wedding gown or bridesmaid dress without permission!). Create unique opportunities for great photos despite the weather – just be certain to stay safe, and keep your equipment safe while you shoot.

 
Copyright: artfotodima / 123RF Stock Photo

Choose Your Timing

If weather is simply too harsh for outdoor shooting, it may be possible to juggle the schedule a bit and wait out the worst of it. In many regions, all you have to do is wait 10 minutes and most storms will pass. Communicate with your couple and with wedding day management to find the perfect opportunities to shoot outside, even if it involves making minor adjustments to your wedding day timeline.

Use Long Exposure Techniques

Nearly any kind of precipitation takes on new life if you can capture it in a way that people never get to see. Falling snow and rain with proper lighting and long exposure become a whole new, and truly magical backdrop for romantic photos. If you get wind of an incoming storm on a wedding or engagement shoot day, be prepared with the equipment you’ll need to take advantage of nature’s contribution to your portfolio.

Find Indoor Alternatives

While we definitely advocate for embracing bad weather, the reality of dangerous lightning storms, heavy precipitation or even excruciatingly hot weather is that you may have to execute a plan B. Even if you find a workaround, your client may not want to risk her wedding gown, or her bridal party may have selected a particularly delicate bridesmaid dress that shouldn’t be exposed. If you have to avoid the outdoors, scout your venues for places where you can take interesting images. If you are able to use doorways, archways or picture windows to bring in elements of the indoors and the weather as well, even better!

Bad weather shouldn’t derail your shooting schedule or wreck your plans. You just need to approach the situation with some ingenuity and an open mind. Reassure your clients that everything will still turn out beautifully if they relax and go with the flow. The resulting images may very well be some of the best you’ve ever taken!

Louie Elijah

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